Spatial Characteristics-based Fast Mode Decision in H.264/AVC

C.T. Lim, K.P. Lim, D. Wu, X. Lin, and C.C. Ko (Singapore)


H.264, fast mode, macroblock


The H.264/AVC video coding standard is capable of achieving excellent coding efficiency, at the expense of high computational complexity. This paper presents a novel spatial characteristics-based fast mode decision algorithm to reduce the computational requirement of the H.264 encoder. Generally, the algorithm seeks to exploit the spatial correlation that is exhibited among adjacent macroblocks. Information will be collected from the left and right neighbours of a macroblock of interest. Thereafter, a selective reference frame module and a mode elimination module will be employed to disable all the unnecessary computations required to encode that particular macroblock. Experimental results show that the new algorithm is capable of achieving 44% time saving on average. This significant time saving is obtained without compromising the overall PSNR and bit rate of the test sequences.

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