Error resilient video coding with priority data classification using H.264 flexible macroblock ordering

S. K. Im, A. J. Pearmain

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

17 Citations (Scopus)


Flexible macroblock ordering (FMO) is a new error resilience feature in the H.264 (MPEG-4 part 10) video coding standard. The paper exploits FMO to offer a new classification algorithm for prioritised video transmission. Instead of using the default mapping structures of FMO, an optimisation algorithm in which the more important macroblocks (MBs) are categorised in a separate slice group (SG), which corresponds to high-priority packets for transmission, is proposed. The importance of each MB is determined based on its eventual influence on picture quality. This is assessed by considering the fact that the successful transmission of an MB not only enhances the quality of the associated pixels, but also improves the quality of its adjacent lost MBs by improving the efficiency of error concealment. It is assumed that the network can offer a prioritised service for successful transmission of the high-priority SG. Based on this, a vulnerability factor for each MB is determined, and a certain proportion of high-vulnerability MBs at each frame to limit the impact of temporal error propagation is intra-updated. It is shown, where the proposed mapping algorithm outperforms the default mappings of the H.264 codec, that this prioritised transmission will improve the subjective and objective video quality in situations with a high probability of transmission errors.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)197-204
Number of pages8
JournalIET Image Processing
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 2007


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