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In this paper, we present an original image quality metric for open-loop transcoding architectures based on frequency selective transmission. The proposed metric computes the normalized HVS-weighted mean squared error (NWMSE) between the reference digital video compressed bitstream, and its transcoded version. This computation is performed directly from the quantized DCT coefficients of the compressed bitstream. The resulting MSE error is implicitly weighted by the HVS sensitivity by considering the MPEG perceptual coding properties. Finally, rate control and error propagation are also taken into account, in order to improve transcoded video quality assessment. Experimental results are given which show that the proposed NWMSE metric correlates well with a conventional WPSNR. This validates the proposed assumptions used for the NWMSE computation. The major advantage of the approach is its simplicity since it does not need to perform the complete decoding of the compressed bitstream. Hence, the NWMSE metric is highly suited for real-time video applications.