Reducing Encoder Bit-Rate Variation in MPEG Video

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A shortcoming of current video transmission using the MPEG standard is that its encoder produces a variable bit rate (VBR). Due to this, the encoder output has to be buffered and released over the network at a constant rate. This buffering of the encoder output introduces an additional delay between the encoding and decoding phases of the video transmission. To remedy this problem, we present a strategy to distribute the load produced by the encoder as evenly as possible, i.e., try to have a constant bit rate (CBR). This is done by treating the slices in each frame separately while compressing them and then mixing the different kinds of slices that are sent over the network. The resulting load variation is much more uniform, reducing the buffering delay and making future bandwidth requirement estimates more accurate.

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