Active Macroblock Skipping in the H.264 Video Coding Standard

S.T.C. Beesley, A.J. Armstrong, C. Grecos, and D.J. Parish (UK)


H.264, AVC, Error Concealment, Rate Control


This paper proposes an alternative use of the passive error concealment algorithm present as part of the H.264 standard with the aim of providing active macroblock skipping functionality. Selected macroblocks are deliberately removed during the encoding stage in the knowledge that they can be effectively concealed during the decoding stage. This is in addition to those macroblocks chosen by the standard under the SKIP mode decision mechanism. The proposed method has been tested over a variety of test sequences that typify a large range of motion characteristics and has demonstrated significant reductions in bit stream size with only a negligible effect on the resulting Peak Signal to Noise Ratio (PSNR), in most cases even improving this result compared to the standard decoder.

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