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Deep Perceptual Preprocessing for Video Coding
We introduce the concept of rate-aware deep perceptual preprocessing (DPP) for video encoding. DPP makes a single pass over each input frame in order to enhance its visual quality when the video is to be compressed with any codec at any bitrate. The resulting bitstreams can be decoded and displayed at the client side without any post-processing component. DPP comprises a convolutional neural network that is trained via a composite set of loss functions that incorporates: (i) a perceptual loss based on a trained no reference image quality assessment model, (ii) a reference based fidelity loss expressing L1 and structural similarity aspects, (iii) a motion-based rate loss via block-based transform, quantization and entropy estimates that converts the essential components of standard hybrid video encoder designs into a trainable framework. Extensive testing using multiple quality metrics and AVC, AV1 and VVC encoders shows that DPP+encoder reduces, on average, the bitrate of the corresponding encoder by 11%. This marks the first time a server-side neural processing component achieves such savings over the state-of-the-art in video coding.