Constant bit-rate multi-stage rate control for rate-distortion optimized H.264/AVC encoders

Shuijiong Wu*, Peilin Liu, Yiqing Huang, Qin Liu, Takeshi Ikenaga

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


H.264/AVC encoder employs rate control to adaptively adjust quantization parameter (QP) to enable coded video to be transmitted over a constant bit-rate (CBR) channel. In this topic, bit allocation is crucial since it is directly related with actual bit generation and the coding quality. Meanwhile, the rate-distortion-optimization (RDO) based mode-decision technique also affects performance a lot for the strong relation among mode, bits, and quality. This paper presents a multi-stage rate control scheme for R-D optimized H.264/AVC encoders under CBR video transmission. To enhance the precision of the complexity estimation and bit allocation, a frequency-domain parameter named mean-absolute-transformdifference (MATD) is adopted to represent frame and macroblock (MB) residual complexity. Second, the MATD ratio is utilized to enhance the accuracy of frame layer bit prediction. Then, by considering the bit usage status of whole sequence, a measurement combining forward and backward bit analysis is proposed to adjust the Lagrange multiplier ?MODE on frame layer to optimize the mode decision for all MBs within the current frame. On the next stage, bits are allocated on MB layer by proposed remaining complexity analysis. Computed QP is further adjusted according to predicted MB texture bits. Simulation results show the PSNR improvement is up to 1.13 dB by using our algorithm, and the stress of output buffer control is also largely released compared with the recommended rate control in H.264/AVC reference software JM13.2.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1716-1726
Number of pages11
JournalIEICE Transactions on Information and Systems
Issue number7
Publication statusPublished - 2010 Jul


  • Bit allocation
  • H.264/AVC video CBR transmission
  • Lagrange multiplier
  • Multi-stage rate control
  • Rate-distortion optimization

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Software
  • Hardware and Architecture
  • Computer Vision and Pattern Recognition
  • Electrical and Electronic Engineering
  • Artificial Intelligence


Dive into the research topics of 'Constant bit-rate multi-stage rate control for rate-distortion optimized H.264/AVC encoders'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this