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High-Definition Advanced Multilevel Encoding Techniques

Objective

The 'European Digital Video Broadcasting Project' has been created with the objective of defining a strategy for the introduction of digital services in Europe. The main objective of the HAMLET project is to support the strategy defined by the DVB Project for the introduction of HDTV digital services in Europe as well as to support ongoing European research programmes, namely dTTb, HD-SAT and HDTV-T. Specific objectives are:

- To develop a multilevel MPEG-2 based hardware system which will deliver different service and quality levels (Level: High 1440, profile: SNR and spatial scaleable).
- To improve significantly and by several means the performance of encoders complying with the different profiles and levels defined by the MPEG-2 standard.
- To address important questions such as the best way to provide compatibility between TV and HDTV, the impact of scaleability on graceful degradation, and the impact of progressive formats on coding efficiency.
- To demonstrate by the end of 1995, the potential of new advanced techniques, for high compression of video signals with high visual quality, which would be usable for both broadcasting and telecommunication applications.
The European digital video broadcasting project has been created to define a strategy for the introduction of high definition television (HDTV) digital services in Europe. The codec used is suitable for field trials of the complete transmission chain for digital terrestrial broadcast. Advanced methods for improving moving picture expert group (MPEG) 2 based encoders are being specified. The MPEG syntax has been reviewed with respect to algorithmic issues and first optimizations have been made. To achieve the goal of high compression of video signals while keeping a high visual quality, new approaches relying on hybrid region/waveform coding concepts are being investigated. The validity of the technical approaches followed towards the definition of high compression generic coding techniques has been demonstrated.
Technical Approach

The codec used is suitable for field trials of the complete transmission chain for digital terrestrial broadcast to be implemented by the RACE dTTb project, and for trials to be carried out by the EUREKA ADIT project. Advanced methods for improving MPEG-2-based encoders are being specified. To achieve the goal of high compression of video signals while keeping a high visual quality, new approaches relying on hybrid region/waveform coding concepts are being investigated. The performance of the different algorithms investigated is to be evaluated, in comparison with MPEG-2-based approaches, with formal subjective tests.

Key Issues

- HDTV codec in compliance with the Spatial and SNR scaleable MPEG-2 profiles.
- Suitable techniques for improvement of MPEG-2-based encoders, at different profiles and levels.
- Generic coding techniques for high compression ratios while keeping a high visual quality.
- Impact of progressive formats on compression efficiency.

Expected Impact

By providing a multilevel HDTV codec, the HAMLET Project will contribute to the demonstration of digital transmission of high quality HDTV over various media and via the collaboration with ADTT should contribute to the definition of implementation guidelines for future HDTV services. In addition, the consortium will demonstrate a whole MPEG integrated multi-chip HDTV decoder which constitutes a first step towards low cost decoders. The project will provide solutions to achieve higher compression efficiency with MPEG-2-based techniques. The results of the study of new advanced high compression techniques will form valuable input for the forthcoming standardisation work for both telecommunication and broadcasting applications.

Coordinator

Centre Commun d'Études de Télécommunications et de Télédiffusion (CCETT)
Address
4 Rue Du Clos Courtel
35512 Cesson-sévigne
France

Participants (9)

British Broadcasting Corporation (BBC)
United Kingdom
Address
Kingswood Warren
KT20 6NP Tadworth
Heinrich-Hertz-Institut für Nachrichtentechnik Berlin GmbH
Germany
Address
Einsteinufer 37
10587 Berlin
INTRACOM - GREECE
Greece
Address

19002 Peania Attika
Independent Television Commission
United Kingdom
Address
Kings Worthy Court
SO23 7QA Winchester
NEDERLANDSE PHILIPS BEDRIJVEN
Netherlands
Address
Prof. Holstlaan 4
5656 AA Eindhoven
Snell and Wilcox Ltd
United Kingdom
Address
Durford Mill
GU31 5AZ Petersfield
THOMSON CSF
France
Address
173 Boulevard Hausmann
75415 Paris
UNIVERSITE CATHOLIQUE DE LOUVAIN
Belgium
Address
Lab. Telecom. Et Teledetection - 1, Place De L'universite
1348 Louvain La Neuve
UNIVERSITÄT HANNOVER
Germany
Address
Appel Straße 9A
30167 Hannover