Delivering MPEG-4 real-time video over the Internet requires the use of rate control schemes in both the compression and the transport domains. This paper discusses the practical difficulties involved in integrating MPEG-4 scalable rate control (SRC) in the compression domain with TCP-friendly rate control (TFRC) in the transport domain. In addition to the requirement for rate matching between the two schemes to ensure TCP-friendliness, users demand a high-quality, smooth media output under the varying network conditions. In this paper, an integrated rate control scheme is proposed for MPEG-4 video transported by a TFRC protocol. The proposed scheme comprises a rate smoothing control mechanism to meet the rate matching with the controlled transmission buffering delay, and an adaptive rate control for the I-frame designed to reduce the frame skipping. Through the successful integration of the two schemes, the experimental results show that the proposed scheme better preserves the motion smoothness and improves the overall perceptual quality for TCP-friendly MPEG-4 video transmissions to obtain a smooth, high visual quality video experience.
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