Table of Content

    25 June 2012, Volume 10 Issue 2
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    The whole issue of ZTE Communications June 2012, Vol. 10 No. 2
    2012, 10(2):  0. 
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    Special Topic
    Guest Editorial of Emerging Technologies for Multimedia Coding, Analysis and Transmission
    Huifang Sun and Dong Wang
    2012, 10(2):  1-1. 
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    Over the past two decades, significant progress has been made in the coding, analysis, and transmission of digital audio, video, and images. Digital multimedia signal processing technologies have arisen out of practical necessity and have significantly affected the multimedia industry. This special issue contains nine papers written by experts from academia and industry. The papers detail the most recent achievements in audio and video coding analysis and transmission and give an overview of emerging technologies. The paper by Ping Wu et al. introduces high-efficiency video coding (HEVC).
    This new video coding standard greatly improves on the coding efficiency of H.264/AVC and is a milestone in digital video coding standards. In this paper, the technical features of HEVC (up to HEVC CD stage) are discussed.
    The paper by Yichen Zhang and Lu Yu discusses the ongoing standardization of MPEG’s 3D video (3DV) coding. In this paper, coding tools proposed in response to MPEG’s Call for Proposals on 3DV coding are summarized.
    The paper by Siwei Ma et al. gives an overview of the 3DV coding standard developed by the China Audio Video Coding Standard (AVS) Working Group.
    The paper by Euee S. Jang describes a configurable codec framework. Video codec devices are becoming increasingly complex because of a wider range of applications. MPEG suggests tackling the problem with a reconfigurable video coding (RVC) framework and by standardizing modular definitions of tools and their connections. This paper gives a comprehensive overview of the RVC standard.
    The paper by Minjie Xie describes lattice vector quantization (LVQ) algorithm for speech and audio coding. Various LVQ schemes have been developed for speech and audio coding, and some of these have been successfully used in ITU-T G.718 and G.719, 3GPPAMR-WB+, and MPEG USAC.
    In the paper by Stephane Ragot et al., noise feedback coding (NFC) NFC is reviewed, and a novel coding technique is proposed. The technique involves using noise shaping in embedded pulse code modulation (PCM) and adaptive differential PCM (ADPCM).
    The paper by Gerard Fernando describes the newest multimedia transport (MMT) standard, developed by MPEG. This paper describes the architecture and functions of MMT up to the MMT CD stage, and it lists the advantages and shortfalls of existing technologies.
    The paper by Zhijie Zhao et al. describes low-complexity error resilience and error concealment for the scalable extension of H.264/AVC (SVC). This paper describes multiple description coding (MDC) for the encoder. It also describes an error concealment method in network abstraction layer (NAL) for decoder when medium grain scalability (MGS) is used. This method requires minimal computation and is suitable for real-time video streaming. In this paper, experimental results are also given.
    The paper by Ling-Yu Duan et al. introduces the MPEG standard on compact descriptors for visual search (CDVS) for mobile applications. MPEG is developing a competitive and collaborative platform for evaluating existing visual search technologies. They are also developing a standard for visual descriptors.
    Introduction to the High-Efficiency Video Coding Standard
    Ping Wu and Ming Li
    2012, 10(2):  2-8. 
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    The high-efficiency video coding (HEVC) standard is the newest video coding standard currently under joint development by ITU-T Video Coding Experts Group (VCEG) and ISO/IEC Moving Picture Experts Group (MPEG). HEVC is the next-generation video coding standard after H.264/AVC. The goals of the HEVC standardization effort are to double the video coding efficiency of existing H.264/AVC while supporting all the recognized potential applications, such as, video telephony, storage, broadcast, streaming, especially for large picture size video (4k × 2k). The HEVC standard will be completed as an ISO/IEC and ITU-T standard in January 2013. In February 2012, the HEVC standardization process reached its committee draft (CD) stage. The ever-improving HEVC standard has demonstrated a significant gain in coding efficiency in rate-distortion efficiency relative to the existing H.264/AVC. This paper provides an overview of the technical features of HEVC close to HEVC CD stage, covering high-level structure, coding units, prediction units, transform units, spatial signal transformation and PCM representation, intra-picture prediction, inter-picture prediction, entropy coding and in-loop filtering. The HEVC coding efficiency performances comparing with H.264/AVC are also provided.
    Recent MPEG Standardization Activities on 3D Video Coding
    Yichen Zhang and Lu Yu
    2012, 10(2):  9-12. 
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    The Moving Picture Experts Group (MPEG) has been developing a 3D video (3DV) coding standard for depth-based 3DV data representations, especially for multiview video plus depth (MVD) format. With MVD, depth-image-based rendering (DIBR) is used to synthesize virtual views that are based on a few transmitted pairs of texture and depth data. In this paper, we discuss ongoing 3DV standardization and summarize coding tools proposed in the responses to MPEG’s call for proposals on 3DV coding.
    AVS 3D Video Coding Technology and System
    Siwei Ma, Shiqi Wang, and Wen Gao
    2012, 10(2):  13-18. 
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    Following the success of the audio video standard (AVS) for 2D video coding, in 2008, the China AVS workgroup started developing 3D video (3DV) coding techniques. In this paper, we discuss the background, technical features, and applications of AVS 3DV coding technology. We introduce two core techniques used in AVS 3DV coding: inter-view prediction and enhanced stereo packing coding. We elaborate on these techniques, which are used in the AVS real-time 3DV encoder. An application of the AVS 3DV coding system is presented to show the great practical value of this system. Simulation results show that the advanced techniques used in AVS 3DV coding provide remarkable coding gain compared with techniques used in a simulcast scheme.
    Configurable Media Codec Framework: A Stepping Stone for Fast and Stable Codec Development
    Euee S. Jang
    2012, 10(2):  19-24. 
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    Recent advances in reconfigurable computing have led to new ways of implementing complex algorithms while maintaining reasonable throughput. Video codecs are becoming more complex in order to provide efficient compression for video with ever-increasing resolution. This problem is compounded by the fact that spectra of video decoding devices has become wider in the move from traditional TV to cable and satellite TV, IPTV, mobile TV, and Internet media. MPEG is tackling this problem with a reconfigurable video coding (RVC) framework and is standardizing a modular definition of tools and connections. MPEG’s work started with video coding and has recently extended to graphics data coding. RVC will be supported by non-MPEG standards such as the Chinese audio-video standard (AVS). This article gives a brief background to the reconfigurable codec framework. The key to this framework is reconfigurability and reducing granularity to find commonality between different standards.
    Lattice Vector Quantization Applied to Speech and Audio Coding
    Minjie Xie
    2012, 10(2):  25-33. 
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    Lattice vector quantization (LVQ) has been used for real-time speech and audio coding systems. Compared with conventional vector quantization, LVQ has two main advantages: It has a simple and fast encoding process, and it significantly reduces the amount of memory required. Therefore, LVQ is suitable for use in low-complexity speech and audio coding. In this paper, we describe the basic concepts of LVQ and its advantages over conventional vector quantization. We also describe some LVQ techniques that have been used in speech and audio coding standards of international standards developing organizations (SDOs).
    Noise Feedback Coding Revisited: Refurbished Legacy Codecs and New Coding Models
    Stéphane Ragot, Balázs Kövesi, and Alain Le Guyader
    2012, 10(2):  34-44. 
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    Noise feedback coding (NFC) has attracted renewed interest with the recent standardization of backward-compatible enhancements for ITU-T G.711 and G.722. It has also been revisited with the emergence of proprietary speech codecs, such as BV16, BV32, and SILK, that have structures different from CELP coding. In this article, we review NFC and describe a novel coding technique that optimally shapes coding noise in embedded pulse-code modulation (PCM) and embedded adaptive differential PCM (ADPCM). We describe how this new technique was incorporated into the recent ITU-T G.711.1, G.711 App. III, and G.722 Annex B (G.722B) speech-coding standards.
    MMT: The Next-Generation Media Transport Standard
    Gerard Fernando
    2012, 10(2):  45-48. 
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    In this paper, we discuss the development of MPEG media transport (MMT), which is a next-generation media transport standard effort by ISO/MPEG. The architecture and functional areas of MMT are described. The functionality of existing media transport is analyzed to determine whether there is a need for this new media standard. From this analysis, potential areas for standardization in MMT have been identified.
    Low-Complexity Error-Control Methods for Scalable Video Streaming
    Zhijie Zhao and Jörn Ostermann
    2012, 10(2):  49-56. 
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    In this paper, low-complexity error-resilience and error-concealment methods for the scalable video coding (SVC) extension of H.264/AVC are described. At the encoder, multiple-description coding (MDC) is used as error-resilient coding. Balanced scalable multiple descriptions are generated by mixing the pre-encoded scalable bit streams. Each description is wholly decodable using a standard SVC decoder. A preprocessor can be placed before an SVC decoder to extract the packets from the highest-quality bit stream. At the decoder, error concealment involves using a lightweight decoder preprocessor to generate a valid bit stream from the available network abstraction layer (NAL) units when medium-grain scalability (MGS) layers are used. Modifications are made to the NAL unit header or slice header if some NAL units of MGS layers are lost. The number of additional packets that a decoder discards as a result of a packet loss is minimized. The proposed error-resilience and error-concealment methods require little computation, which makes them suitable for real-time video streaming. Experiment results show that the proposed methods significantly reduce quality degradation caused by packet loss.
    Key Technologies in Mobile Visual Search and MPEG Standardization Activities
    Ling-Yu Duan, Jie Chen, Chunyu Wang, Rongrong Ji, Tiejun Huang, and Wen Gao
    2012, 10(2):  57-66. 
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    Visual search has been a long-standing problem in applications such as location recognition and product search. Much research has been done on image representation, matching, indexing, and retrieval. Key component technologies for visual search have been developed, and numerous real-world applications are emerging. To ensure application interoperability, the Moving Picture Experts Group (MPEG) has begun standardizing visual search technologies and is developing the compact descriptors for visual search (CDVS) standard. MPEG seeks to develop a collaborative platform for evaluating existing visual search technologies. Peking University has participated in this standardization since the 94th MPEG meeting, and significant progress has been made with the various proposals. A test model (TM) has been selected to determine the basic pipeline and key components of visual search. However, the first-version TM has high computational complexity and imperfect retrieval and matching. Core experiments have therefore been set up to improve TM. In this article, we summarize key technologies for visual search and report the progress of MPEG CDVS. We discuss Peking University’s efforts in CDVS and also discuss unresolved issues.