Scalable Bit Allocation Between Texture and Depth Views for 3-D Video Streaming Over Heterogeneous Networks
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In the multiview video plus depth (MVD) coding format, both texture and depth views are jointly compressed to represent the 3-D video content. The MVD format enables synthesis of virtual views through depth-image-based rendering; hence, distortion in the texture and depth views affects the quality of the synthesized virtual views. Bit allocation between texture and depth views has been studied with some promising results. However, to the best of our knowledge, most of the existing bit-allocation methods attempt to allocate a fixed amount of total bit rate between texture and depth views; that is, to select appropriate pair of quantization parameters for texture and depth views to maximize the synthesized view quality subject to a fixed total bit rate. In this paper we propose a scalable bit-allocation scheme, where a single ordering of texture and depth packets is derived and used to obtain optimal bit allocation between texture and depth views for any total target rates. In the proposed scheme, both texture and depth views are encoded using the quality scalable coding method; that is, medium grain scalable (MGS) coding of the Scalable Video Coding (SVC) extension of the Advanced Video Coding (H.264/AVC) standard. For varying target total bit rates, optimal bit truncation points for both texture and depth views can be obtained using the proposed scheme. Moreover, we propose to order the enhancement layer packets of the H.264/SVC MGS encoded depth view according to their contribution to the reduction of the synthesized view distortion. On one hand, this improves the depth view packet ordering when considered the rate-distortion performance of synthesized views, which is demonstrated by the experimental results. On the other hand, the information obtained in this step is used to facilitate optimal bit allocation between texture and depth views. Experimental results demonstrate the effectiveness of the proposed scalable bit-allocation scheme for texture and depth views.