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News Archive 2001 - 2010

Electrical Engineering Professor Editor of Video Coding Handbook

October 3, 2005

Dr. K. R. Rao, professor of Electrical Engineering at The University of Texas at Arlington and an internationally-recognized authority on digital video encoding, recently completed Digital Video Image Quality and Perceptual Coding with his co-editor, Hong Ren Wu of the Royal Melbourne Institute of Technology, Australia. The book is set for publishing later this year by Taylor & Francis and should become the standard in classrooms and commercial laboratories around the world as digital signals increasingly replace analogue transmissions.

One of the early problems with digital imaging was the huge amount of data required to reproduce an acceptable image. Various digital image and video coding/compression algorithms and systems introduced highly-structured coding artifacts or distortions, which were different from those in their counterpart analog systems. Developers set a goal to use data compressions that would minimize redundancies of the image data that would both comply with certain storage or communications bandwidth restrictions or limitations and still produce the best possible picture quality. Rao and Wu’s book describes the latest developments in achieving this goal.

All high-definition television (HDTV) pictures are created from digital signals. The Federal Communications Commission will soon require all U.S. television stations to convert to digital transmissions by the end of 2008. This and additional changes around the world, including cellular video phones with extra-high-quality images and the anticipated introduction of super HDTV, are necessitating international cooperation in standards and activities.

Dr. Rao, a Fellow of the Institute of Electrical and Electronic Engineers, is one of the pioneers in digital signal compression. He and associates Dr. Nasir Ahmed of Kansas State University and Ahmed’s student T. Natarajan developed in 1974 the discrete cosine transform that is a major component in all video/image coding standards such as MPEG, JPEG and H.26x.