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Proceedings Paper

Comparison of the H.263 and H.261 video compression standards
Author(s): Bernd Girod; Eckehard G. Steinbach; Niko Faerber
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Paper Abstract

The draft international standard ITU-T H.263 is closely related to the well known and widely used ITU-T Recommendation H.261. However, H.263 does provide the same subjective image quality at less than half the bit-rate. In this paper we investigate to what extend single enhancements of H.263 contribute to this performance gain, and consider the trade-off quality vs. complexity. Based on the test sequence “Foreman”, H.263 in its default- and optional codingmodes is compared to H.261 on the basis of rate distortion curves at bit-rates up to 128 kbps. At 64 kbps, the performance gain of H.263 in its default mode compared to H.261 is approximately 2 dB PSNR. This improvement is achieved with only little increase of complexity, and is mainly due to more accurate motion compensation with half-pel accuracy. Considering the trade-off quality vs. complexity, the combination of the optional coding-modes “Advanced prediction mode” and “PB-frames mode” seems to be a good compromise, resulting in an additional performance gain of 1 dB PSNR at 64 kbps. The “Syntax-based arithmetic coding mode” on the other hand, offers only a very small performance gain (0.2 dB PSNR at 64 kbps) for its increased computational complexity. Results from profiling a H.263 software codec are presented in order to support complexity considerations of the optional coding-modes.

Paper Details

Date Published: 25 October 1995
PDF: 19 pages
Proc. SPIE 10282, Standards and Common Interfaces for Video Information Systems: A Critical Review, 102820D (25 October 1995); doi: 10.1117/12.227952
Show Author Affiliations
Bernd Girod, Univ. Erlangen-Nuremberg (United States)
Eckehard G. Steinbach, Univ. Erlangen-Nuernberg (United States)
Niko Faerber, Univ. Erlangen-Nuernberg (Germany)

Published in SPIE Proceedings Vol. 10282:
Standards and Common Interfaces for Video Information Systems: A Critical Review
K. R. Rao, Editor(s)

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