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Overview of the Stereo and Multiview Video Coding Extensions of the H.264/MPEG-4 AVC Standard

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3 Author(s)
Vetro, A. ; Mitsubishi Electr. Res. Labs., Cambridge, MA, USA ; Wiegand, T. ; Sullivan, G.J.

Significant improvements in video compression capability have been demonstrated with the introduction of the H.264/MPEG-4 advanced video coding (AVC) standard. Since developing this standard, the Joint Video Team of the ITU-T Video Coding Experts Group (VCEG) and the ISO/IEC Moving Picture Experts Group (MPEG) has also standardized an extension of that technology that is referred to as multiview video coding (MVC). MVC provides a compact representation for multiple views of a video scene, such as multiple synchronized video cameras. Stereo-paired video for 3-D viewing is an important special case of MVC. The standard enables inter-view prediction to improve compression capability, as well as supporting ordinary temporal and spatial prediction. It also supports backward compatibility with existing legacy systems by structuring the MVC bitstream to include a compatible “base view.” Each other view is encoded at the same picture resolution as the base view. In recognition of its high-quality encoding capability and support for backward compatibility, the stereo high profile of the MVC extension was selected by the Blu-Ray Disc Association as the coding format for 3-D video with high-definition resolution. This paper provides an overview of the algorithmic design used for extending H.264/MPEG-4 AVC towards MVC. The basic approach of MVC for enabling inter-view prediction and view scalability in the context of H.264/MPEG-4 AVC is reviewed. Related supplemental enhancement information (SEI) metadata is also described. Various “frame compatible” approaches for support of stereo-view video as an alternative to MVC are also discussed. A summary of the coding performance achieved by MVC for both stereo- and multiview video is also provided. Future directions and challenges related to 3-D video are also briefly discussed.

Published in:

Proceedings of the IEEE  (Volume:99 ,  Issue: 4 )