Video Compression

An introduction to video compression, Part I of a two-part series
A 90-minute course taught by Cliff Wootton

Students will gain a thorough understanding of video compression, its underlying theory and practice. This is the first of a two-part course.

This course introduces students to the world of video compression beginning with basic compression theory and illustrated terminology.

The course is designed to help operators and engineers better understand the intricacies of video compression and how they can better operate, maintain and adjust their TV systems for maximum image quality. This course assumes a basic understanding and familiarity with video.

Students are lead through a carefully designed tutorial introducing new terminology and systems including modern coding solutions such as MPEG-2 and MPEG-4.

The author begins by reviewing basic compression practicality and where it’s used. Systems reviewed include film, video, interlacing and progressive scanning devices. The course continues with a discussion of video coding levels and preprocessing to maximize coder efficiency. Next follows an intense discussion and explanation of group of pictures (GOP) and I-, B- and P-frames. The course concludes with a detailed examination of transmission frame ordering, splicing, motion vectors and error recovery and signal multiplexing. A student successfully completing this course will be well versed in the basics of video coding, compression and transmission systems.

You will learn about:

  • Underlying video compression theory
  • Types of compression
  • Basic interlacing and progressive scanning
  • Group of pictures (GOP) and I-, B- and P-frames
  • Understanding macro blocks, slices and frame ordering
  • Motion vectors, discrete cosine transform (DCT) and entropy coding
  • Preprocessing and building efficient compression systems
  • Creating bit streams and multiplexing

Your Instructor:

Cliff Wootton’s career spans a wide range of software and hardware engineering projects concentrating on interactive graphics systems in the 1980s. His work evolved as the multimedia business changed through the years, eventually encompassing 3-D rendering, CD-ROMs, Web content production and interactive TV systems design.

For five years, Cliff was a member of the News Interactive TV team at the BBC. The team was recruited from all the creative and commercial disciplines within BBC News and rolled out several successful projects, culminating in a Royal Television Society award-winning system to deliver five-minute news loops via digital satellite and terrestrial digital broadcasting services in the UK. That team then developed the largest MPEG-4 BIFS content project to date in collaboration with Envivio. This comprised some 45 minutes of interactive video in a BIFS container, which was demonstrated at NAB2003.

He is the author of multiple textbooks and writes for several technical magazines, including Broadcast Engineering.

Wooten is currently working on research projects in the area of multimedia content production with a particular focus on how to produce interactive material in industrial quantities for deployment on emerging IPTV platforms.

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