Video Compression Techniques for Next Generation Communication Infrastructures

Dates TBC

The course is designed to provide an overview of the fundamental principles of image and video compression algorithms primarily focusing on the state-of-the-art video coding standard high efficiency video coding (HEVC).

Course overview

The course will present the underlying theories and signal processing techniques required for video coding in an accessible manner together with practical exercises involving state-of-the-art video encoding and streaming tools. The course is partly based on a MSc module taught at the University of Surrey.


  • Information theory
  • Quantization
  • Transform coding
  • Variable length coding
  • Prediction models
  • Post processing and filtering
  • HEVC coding tools and features
  • MPEG-DASH based video streaming with the inclusion of laboratory demonstrations.

In addition, the course is intended to provide an overview of the state-of-the-art high dynamic range (HDR) video compression and distribution techniques, concepts of hybrid broadcast/broadband TV (HbbTV) services, and challenges in interactive and personalized media content distribution.

Outline syllabus

Course syllabus

Please note that the University of Surrey reserves the right to update and alter these courses – please check our website for updates.

Day 1

Day 1: 9.00am – 10.30am

Introduction to image and video compression – Anil Fernando

An introduction to the whole course and its structure. This lecture will cover basic concepts of image and video compression, evolution of video coding standards and applications, and overview of relevant text books and reference materials in the field.

In addition, implications of video coding in video communication, video quality, error resilient and concealment aspects of video transmission will be discussed.

Day 1: 11.00am – 12.30pm

HEVC video coding tools – Thanuja Mallikarachchi

This lecture will cover the HEVC encoding architecture, comparison of H.264/AVC and HEVC coding tools, intra- and inter-prediction tools, transform coding, quantization, entropy coding and in-loop filtering algorithms with respect to HEVC will be discussed. Moreover, high level syntax elements, reference picture architecture will be introduced followed up by the challenges faced in HEVC based video coding.

Day 1: 2.00pm – 5.00pm

Introduction to video coding tools: (Lab session) – Gosala Kulupana

Following the introduction to video coding in HEVC, this lab session will cover the state-of-the-art video coding and analysis tools together with the evaluation metrics. In this context, research oriented HEVC encoding and decoding tools (HM Test Models), openHEVC decoding tools, and commercially used ffmpeg tools will be introduced and their operational aspects will be demonstrated using experimental tasks. Media distribution phases including encoding, packetization, multiplexing and streaming examples will be discussed using real-world applications. In addition, stream analyser tools (Gitl HEVC Analyzer), will be used to discuss the bit stream syntax elements of both H.264/AVC and HEVC standards.

Day 2

Day 2: 9.00am – 10.30am

Video communication – Anil Fernando

This lecture introduces the concepts of video communication covering packet based video transmission, error resilience, error concealment, robustness of video encoders and content adaptation in video transmission.

Day 2: 11.00am – 12.30pm

Challenges in video content delivery over 5G networks - Muhammad Ali Imran

This lecture covers an overview of 5G communication infrastructure, practical issues in achieving ultra-low latency and reliable connectivity to realize high definition real-time mobile video transmission. In addition, 5G features that potentially support 4K video streaming over wireless networks (frequency bands, duplexing techniques, millimetre waves, small cells, massive MIMO, beamforming etc.) will be discussed.

Day 2: 2.00pm – 5.00pm

Video streaming basics: (Lab session) – Gosala Kulupana

This lab session will introduce video streaming technologies using ffmpeg encoding tools, ffserver and MPEG-DASH. Simple exercises will be discussed involving real-world applications giving participants a hands on experience on the underlying operations associated with video communication.

In addition, the concepts of error resilience and error concealment in video coding layer will be discussed with practical exercises.

Day 3

Day 3: 9.00am – 10.30am

High Dynamic Range (HDR) video compression and transmission -  Tim Border

This lecture gives a brief overview of HDR video contents, HEVC based HDR video compression, and HDR standards such as Hybrid Log-Gamma (HLG). The applications and challenges of HDR video compression, streaming and transmission are discussed.

Day 3: 11.00am – 12.30pm

HbbTV: Specification and Applications – Oliver Botti

This lecture gives an overview of the technical specifications in DVB for interactive broadcast television, HbbTV standard and potential applications followed by a discussion on future of hybrid broadband/broadcasting television.

Day 3: 2.00pm – 3.30pm

Quality of Experience in media applications – Anil Fernando

A brief overview of video quality assessment. This lecture will cover objective and subjective video quality assessment techniques, network QoS implications for video quality, classifications of quality metrics, SSIM, VQM models and ITU-BT-500 specifications for subjective video quality assessment. In addition, the concept of Quality of Experience and its influence on video applications over QoS models will be discussed.

Day 3: 4.00pm – 5.30pm

Media content creation for visual search, identification and tracking – Miroslaw Bober

This lecture provides the background knowledge on visual search and media content analysis for the broadcast industry. The lecture covers, standardization activities for compact descriptors for video analysis and visual search, state-of-the-art video asset management with visual finger printing, digital watermarking and visual search capabilities, and the content creation processes that enable cross platform visual content tracking, identification and searching across diverse digital media ecosystems.

Day 4

Day 4: 9.00am – 10.30am

Cloud resource allocation and content delivery architectures for interactive and personalized media content distribution - Dumidu Talagala

This lecture gives an overview of the content delivery network architectures for media distribution for interactive multimedia applications. The lecture is expected to provide an overview of requirements and specifications, resource planning, cloud resource provisioning and group QoE optimization to achieve immersive interactive broadcast content distribution across multiple social groups.

In addition, the challenges in video communication for interactive media applications in the context of related EU projects (e.g., ACTION-TV) will be discussed with a primary focus on the video content personalization. 

Day 4: 11.00am – 12.30pm

Challenges in video coding and research potentials – Thanuja Mallikarachchi

This presentation will provide ongoing and future research opportunities in the field of video coding. This will cover, the state-of-the-art research approaches followed with respect to the encoding and decoding complexity reduction of HEVC standard, improvements in error resilient aware video coding, usage of parallelization tools in HEVC, SHVC, video content adaptation logics and research activities beyond HEVC.

Day 4: 2.00pm – 5.00pm

MSc tutorial and revision session – Anil Fernando

 This session summarizes the contents discussed throughout the course and discusses tutorial questions aligned with real-world use cases. The theoretical concepts in video coding will be revised and example questions will be discussed.


  • The students are expected to bring their own laptops to take part in the lab sessions
  • The software libraries that will be used in the labs are free and open source and available online. The software tools are available for all windows, Linux and Mac operating systems
  • The students are welcomed to have the necessary software tools installed on their laptops. However, the instructions to installing the software libraries will be provided during the lab session.

The lecturers

Anil Fernando: Anil Fernando received the B.Sc. Engineering degree (First class) in Electronic and Telecommunications Engineering from the University of Moratuwa, Sri Lanka in 1995 and the MEng degree (Distinction) in Telecommunications from Asian Institute of Technology (AIT), Bangkok, Thailand in 1997. He completed his PhD in video coding at the Department of Electrical and Electronic Engineering, University of Bristol, UK in February 2001.

Currently, he is a reader in signal processing at the University of Surrey, UK. Prior to that, he was a senior lecturer in Brunel University, UK and an assistant professor in AIT. His current research interests include cloud communications, video coding, Quality of Experience (QoE), intelligent video encoding for wireless systems and video communication in LTE. He has published more than 290 international publications on these areas. He is a senior member of IEEE and a fellow of the HEA, UK. He is also a member of the EPSRC College.

Miroslaw Bober: Miroslaw Bober received the M.Sc. and Ph.D. degrees from the University of Surrey, Guildford, U.K., in 1991 and 1995, respectively. He is a Professor of video processing with the University of Surrey, Guildford, U.K. Between 1997 and 2011, he headed the Mitsubishi Electric Corporate R&D Center Europe (MERCE), Livingston, U.K. He has been actively involved in the development of MPEG standards for more than 20 years, chairing the MPEG-7, CDVS, and CVDA groups. He is an inventor of more than 70 patents and several of his inventions are deployed in consumer and professional products. He has authored or coauthored more than 80 refereed publications, including three books and book chapters. His research interests include various aspects of computer vision and machine intelligence, with recent focus on image/video database retrieval and data mining.

Tim Borer: Tim Borer is a Lead Engineer at BBC Research and Development, currently focusing on aspects of UHDTV such as high dynamic range and high frame rates. Previously he led the video compression team at BBC R&D developing their “Dirac” codec and the SMPTE VC-2 compression standard. Prior to the BBC he designed professional broadcasting equipment, including motion compensated standards converters and compression equipment, for both Snell and Harris. He is a co-developer of the BBC/NHK Hybrid Log-Gamma HDR solution, and has worked on the ITU and ATSC committees standardising UHD and, particularly, HDR TV. Tim holds degrees in video processing, electronics and physics. He is a Chartered Engineer (MIET), a senior member of the IEEE and a Fellow of the SMPTE. He is the author of about two dozen journal and conference papers, mainly on video, and is the inventor (or co-inventor) of about 20 patents.

Muhammad Ali Imran:  Muhammad Ali Imran (M'03, SM'12) received his M.Sc. (Distinction) and Ph.D. degrees from Imperial College London, UK, in 2002 and 2007, respectively. He is a Professor in Communication Systems in University of Glasgow, Vice Dean of Glasgow College UESTC and Program Director of Electrical and Electronics with Communications. He is an Affiliate Professor at the University of Oklahoma, USA and a visiting Professor at 5G Innovation centre, University of Surrey, UK, where he has worked previously from June 2007 to Aug 2016.

He has led a number of multimillion-funded international research projects encompassing the areas of energy efficiency, fundamental performance limits, sensor networks and self-organising cellular networks. In addition to significant funding from EPSRC, RCUK, Qatar NRF, EU FP7/H2020, he has received direct industrial funding from leading industries in Communications: Huawei, Sony, IBM, DSTL, British Telecom. He also led the new physical layer work area for 5G innovation centre at Surrey. He has a global collaborative research network spanning both academia and key industrial players in the field of wireless communications. He has been awarded IEEE Comsoc’s Fred Ellersick award 2014, Sentinel of Science Award 2016, FEPS Learning and Teaching award 2014 and twice nominated for Tony Jean’s Inspirational Teaching award. He is a shortlisted finalist for The Wharton-QS Stars Awards 2014, Reimagine Education Awards 2016 for innovative teaching and VC’s learning and teaching award in University of Surrey. He is a senior member of IEEE and a Senior Fellow of Higher Education Academy (SFHEA), UK.

Oliver Botti - Head of International Business Development and Innovation. Graduated in Computer Science at the University of Milan, he started his career as a researcher at ENEL. In the same period, he acted as consultant and reviewer for the European Commission in ICT Research&Innovation programmes. BU Manager of Energy&Utilities and Fashion&Retail for 7 years, then 10 years experience in the media space, driving sales for leading international vendors of digital video solutions. In FINCONS GROUP since 2013, as Head of International Business Development and Innovation he drives the international business growth of the Group, as also the portfolio innovation through R&D initiatives.

Area of specific interest in the Media sector cover multiscreen Video Distribution, Interactive TV and innovative Advertising paradigms based on Broadcast-Broadband convergence, as also IoT, VR/AR, Big Data and Advanced Analytics applied to omnichannel OTT TV and to Audience Segmentation and UX Personalization, through a rich set of Research&Innovation running initiatives, as also live implementations with international tier-1 broadcasters and publishers.

Dumidu S. Talagala: Dumidu Talagala received the B.Sc. Eng (Hons) in Electronic and Telecommunication Engineering from the University of Moratuwa, Sri Lanka, in 2007. From 2007 to 2009, he was an Engineer at Dialog Axiata PLC, Sri Lanka. He completed his Ph.D. degree within the Applied Signal Processing Group, College of Engineering and Computer Science, at the Australian National University, in Canberra, Australia, in 2013.

He was a research fellow in the Centre for Vision, Speech and Signal Processing at the University of Surrey, United Kingdom till July 2017 and is currently a research engineer in the industry. His research interests are in the areas of image and video processing, sound source localization, spatial soundfield reproduction, array signal processing, audio-visual signal processing, sparse sensing and convex optimization techniques.

Thanuja Mallikarachchi: Thanuja Mallikarachchi received his B.Sc. (Eng.) degree with honors in Electronic and Telecommunication Engineering from University of Moratuwa, Sri Lanka in 2011. From 2011 to 2013, he was a Senior Engineer at Virtusa (pvt) Ltd., Colombo, Sri Lanka.  He received his Ph.D degree in Electronic Engineering from the Centre for Vision, Speech and Signal Processing (CVSSP) at the University of Surrey, United Kingdom, in August, 2017. He is currently a research fellow in multimedia processing in the CVSSP. His research interests are in the areas of video coding, video communication and video processing.

Gosala Kulupana: Gosala Kulupana is a post-graduate researcher attached to University of Surrey whose research is based on the fields related to video compression, video communication and signal processing. He has obtained his B.Sc. Engineering honours degree in Electronic and Telecommunication Engineering from University of Moratuwa, Sri Lanka with a First class. Later, he joined Mobitel pvt. Ltd, a leading telecommunication company located in Sri Lanka, as a Radio Network Engineer. He has also worked in a large-scale EU project (action-tv) by contributing to architecture optimizing. Also, during his research career, he did some collaborative work with Wireless Communication Center in University of Oulu.

Further information


This will be a week long course, dates to be confirmed.

Please note: Course notes will be available in electronic format (pdf) via dropbox and/or USB stick prior to the course start date.


Price per person, including lunch and refreshments:

Non IET members:

  • £1900 - Standard rate
  • £1750 - Early bird rate for payment received one month before the course start date.

For IET Members (proof of membership needed):

  • £1900 - Standard rate
  • £1650 - Early bird rate for payment received one month before the course start date.

How to apply

Payment can be accepted by purchase order, credit card or bank transfer on our online store, which will be available soon.

Please note that we do not charge VAT as we are an educational establishment.

Payments will be accepted subject to availability. If making payment by credit card, please forward the transaction receipt by email to Barbara Steel.

Terms and conditions

  • Cancellations notified in writing ten working days before the event; we charge a cancellation fee of 35 per cent of the standard rate. If we have already received payment we refund 65 per cent of the full fee
  • Cancellations within 10 working days before the event; We charge these at the full rate and do not give refunds
  • If no written notice of cancellation is received, no refund can be made
  • The University of Surrey reserves the right to cancel any event. In this case, the full fee will be refunded unless a mutually convenient transfer can be arranged. Details of event changes or cancellations are available by phoning +44 (0)1483 686040
  • Delegates can make a provisional registration for a course by telephone or email. However bookings are only acknowledged formally once payment has been received
  • Substitutions from the same company may be made following consultation with the Continuing Education Manager
  • The University reserves the right to cancel any course on the grounds of insufficient numbers or for other reasons beyond our control. In this case the full fee will be refunded unless a mutually convenient transfer can be arranged
  • Registrations cannot be accepted without a valid purchase order, credit card payment or cheque
  • Proof of payment
  • Registrations must come with a valid purchase order, credit card payment or cheque.


Enquiries should be addressed to Barbara Steel in the faculties Professional Development Office:

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University of Surrey