Error concealment-aware encoding for robust video transmission

In this paper an error concealment-aware encoding scheme is proposed to improve the quality of decoded video in broadcast environments prone to transmission errors and data loss. The proposed scheme is based on a scalable coding approach where the best error concealment (EC) methods to be used at the decoder are optimally determined at the encoder and signalled to the decoder through SEI messages. Such optimal EC modes are found by simulating transmission losses followed by a lagrangian optimisation of the signalling rate - EC distortion cost. A generalised saliency-weighted distortion is used and the residue between coded frames and their EC substitutes is encoded using a rate-controlled enhancement layer. When data loss occurs the decoder uses the signalling information is used at the decoder, in case of data loss, to improve the reconstruction quality. The simulation results show that the proposed method achieves consistent quality gains in comparison with other reference methods and previous works. Using only the EC mode signalling, i.e., without any residue transmitted in the enhancement layer, an average PSNR gain up to 2.95 dB is achieved, while using the full EC-aware scheme, i.e., including residue encoded in the enhancement layer, the proposed scheme outperforms other comparable methods, with PSNR gain up to 3.79 dB.