General architecture for MPEG-2/H.263/H.264/AVC to H.264/AVC intra frame transcoding

Yinyi Lin, He Han Hsu

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

4 Scopus citations


The latest international video-coding standard H.264/AVC significantly achieves better coding performance compared to prior video coding standards such as MPEG-2 and H.263, which have been widely used in today's digital video applications. To provide the interoperability between different coding standards, this paper proposes an efficient architecture for MPEG-2/H.263/H.264/AVC to H.264/AVC intra frame transcoding, using the original information such as discrete cosine transform (DCT) coefficients and coded mode type. Low-frequency components of DCT coefficients and a novel rate distortion cost function are used to select a set of candidate modes for rate distortion optimization (RDO) decision. For H.263 and H.264/AVC, a mode refinement scheme is utilized to eliminate unlikely modes before RDO mode decision, based on coded mode information. The experimental results, conducted on JM12.2 with fast C8MB mode decision, reveal that average 58%, 59% and 60% of computation (reencoding) time can be saved for MPEG-2, H.263, H.264/ AVC to H.264/AVC intra frame transcodings respectively, while preserving good coding performance when compared with complex cascaded pixel domain transcoding (CCPDT); or average 88% (a speed up factor of 8) when compared with CCPDT without considering fast C8MB. The proposed algorithm for H.264/AVC homogeneous transcoding is also compared to the simple cascaded pixel domain transcoding (with original mode reuse). The results of this comparison indicate that the proposed algorithm significantly outperforms the mode reuse algorithm in coding performance, with only slightly higher computation.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)89-103
Number of pages15
JournalJournal of Signal Processing Systems
Issue number1
StatePublished - Oct 2011


  • Discrete cosine transform (DCT)
  • H.264/AVC
  • Intra frame transcoding
  • Intra mode decision
  • MPEG-2 . H.263
  • Rate distortion optimization (RDO)


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