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The key to high performance in video coding lies on efficiently reducing the temporal redundancies. For this purpose, H.264/AVC coding standard has adopted variable block size motion estimation on multiple reference frames to improve the coding gain. However, the computational complexity of motion estimation is also increased in proportion to the product of the reference frame number and the inter mode number. The mathematical analysis reveals that the prediction errors mainly depend on the image edge gradient amplitude and quantization parameter. Consequently, this paper proposed the image content based early termination algorithm, which outperforms the method adopted by JVT reference software, especially at high and moderate bit rates. In light of rate-distortion theory, this paper also relates the homogeneity of image to the quantization parameter. For the homogenous block, its search computation for the futile reference frames and inter modes can be efficiently discarded. Then the computation saving performance increases with quantization parameter. These content based fast algorithms were integrated with Unsymmetrical-cross Multihexagon-grid Search (UMHexagonS) algorithm. Compared to the original UMHexagonS fast matching algorithm, 26.14-54.97% search time can be saved with an average of 0.0369dB coding quality degradation.
Date of Conference: June 23 2008-April 26 2008