Optical EngineeringProbable mode prediction for H.264 advanced video coding P slices using removable SKIP mode distortion estimation
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The H.264/AVC (advanced video coding) is used in a wide variety of applications including digital broadcasting and mobile applications, because of its high compression efficiency. The variable block mode scheme in H.264/AVC contributes much to its high compression efficiency but causes a selection problem. In general, rate-distortion optimization (RDO) is the optimal mode selection strategy, but it is computationally intensive. For this reason, the H.264/AVC encoder requires a fast mode selection algorithm for use in applications that require low-power and real-time processing. A probable mode prediction algorithm for the H.264/AVC encoder is proposed. To reduce the computational complexity of RDO, the proposed method selects probable modes among all allowed block modes using removable SKIP mode distortion estimation. Removable SKIP mode distortion is used to estimate whether or not a further divided block mode is appropriate for a macroblock. It is calculated using a no-motion reference block with a few computations. Then the proposed method reduces complexity by performing the RDO process only for probable modes. Experimental results show that the proposed algorithm can reduce encoding time by an average of 55.22% without significant visual quality degradation and increased bit rate.