Optimal Quality and Efficiency in Adaptive Live Streaming with JND-Aware Low Latency Encoding

MHV 2024: ACM Mile High Video

11 – 14 Feb 2024 |  Denver, United States

Conference Website


Vignesh V Menon (Fraunhofer HHI),  Jingwen Zhu (École Centrale Nantes), Prajit T Rajendran (Université Paris-Saclay),   Samira Afzal (Alpen-Adria-Universität Klagenfurt), Klaus Schoeffmann (Alpen-Adria-Universität Klagenfurt), Patrick Le Callet (École Centrale Nantes), and Christian Timmerer (Alpen-Adria-Universität Klagenfurt)

Abstract: In HTTP adaptive live streaming applications, video segments are encoded at a fixed set of bitrate-resolution pairs known as bitrate ladder. Live encoders use the fastest available encoding configuration, referred to as preset, to ensure the minimum possible latency in video encoding. However, an optimized preset and optimized number of CPU threads for each encoding instance may result in (i) increased quality and (ii) efficient CPU utilization while encoding. For low latency live encoders, the encoding speed is expected to be more than or equal to the video framerate. To this light, this paper introduces a Just Noticeable Difference (JND)-Aware Low latency Encoding Scheme (JALE), which uses random forest-based models to jointly determine the optimized encoder preset and thread count for each representation, based on video complexity features, the target encoding speed, the total number of available CPU threads, and the target encoder. Experimental results show that, on average, JALE yield a quality improvement of 1.32 dB PSNR and 5.38 VMAF points with the same bitrate, compared to the fastest preset encoding of the HTTP Live Streaming (HLS) bitrate ladder using x265 HEVC open-source encoder with eight CPU threads used for each representation. These enhancements are achieved while maintaining the desired encoding speed. Furthermore, on average, JALE results in an overall storage reduction of 72.70%, a reduction in the total number of CPU threads used by 63.83%, and a 37.87% reduction in the overall encoding time, considering a JND of six VMAF points.

Keywords: Live streaming, low latency, encoder preset, CPU threads, HEVC.

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