VMAF-based Bitrate Ladder Estimation for Adaptive Streaming

Angeliki V. Katsenou, Fan Zhang, Kyle Swanson, Mariana Afonso, Joel Sole, David R. Bull

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference Contribution (Conference Proceeding)

12 Citations (Scopus)
108 Downloads (Pure)


In HTTP Adaptive Streaming, video content is conventionally encoded by adapting its spatial resolution and quantization level to best match the prevailing network state and display characteristics. It is well known that the traditional solution, of using a fixed bitrate ladder, does not result in the highest quality of experience for the user. Hence, in this paper, we consider a content-driven approach for estimating the bitrate ladder, based on spatio-temporal features extracted from the uncompressed content. The method implements a content-driven interpolation. It uses the extracted features to train a machine learning model to infer the curvature points of the Rate-VMAF curves in order to guide a set of initial encodings. We employ the VMAF quality metric as a means of perceptually conditioning the estimation. When compared to exhaustive encoding that produces the reference ladder, the estimated ladder is composed by 74.3% of identical Rate-VMAF points with the reference ladder. The proposed method offers a significant reduction of the number of encodes required, 77.4%, at a small average Bj{\o}ntegaard Delta Rate cost, 1.12%.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publication2021 Picture Coding Symposium, PCS 2021 - Proceedings
PublisherInstitute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers (IEEE)
Number of pages5
ISBN (Electronic)978-1-6654-2545-2
ISBN (Print)978-1-6654-3078-4
Publication statusPublished - Jun 2021

Publication series

NamePicture Coding Symposium (PCS)
ISSN (Print)2330-7935
ISSN (Electronic)2472-7822

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
ACKNOWLEDGMENT The work presented was supported by the Leverhulme Early Career Fellowship (ECF-2017-413) and by Netflix Inc.

Publisher Copyright:
© 2021 IEEE.


  • Interpolation
  • Quantization (signal)
  • Bit rate
  • Estimation
  • streaming media
  • feature extraction
  • encoding


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