Encoding your video

How to Use Objective Quality Measurement Tools

Every compressed file involves dozens of configuration-related decisions, including resolution, data rate, H.264 profile, VBR or CBR, entropy coding technique, x.264 preset, b-frames, reference frames—the list goes on and on. Most encoding professionals simply use configurations gleaned from presets supplied with their encoding tools, or perhaps from recipes found on the web. But how can you be sure that you’re squeezing the last bit of quality out of the selected data rate, or that your videos are optimally bandwidth-efficient? How can you tell how much additional quality a 1080p@ 7.5Mbps stream delivers over the 5.5Mbps stream?

Encoding Brief: Apple Releases HLS Authoring Specification for Apple TV

Executive Summary: In October 2015, Apple released a  document entitled HLS Authoring Specifications for Apple TV (HLS stands for HTTP Live Streaming, the adaptive bit rate technology used to deliver video to Apple TV and other iOS devices). If you'...

Conference Research Tests Adaptive Video and Quality Benchmarks

The Society for Imaging Science and Technology hosts the annual International Symposium on Electronic Imaging, held this year in San Francisco, California, from February 14 to 18. The Symposium has eight tracks across a range of disciplines, where researchers from industry and academia present papers and findings.

Encoding Brief: Phase Out Low Quality Streams in Your Encoding Ladder

Executive Summary: Now might be the time to consider phasing out the lowest quality streams in your encoding ladder to reduce encoding and storage costs. Check your server logs to determine consumption of these streams before doing so.  Overview an...

Encoding Brief: The Benefit of B-frames

Executive Summary: B-frames increase compression efficiency, particularly at lower bitrates. However, not all video encoders deliver the requested number of B-frames when encoding using default parameters. Telestream Switch is a software program that...

How Netflix Pioneered Per-Title Video Encoding Optimization

The Netflix blog post entitled Per-Title Encode Optimization boldly declares that “to deliver the best quality video to our members, each title should receive a unique bitrate ladder, tailored to its specific complexity characteristics.” In a world where many companies simply deploy Apple’s recommendations from TN2224 without modification, it’s a breath of fresh air. The blog post goes on to detail how Netflix creates its per-title encoding ladders.

SSIMWave SQM Review: Frustrating Video Quality Measurement

The perfect video analysis tool combines a video quality metric that accurately predicts the subjective ratings of real human eyes with the ability to show these quality differences to the operator. While SSIMWave makes a strong case that its SSIMplus algorithm has those predictive capabilities, the company’s SQM (for SSIMWave Video Quality-of-Experience Monitor) video analysis tool provides only a limited ability to visualize and confirm these differences. If you can get comfortable with the idea that SSIMplus is the best video quality metric available, you’ll find SQM a highly efficient tool for calculating the SSIMplus rating within the UI or batch mode. But I’m from Missouri—the Show-Me state—so when it comes to making compression decisions, I want to see easily the differences that the tool is measuring. If you’re like me, you’ll find the $3,600 tool frustrating in this regard.

SSIMWave SQM Review: Frustrating Video Quality Measurement

I'm big into quality control and objective video measurement, and the latest tool that I've tested, SSIMWaves SQM (link to tool here) , offers a couple of unique elements, including a scoring system that attempts to correspond to actual human subject...

Why I like VQM better than PSNR or SSIM

Author's note: Since the first publication, I converted SSIM to decibel form as suggested by the first comment below (which should also address the second comment). The formula used was that suggested by the Video Codec Testing and Quality Measuremen...

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...