Rate-distortion optimized multi-stage rate control algorithm for H.264/AVC video coding

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

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalConference articlepeer-review


For real H.264/AVC codec, the bit allocation in rate control is crucial to coding efficiency. Meanwhile, the rate-distortion-optimization (RDO) based mode-decision technique also affects performance considerably. This paper presents a R-D optimized multi-stage rate control scheme where both bit allocation and the Lagrange multiplier (λ MODE) selection are considered. At the first stage, frame layer bit allocation is executed by analyzing frame complexity which is represented by mean-absolute-difference (MAD). Secondly, in order to a select suitable mode to generate reasonable bits, λ MODE is further adjusted by using coded and remaining bits information. At the last stage, bits are allocated on macroblock (MB) layer and the computed quantization parameter (QP) is further adjusted. Simulation results verify the performance of the proposed algorithm. Compared with the recommended rate control in H.264/AVC reference software, a gain up to 0.89dB in PSNR is achieved, and the subjective coding quality is also improved.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1809-1813
Number of pages5
JournalEuropean Signal Processing Conference
Publication statusPublished - 2009 Dec 1
Event17th European Signal Processing Conference, EUSIPCO 2009 - Glasgow, United Kingdom
Duration: 2009 Aug 242009 Aug 28

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Signal Processing
  • Electrical and Electronic Engineering


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