Scope: A substantially updated edition of Video Coding: An Introduction to Standard Codecs, (IEE,1999, best book of the year 2000 by IEE) this book discusses the growth of digital television technology and the revolution in image and video compression (such as JPEG2000, broadcast TV, video phone), highlighting the need for standardisation in processing static and moving images and their exchange between computer systems.

ITU and ISO/IEC standards are now widely accepted in the picture/video coding field. This book gives an authoritative explanation of picture and video coding algorithms, working from basic principles through to the advanced video compression systems now being developed. One of its main objectives is to describe the reasons behind the introduction of a standard codec for a specific application and its chosen parameter. This book will enable readers to appreciate the fundamentals needed to design a video codec for any given application and should prove to be a valuable resource for engineers working in this field.

Book review

"This publication is probably the most recent and up-to-date book on video coding in the European book market. It is an interesting technical book, giving in-depth information on video coding algorithms and technologies. It provides very comprehensive fundamentals on the video formats that led to the developments of a number of commercially successful codecs, such as the H.261 videoconferencing system, H.262, H.263, H.263+, H.263++, MPEG-4 and finally H.264.

The main value of this book is that it reviews extensively the basics of video and includes the fundamental elements of video compression such as DCT (discreet cosine transform), temporal redundancy reduction (such as motion compensation) and variable length coding techniques (such as Hoffman and arithmetic coding).

Of particular interest is an extensive chapter on wavelet coding. Wavelet codecs are likely to become very important in the near future and may represent a new quantum leap in the development of video codecs. Three wavelet-based codecs are described: EZW, SPIHT and EBCOT.

The coding of still pictures, carried out by the JPEG codec, can also be important for broadcasters. A new standard, known as JPEG2000, can provide improved picture quality and additional functionalities.

The most important section of the book is Chapter 9 which describes H.263 and its successor, H.264. This chapter also includes the all-important methods for improving the robustness of the codec against channel errors.

Finally, the book describes the novel methodology for video coding based on image content, i.e. MPEG-4 including Video Object Plane (VOP), image segmentation, shape coding, texture coding, coding of the background, coding of synthetic objects, and scalability.

The last chapter is devoted to content description, search and delivery, i.e. MPEG-7 and MPEG-21.

This book should be very useful to practising broadcast engineers involved in television, video, broadband and internet engineering, as it gives a lot of useful and practical tips. Of particular value are the numerical problems given at the end of each chapter, helping readers to deepen their understanding of the subject.

All in all, a highly recommended book."

Franc Kozamernik, EBU Technical Review, No.296, October 2003

Book readership

This book will be of interest to final year graduates, postgraduates, researchers on video coding and multimedia, managers on multimedia industry, telecommunications engineers/managers and IT engineers and managers.

Book contents

1. History of Video Coding, 

2. Video Basics, 

3. Principles of Video compression, 

4. Subband and Wavelet, 

5. Coding of Still Pictures (JPEG), 

6. Coding for Video Conferencing (H.261), 

7. Coding of Moving Pictures for Digital Storage Media (MPEG-1), 

8. Coding of High Quality Moving Pictures (MPEG-2), 

9. Video Coding for Low Bit Rate Communications (H.263), 

10. Content-based Video Coding (MPEG-4), 

11. Content Description, Search and Delivery (MPEG-7 and MPEG-21), A. ?C?-program for the Fast Discrete Cosine Transform, B. Huffman Tables for the DC and AC Coefficients of the JPEG Base-line Encoder, C. Hiffman table for quadtree shape coding, D. Frequency Tables for the CAE Encoding of Binary Shapes, E. Channel Error/Packet Loss Model, F. Solutions to the Problems, G. Glossary of acronyms

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