Traditional DASH (dynamic adaptation streaming over HTTP(i.e., HyperText Transfer Protocol)) bitrate strategy cannot differentiate segments with different complexities of video content, resulting in the user’s QoE (quality of experience) of segments with high content complexity as worse than that with low content complexity. In case of this, this paper firstly studies video coding and puts forward the definition of video content complexity. Then the effects of content complexity on user’s QoE is analyzed and the QoE utility function of the segment is formulated based on its MOS (mean opinion score, related to the content complexity and bitrate) and bitrate switching between consecutive segments. Last, in order to maximize user’s QoE, this paper proposes VCC-DASH (video content complexity-aware DASH bitrate adaptation strategy) under the constraints of the network bandwidth and the buffer occupancy. In simulations, we compare VCC-DASH with the classical bitrate adaptation strategy proposed by Liu et al. (LIU’s strategy, for short). The simulation results show that the two strategies have similar performances in bitrate switching numbers, playback interruption times, and buffer lengths. In addition, it is more important for simulation results to reveal that VCC-DASH’s average bitrate is much higher than that of LIU’s strategy, which means that VCC-DASH can make fuller use of the network bandwidth than LIU’s strategy does. Moreover, the MOS distribution of the VCC-DASH is more concentrated on the better scores “4~5”, which profit from its content complexity-aware adaptation to allocate more bandwidth resources to high-complexity segments.
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