This chapter covers several important aspects of H.264/MPEG-4 advanced video coding (AVC) video coding standard. H.264 currently dominates Web, mobile, and connected TV sectors. Virtually all new smartphones and tablets support H.264 using the MP4 container, including Apple, Android, and Windows Mobile. H.264 is also a key video format for HTML5, which is supported by major browsers such as Chrome, Firefox, Internet Explorer, and Safari. H.264 overcomes many limitations of motion estimation in H.262/MPEG-2 with improved interprediction via fine-grained motion estimation, multiple reference frames, unrestricted motion search, and motion vector prediction. H.264 also offers improved intracoding in the spatial domain using a context-sensitive deblocking filter and many techniques for mitigating errors, packet losses, and bandwidth variability, such as the use of scalable bitstreams (corresponding to different quantization levels) and slice coding (with no possibility of spatial error propagation from one slice to any other slice within the video frame). The improved coding efficiency and the new error resilient features make this standard a perfect candidate for video streaming, broadcasting, and conferencing over a variety of fixed and mobile networks.


H.264 is a digital video coding standard developed by the Joint Video Team (JVT) and standardized by the International Telecommunications Union (ITU) [1]. The standard is also known ...

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