H.264/AVC Data Hiding Algorithm with a Limitation of the Drift Distortion

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Many data hiding algorithms have been proposed for the latest video codec H.264/AVC, most of them are based on the 4x4 luma DCT coefficients. However, the drift distortion is the main reason which limits the embedding capacity in data hiding algorithms based on DCT coefficients. Few methods have been proposed to compensate or eliminate the error propagation. Though, they are either non-blind, only detectable or need prior knowledge of the encoded blocks and thus cannot be used for real time broadcasting. In this paper we show that it is possible to reduce considerably the error propagation for real time applications. The proposed algorithm exploits the method of watermarking paired-coefficients in each block in order to bring the error to the middle of the block matrix. We evaluate the distortion caused by each paired-coefficients in order to give a watermarking priority to the pairs which introduce the minimum error. The proposed scheme offers a very good compromise between the video distortion, the increase in bitrate and the embedding capacity.
Data hiding, H.264/AVC, Drift distortion, Embedding capacity, Real time application