MPEG-2 to H.263 transcoder

Nick Feamster, Susie Wee

Research output: Contribution to journalConference articlepeer-review

15 Scopus citations


We present an MPEG-2 to H.263 transcoder that accepts an interlaced MPEG-2 bitstream as the input and produces a lower-bitrate progressive H.263 bitstream as the output. As both DVD and digital television may use MPEG-2 interlaced sequences, a potential application of such a transcoder is the transmission of a digital television signal over a wireless medium. Another application is transcoding interlaced DVD content for use on lower-resolution thin clients with progressive displays. The proposed algorithm exploits the properties of the MPEG-2 and H.263 compression standards to perform interlaced to progressive (field to frame) conversion with spatial downsampling and frame-rate reduction in a CPU and memory efficient manner, while additionally minimizing picture quality degradation as measured by PSNR. This is the first algorithm to our knowledge that effectively uses both spatial and temporal downsampling in an MPEG-2 to H.263 field to frame transcoder in order to achieve substantial bitrate reduction. This paper discusses recoding experiments used to determine appropriate source and target coding parameters for the transcoder, provides a detailed description of the transcoding algorithm, and describes the performance of a software implementation of the transcoder.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)164-175
Number of pages12
JournalProceedings of SPIE - The International Society for Optical Engineering
StatePublished - 1999
EventProceedings of the 1999 Multimedia Systems and Applications II - Boston, MA, USA
Duration: Sep 20 1999Sep 22 1999

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Electronic, Optical and Magnetic Materials
  • Condensed Matter Physics
  • Computer Science Applications
  • Applied Mathematics
  • Electrical and Electronic Engineering


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