SMPTE Journal, 107, no. 4 (April 1998): 226–235

Validating Objective Measures of MPEG Video Quality

doi: 10.5594/J06401

Stephen Wolf; Margaret H. Pinson; Arthur A. Webster; Gregory W. Cermak; E. Paterson Tweedy

Abstract: In 1996, the American National Standards Institute (ANSI) adopted ANSI T1.801.03, which presents a number of new objective video quality metrics for quantifying the effects of digital compression and transmission impairments. The measurements in ANSI T1.801.03 were selected based on an extensive multilaboratory quality assessment study that included video systems from bit rates of 64 kbit/sec to 45 Mbit/sec and video test scenes that spanned a wide range of spatial and temporal coding difficulties. The set of objective video quality measurements effectively accounted for subjective judgments by human viewers. While 25 video systems were tested, this multilaboratory study did not include MPEG video systems, and did not cover any bit rates between 1.6 and 10 Mbit/sec. This paper presents the results from two MPEG studies designed to fill in the bit-rate gap in the previous multilaboratory study. In these studies, we concentrated on bit rates from 1.5 - 8.3 Mbit/sec and examined the performance of MPEG 1 and MPEG 2 codecs (coder-decoders) specifically. The effectiveness of the ANSI standard objective video quality metrics was examined for these bit rates and coding technologies. Our analysis revealed that the objective video quality metrics primarily measure four principal components of video quality: added edges, lost edges, added motion, and lost motion; we found that parameters selected from these principal components can be used as effective predictors of subjective quality ratings for entertainment video systems.

Keywords: coding; video; quality; metrics; objective; subjective; correlation; MPEG-2; compression; MPEG; MPEG-1

For technical information concerning this report, contact:

Margaret H. Pinson
Institute for Telecommunication Sciences
(303) 497-3579

To request a reprint of this report, contact:

Lilli Segre, Publications Officer
Institute for Telecommunication Sciences
(303) 497-3572

Disclaimer: Certain commercial equipment, components, and software may be identified in this report to specify adequately the technical aspects of the reported results. In no case does such identification imply recommendation or endorsement by the National Telecommunications and Information Administration, nor does it imply that the equipment or software identified is necessarily the best available for the particular application or uses.

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