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Measuring and interpreting picture quality in MPEG compressed video content

Posted: 24 Jun 2008 ?? ?Print Version ?Bookmark and Share

Keywords:picture quality? MPEG? compressed video content? baseband video signals?

When dealing with technical products such as video transmission equipment, every design or evaluation project relies on accurate, repeatable measurements. Until recently, waveform and vector measurements on baseband video signals provided ample information about the signals? behavior, including its visible picture quality. Explicit parameters equate to color, brightness, contrast, and so on.

The advent of compressed digital video transmission has complicated the process of evaluating video signals, particularly with respect to their perceived picture quality. During MPEG compression a certain amount of the original content is knowingly discarded. Visible impairments such as "blockiness" are an inevitable by-product of the process. Other problems such as Gaussian noise and impulse noise (as seen in some satellite transmissions) can also affect quality. Traditional measurement techniques are no longer effective, since compressionrelated impairments are dependent on the video content.

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