DICOM PS3.5 2019c - Data Structures and Encoding

8.2.7 MPEG-4 AVC/H.264 High Profile / Level 4.1 Video Compression

MPEG-4 AVC/H.264 High Profile / Level 4.1 corresponds to what is commonly known as HDTV ('High Definition Television'). DICOM provides a mechanism for supporting the use of MPEG-4 AVC/H.264 Image Compression through the Encapsulated Format (see PS3.3). Annex A defines a Transfer Syntax that references the MPEG-4 AVC/H.264 Standard.

Note

MPEG-4 AVC/H.264 compression / High Profile compression is inherently lossy. The context where the usage of lossy compression of medical images is clinically acceptable is beyond the scope of the DICOM Standard. The policies associated with the selection of appropriate compression parameters (e.g., compression ratio) for MPEG-4 AVC/H.264 High Profile / Level 4.1 are also beyond the scope of this Standard.

The use of the DICOM Encapsulated Format to support MPEG-4 AVC/H.264 compressed pixel data requires that the Data Elements that are related to the Pixel Data encoding (e.g., Photometric Interpretation, Samples per Pixel, Planar Configuration, Bits Allocated, Bits Stored, High Bit, Pixel Representation, Rows, Columns, etc.) shall contain values that are consistent with the characteristics of the compressed data stream, with some specific exceptions noted here. The Pixel Data characteristics included in the MPEG-4 AVC/H.264 bit stream shall be used to decode the compressed data stream.

Note

These requirements are specified in terms of consistency with what is encapsulated, rather than in terms of the uncompressed pixel data from which the compressed data stream may have been derived.

When decompressing, should the characteristics explicitly specified in the compressed data stream be inconsistent with those specified in the DICOM Data Elements, those explicitly specified in the compressed data stream should be used to control the decompression. The DICOM data elements, if inconsistent, can be regarded as suggestions as to the form in which an uncompressed Data Set might be encoded, subject to the general and IOD-specific rules for uncompressed Photometric Interpretation and Planar Configuration, which may require that decompressed data be converted to one of the permitted forms.

Note

If MPEG-4 Compressed Pixel Data is decompressed and re-encoded in Native (uncompressed) form, then the Data Elements that are related to the Pixel Data encoding are updated accordingly. If color components are converted from YBR_PARTIAL_420 to RGB during decompression and Native re-encoding, the Photometric Interpretation will be changed to RGB in the Data Set with the Native encoding.

The requirements are:

Table 8-4. Values Permitted for MPEG-4 AVC/H.264 BD-compatible High Profile / Level 4.1

Rows

Columns

Frame rate

Video Type

Progressive or Interlace

1080

1920

25

25 Hz HD

I

1080

1920

29.97

30 Hz HD

I

1080

1920

24

24 Hz HD

P

1080

1920

23.976

24 Hz HD

P

720

1280

50

50 Hz HD

P

720

1280

59.94

60 Hz HD

P

720

1280

24

24 Hz HD

P

720

1280

23.976

24 Hz HD

P


Note

  1. The value of Planar Configuration (0028,0006) is irrelevant since the manner of encoding components is specified in the MPEG-4 AVC/H.264 standard, hence it is set to 0.

  2. The limitation on rows and columns are to maximize interoperability between software environments and commonly available hardware MPEG-4 AVC/H.264 encoder/decoder implementations. Source pictures that have a lower value should be re-formatted by scaling and/or pixel padding prior to MPEG-4 AVC/H.264 encoding.

  3. The frame rate of the acquiring camera for '30 Hz HD' MPEG-4 AVC/H.264 may be either 30 or 30/1.001 (approximately 29.97) frames/sec. Similarly, the frame rate in the case of 60 Hz may be either 60 or 60/1.001 (approximately 59.94) frames/sec. This may lead to small inconsistencies between the video timebase and real time. The relationship between frame rate and frame time is shown in Table 8-5.

  4. The Frame Time (0018,1063) may be calculated from the frame rate of the acquiring camera. A frame rate of 29.97 frames per second corresponds to a frame time of 33.367 ms.

  5. The value of chroma_format for this profile and level is defined by MPEG as 4:2:0.

  6. Example screen resolutions supported by MPEG-4 AVC/H.264 High Profile / Level 4.1 can be taken from Table 8-4. Frame rates of 50 Hz and 60 Hz (progressive) at the maximum resolution of 1080 by 1920 are not supported by MPEG-4 AVC/H.264 High Profile / Level 4.1. Interlace at the maximum resolution is supported at a field rate of 50 Hz or 60 Hz, which corresponds to a frame rate of 25 Hz or 30 Hz respectively. Smaller resolutions may be used as long as they comply with the square pixel aspect ratio. An example is XGA resolution with an image resolution of 768 by 1024 pixels. For smaller resolutions there are higher frame rates possible. For example it may be up to 80 Hz for XGA.

  7. The display aspect ratio is defined implicitly by the pixel resolution of the video picture. Only square pixel aspect ratio is allowed. MPEG-4 AVC/H.264 BD-compatible High Profile / Level 4.1 will only support resolutions that result in a 16:9 display aspect ratio

  8. The permitted screen resolutions for the MPEG-4 AVC/H.264 BD-compatible High Profile / Level 4.1 are listed in Table 8-4. Only HD resolutions and no progressive frame rates for 25 or 29.97 frames per seconds are supported. Frame rates of 50 Hz and 60 Hz (progressive) at the maximum resolution of 1080 by 1920 are not supported.

Table 8-5. MPEG-4 AVC/H.264 High Profile / Level 4.1 Image Transfer Syntax Frame Rate Attributes

Video Type

Spatial resolution layer

Frame Rate (see Note 2)

Frame Time (see Note 3)

30 Hz HD

Single level, Enhancement

30

33.33 ms

25 Hz HD

Single level, Enhancement

25

40.0 ms

60 Hz HD

Single level, Enhancement

60

16.17 ms

50 Hz HD

Single level, Enhancement

50

20.00 ms


One fragment shall contain the whole MPEG-4 AVC/H.264 bit stream.

Note

If a video stream exceeds the maximum length of one fragment (approximately 4 GB), it may be sent as multiple SOP Instances, but each SOP Instance will contain an independent and playable bit stream, and not depend on the encoded bit stream in other (previous) instances. The manner in which such separate instances are related is not specified in the Standard, but mechanisms such as grouping into the same Series, and references to earlier instances using Referenced Image Sequence may be used.

The container format for the video bit stream shall be MPEG-2 Transport Stream, a.k.a. MPEG-TS (see [ISO/IEC 13818-1]) or MPEG-4, a.k.a. MP4 container (see [ISO/IEC 14496-12] and [ISO/IEC 14496-14]). The PTS/DTS of the transport stream shall be used in the MPEG coding.

Any audio components included in the data container shall follow the constraints detailed in Section 8.2.12 Constraints for Audio Data Integration in AVC and HEVC Compressed Bit Streams.

DICOM PS3.5 2019c - Data Structures and Encoding