Review: Bitcodin, a Cloud Video Encoding Service From Bitmovin

Bitmovin is an Austrian company that supplies both a cloud encoder (bitcodin) and an HTML5 player (Bitdash). It offers an all-in-one service to companies seeking to encode and distribute files via HTML5 to computers and mobile devices. I reviewed the cloud service for streaming Media Europe, in a review you can read here.

Bitcodin is a cloud encoder in advanced beta, and actually in use by a large Austrian distributor of feature films (see the sidebar on Flimmit at the end of this review). Though it’s not yet a finished product, the pieces are coming together nicely, and over the next few months Bitcodin should mature into a highly usable and very solidly performing service.

Bitcodin is a service of Bitmovin GmbH (Figure 1), an Austrian company best known for developing the Bitdash MPEG-DASH client, which deploys adaptive files in DASH (Dynamic Adaptive Streaming over HTTP) and HLS (HTTP Live Streaming) to distribute to computers, notebooks, mobile devices, and other players. Though any company, Bitdash licensee or not, can use Bitcodin, the only two output formats currently supported are DASH and HLS. The ability to output MP4 files is, however, planned for a future release, as is Smooth Streaming support. It will ultimately support both live and VOD transcoding, but I only tested VOD. Note that Bitcodin supports only WebVTT captions and no DRM, though the company will support the Encrypted Media Extensions in a few months.

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