Adaptive rate control mechanism in H.264/AVC for scene changes

Jiunn Tsair Fang, Zong Yi Chen, Chen Cheng Chan, Pao Chi Chang

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Rate control that is required to regulate the bitrate of video coding is critical to time-sensitive video applications used over networks. However, the H.264/AVC standard does not respond to scene changes, and this causes the transmission quality to deteriorate as a scene change occurs. In this work, a scene change is detected by comparing the ratio of the sum of absolute difference (SAD) between two consecutive frames. As the scene change is detected, the proposed method, which is modified from the reference software of H.264/AVC, re-assigns a quantization parameter (QP) value to regulate the bitrate. Because the inter-prediction works poorly for the scene-changed frame, the proposed method estimates its frame complexity based on the content, and further creates another QR model to assign QP. The adaptive rate control mechanism presented in this study can quickly respond to the heavy bitrate increment caused by a change of scene. Simulation results show that the proposed method improves the average peak signal noise ratio (PSNR) to approximately 1.1 dB, with a smaller buffer size compared with the performance of the reference software JM version 17.2.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)2625-2632
Number of pages8
JournalIEICE Transactions on Fundamentals of Electronics, Communications and Computer Sciences
Issue number12
StatePublished - 1 Dec 2014


  • H.264/AVC
  • Rate control
  • Scene change
  • Target bits
  • Target buffer level


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