One of the brightest stars in the encoding universe is Fabio Sonnati, who blogs at Flash Video Technology and Optimizations. I was researching H.264 encoding parameters and revisited his site, noting that his presentation from Adobe MAX2011 entitled Encoding for Performance on Multiple Devices had just come online. You can click here to watch his 60-minute presentation, or click here to download a PDF of his PowerPoint slides, which is what I did.
In the presentation, Sonnati spent a lot of time discussing how to configure alternative streams in an adaptive bitrate group, and I found this chart helpful in explaining how data rate and file resolution affect quality. If you’re exploring how to choose parameters for an adaptive bitrate group, you should at least download his slides.
After looking through the presentation PDF, I scanned around his site and saw a list of four articles dedicated to using FFmpeg to produce and stream H.264. I personally prefer GUI-based solutions for encoding, but FFmpeg is a high-powered command line tool used by most of the high-volume UGC producers to encode to H.264 format. There is lots of advice on using FFmpeg out there on the ‘Net, but Sonnati takes you from the basics of encoding to live streaming and provides well-documented and well-supported advice. If you’re looking for a resource to get the most out of FFmpeg, you should check out Sonnati’s site.