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Visual quality consistency is one of the most important issues in video quality assessment. When people view a sequential video, they may have an unpleasant perceptual experience if the video has an inconsistent visual quality even though the average visual quality of the video is not compromised. Thus, consistent visual quality control is mostly expected in general video encoding with limited channel bandwidth and buffer resources. However, there still has not been enough study on such an issue. In this paper, a new objective visual quality metric (VQM) is proposed first, which can easily be incorporated into video coding for guiding video coding. Second, a VQM-based window model is proposed to handle the tradeoff between visual quality consistency and buffer constraint in video coding. Third, a window-level rate control algorithm is developed to accomplish visual quality control based on the above two proposals. Finally, experimental results prove that consistent visual quality, high rate-distortion efficiency, accurate bit control, and compliant buffer constraint can be achieved by the proposed rate control algorithm.