Skip to Main Content
An H.264 video encoder adopts multiple encoding tools to achieve high coding efficiency at the expense of high computational complexity. The allowable computational complexity for real-time video encoding, however, is generally limited in a wireless handset. This research proposes a complexity control mechanism that is composed of two algorithms to minimise the distortion of each encoded video frame under the computational complexity constraint and the rate constraint. The first proposed algorithm performs optimal complexity allocation among encoding tools based on a new complexity-rate-distortion (C-R-D) model. This model precisely describes how each encoding tool influences the C-R-D performance of the encoder with concise formulas. Accordingly, the algorithm obtains the optimal complexity of each encoding tool by a closed-form solution with small complexity overhead. Based on a new C-D model of motion estimation, this work proposes the second algorithm that performs optimal complexity allocation among macro-blocks to further allocate suitable complexity to each macro-block. Experiments performed on a software-optimised source code show that these two algorithms yield superior performance to the existing algorithms.