Choosing production tools


A Buyer's Guide to Live Encoders

Choosing a live streaming encoding tool used to be simple: You typically would encode a single stream for delivery to your desktop viewers, and budget was the most important buying criteria. When buying today, of course, you've almost certainly expanded your target viewers to include both mobile and desktop clients, with adaptive streaming preferred over single file delivery.

Tutorial: Vislink LiveGear Airstream Cellular iNG Transmitter

If you're in the market for a portable video encoder/transmitter, you should consider the LiveGear Airstream from Vislink. It's mobile and easy to use, and it employs predictive forward error correction and adaptive bitrate H.264 encoding to reliably deliver top-quality video over broadband cellular networks.c

Livestream Broadcaster Review: Deliver Rich Live Events for Less

Livestream Broadcaster is an exceptionally easy to configure and use live encoder that produced very good quality over a range of relevant bandwidths. The only significant negatives are that the unit doesn't work with the older Livestream system, and doesn't currently offer adaptive streaming, though Livestream promises to address the latter concern in the near future.

Choosing an Enterprise Encoder - Europe 2012

Here's the seminar description:

This session will discuss factors to consider when choosing an enterprise video encoding system from the likes of Ateme, MainConcept, Thomson Video Networks, and others. Factors incorporated into the analysis will include performance, output quality, quality control options, format support, expansion options, programmability, and other variables. If you're considering buying an enterprise encoder or 1 upgrading your current systems, you'll find this session particularly useful.

Click over to the article to download the handout.

Encoding for iDevices - Streaming Media Europe

Just finished a seminar on Encoding for iDevices. Here's the description:

This seminar starts by detailing the playback specs for all iDevices, old and new. Then, learn the strategies used by prominent iTunes publishers to serve the complete range of installed iDevices. Next, the seminar switches to cellular wireless delivery, with a technical description of Apple’s HTTP Live Streaming (HLS), including recommendations for the number of streams and Apple’s encoding parameters. The seminar concludes with a review of encoding options for HLS and techniques for serving multiple target platforms such as Flash and iDevices with a single set of encoded H.264 files.

Click to the main article page for the handout.

Handout for Encoding for Flash, Mobile and HTML5

In London, teaching this seminar:

Learn the technological basics behind encoding for both H.264 and WebM formats. You'll learn how to encode H.264 for HTML5 distribution and streaming to iOS and other mobile devices, as well as how to encode it for Flash, including live, on-demand, and RTMP, plus HTTP-based adaptive streaming. For WebM, you'll learn the basics of on-demand streaming, plus get a look at live WebM encoders. Finally, you’ll learn how the various H.264 and WebM encoding tools compare in terms of performance, quality, and features.

Download the handout below.

Optimizing Brightness and Contrast in FCPX

The histogram and the waveform in Apple Final Cut Pro X are effective, easy-to-master tools that provide the clear input you need to diagnose and fix the contrast issues in your video simply and intelligently. In this video tutorial, video editing and encoding expert Jan Ozer explains how they work.

Choosing an Enterprise Encoder

Gave a presentation today to the Adobe Media Server Users group on choosning an enterprise encoder. You can download the 50+ page handout and view the presentation by clicking over to the main article. Here's a description of the presentation.

This session will discuss factors to consider when choosing enterprise video encoding systems from the likes of: Digital Rapids, Elemental, Harmonic, Sorenson, and Telestream. Factors incorporated into the analysis will include performance, output quality, quality control options, format support, expansion options, programmability, and other variables. If you're considering buying an enterprise encoder or upgrading your current systems, you'll find this session particularly useful.

Livestream Doubles Down on Hardware with Studio HD500

Yesterday Livestream announced the $8,500 Studio HD500, a luggable portable computer with five HD/SD SDI inputs and five video outputs with software providing real-time preview for all inputs, transitions, DDR playback, graphics overlay and a full audio mixer. You can read all about the new unit here. Our reading of the specs and press materials left us with several questions that company co-founder and CEO Max Haot was kind enough to answer via email. Without further ado, here they are.

Venera Pulsar Review: Quality Control for Adaptive Streaming

Quality control software has been around for a while now; for an overview of the category and quick look at four entrants, check out "Quality Control Roundup: Catch the Mistakes Before They Go Live." Producing files for adaptive streaming throws some new wrinkles into the mix, however, both from a format and a management perspective. One of the first products that attempts to simplify QC for adaptive streams is Venera Technologies' Pulsar, which now can analyze adaptive streams produced for HTTP Live Streaming (HLS) and Smooth Streaming, but not HTTP Dynamic Streaming (HDS). In this review I take a look at Pulsar as a whole, with a focus on these new adaptive streaming-related capabilities.