A universal rate control scheme for video transcoding

Long XU, Sam KWONG, Hanli WANG, Yun ZHANG, Debin ZHAO, Wen GAO

Research output: Journal PublicationsJournal Article (refereed)peer-review

8 Citations (Scopus)


Video transcoding is proposed for the bitrate adaption, spatial and/or temporal resolutions adaption, and video format conversion. In video streaming application, it converts videos at server to the compatible versions demanded by networks or clients' devices, so that the videos can be delivered over networks and displayed in the clients' devices successfully. This paper provides a universal rate control scheme for various video transcoding purposes. First, a new rate-distortion (R-D) model is established theoretically for better representing the real R-D feature of transcoding. Second, a window-level rate control algorithm is proposed for providing smooth visual quality with compliant buffer constraint by utilizing the two-pass R-D model and a new proposed sliding window buffer control strategy. Finally, a universal rate control scheme for transcoding is developed based on the established R-D model and the proposed window-level rate control algorithm. The extensive experimental results demonstrate that as compared to other state-of-the-art rate control algorithms for transcoding, the proposed scheme can achieve more bit control accuracy with the average mismatch below 0.2%, and much more consistent visual quality with 0.1 dB-0.3 dB peak-to-signal noise ratio improvement in average, while with low computational complexity. © 2011 IEEE.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)489-501
JournalIEEE Transactions on Circuits and Systems for Video Technology
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - Apr 2012
Externally publishedYes

Bibliographical note

This work was supported in part by the Hong Kong among all these transcoders from the aspect of rate-distortion Research Grants Council General Research Fund, under Project 9041495 (R-D) performance. However, its complexity was significantly Program of China (973Program), under Grant2009CB320905, in part by the (CityU115109), in part by the Major State Basic Research Development higher than a standard encoder. Open-loop transcoder [2], National Natural Science Foundation of China, under Grant 60736043, in part [3] was directly implemented on discrete cosine transform by the Program for New Century Excellent Talents in University of China, (DCT) coefficients of encoded bitstreams, and it was with under Grant 11PJ1409400.


  • Bitrate adaption
  • rate control
  • video transcoding
  • window-level rate control


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