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Video Compression

H.261
Contents
 H.261 Overview
 Motivation
 Features of H.261
 H.261 Coder
 Summary
 References
H.261 Overview
 An ITU-T H-series standard applicable to
videophone or video conferencing
 Video coding algorithm is designed for transport
using the Real-time Transport Protocol (RTP)
 Operates in real-time with limited delay
 Transmission bit rate is at multiples of 64Kbit/s
 ITU-T (International Telecom Union)
Recommendation in 1990
 Precursor to coding schemes found in H.263
and MPEG-1
H.261 (p x 64) Motivation
 Uncompressed video and audio data are huge
 Compression ratio of lossless methods is not high enough
 Target networks are p * 64Kbps, 1p30
 64Kbps (p=1) < data rate < 1920Kbps (p=30)
 Covers transmission from ISDN base rate (64 Kbps) up past
the T-1 data rate (1.54 Mbps)
 Maximum delay of 150 ms
 Coding algorithm is a hybrid of:
 Inter-picture prediction - removes temporal redundancy
 Transform coding - removes the spatial redundancy
 Motion compensation – uses motion vectors to help the
codec compensate for motion
 Data rate can be set between 40 Kbit/s and 2 Mbit/s
 Input signal format
 CIF (Common Intermediate Format) and QCIF (Quarter CIF)
available
Features of H.261 – Source format
 Bit rate
 The target bit rate is ~ 64Kbps to 1920Kbps
 Picture formats
 CIF (Common Intermediate Format) – NTSC & PAL
 QCIF (Quarter Common Intermediate Format)








 At 29.97 frames per second with 4:2:0 chrominance sub-
sampling (Y:C
B
:C
R
)

Features of H.261 – Video multiplex
arrangement
 Group of blocks structure
 Picture – coded as luminance and two color
difference components (Y, C
B
and C
R
)
 Group of blocks (GOB)
 MacroBlock (MB)
 Block
H.261 - Video multiplex arrangement
 4 layers in the compressed stream
 Picture, GOB (Group Of Block), MB (MacroBlock),
Block
CIF
QCIF
GOB
11
3
Y
MB
Cb Cr
H.261 Picture Syntax (1/4)
H.261 Picture Syntax (2/4)
H.261 Picture Syntax (3/4)
H.261 Picture Syntax (4/4)
H.261 Coding Frame Types
 Intra-Encoded Frames (I-Frames)
 Similar to JPEG compression
 Spatial filtering – still objects (transform coding)
 Ex.: Black and White background pattern

 Predicted Frames (P-Frame)
 Predicted based on earlier frame
 Temporal filtering – Inter-picture prediction
 Ex.: Application User
H.261 - Motion Compensation
 Assumption
 As parts of an
image moves, its
colors stays mostly
constant

 Idea
 Find similar parts in
other images
 Encode where it
was found (i.e.
motion vector)
 Previous decoded
image – Reference
image
 Image to code –
Target Image
 Encode the residual
only
H.261 Coder
 Outline block diagram for H.261 codec
Source coder
Transmission
buffer
Coding control
Video multiplex
coder
Source decoder
Video multiplex
decoder
Receiving
buffer
Video
Signal
Coded
bitstream
External control
a) Video coder
b) Video decoder
H.261 coder structure (1/2)
 Encoder
DCT
-1

Q
-1

ME
MC
Coding
control
VLC Q DCT
Frame
buffer
-
+
Video in
Intra/inter
Mode
Qp
Video out
MV
H.261 coder structure (2/2)
 Decoder
MC
Frame
Memory
+
IDCT
Q-1
VLC
Decoder
Buffer
Error
Correction
Input data
Decoded data
Intra/inter
Motion Vector
Step size
Discrete Cosine Transformation (DCT)
 Overview: 64 2-D DCT basis functions:




 FFT vs. DCT:

Like FFT, but
approximates
lines with fewer
coefficients

Discrete Cosine Transformation (DCT)
Computation
 Factoring reduces transformation to a series of
1-Dimensional DCTs
Demo
 Miss America (QCIF)





Summary
 H.261
 Used in video/teleconferencing
 Techniques used:
 Two dimensional (2-D) 8 X 8 DCT to remove intra-frame
correlation
 Zig-zag order to scan the transform coefficients
 Run Length coding for zero-valued coefficients after
quantization
 Motion estimation is applied to video sequence to improve
the prediction between successive frames
 Transmission rates control in the range of p X 64 Kbps
 Error resilience including synchronization and concealment
technique required in transmission code, to cover up
channel errors
 Common Intermediate Format (CIF) and Quarter CIF (QCIF)
for a single solution to different video formats (NTSC / PAL)
References

 Video codec for audiovisual services at p x 64 kbit/s ITU-
T (International Telecommunication Union –
Telecommunication Standardization Sector)
Recommendation H.261, 1993

 Stephen J. Solari, Digital Video and Audio Compression,
McGraw-Hill Professional; (March 1, 1997)
 K. Rijkse, “H.261 : Video Coding for Low-Bit-Rate
Communication”, IEEE Communications Magazine, pp. 42 –
45

 H.261 Video Coding
http://www-mobile.ecs.soton.ac.uk/peter/h261/h261.html