Choosing an encoder

Content in this category details the operation and quality of streaming video encoding tools.

Choosing a Streaming Encoding Tool

The ideal streaming encoding tool should provide great quality, blazing performance, a discrete set of critical encoding parameters, and a range of other time-saving automation and input/output options. We all know the names—Adobe Media Encoder, Compressor, Squeeze, Episode (in its many flavors), and Expression Encoder—so how do they stack up against this ideal? Glad you asked, because that’s what we’re going to explore.

Squeeze 7 Now Available, Details at

I've been working with Sorenson Squeeze 7 for awhile now, and wanted to share my thoughts and experiences today, the day the software is officially released. If you have Squeeze 6.5 or earlier, the big question is whether you should upgrade or not,...

Sorenson Squeeze 6 quality analysis up on Digital Content Producer website

My Squeeze 6 quality and performance review just appeared on the Digital Content Producer site. I looked at both Windows Media and H.264 quality, but not VP6 because Squeeze couldn't meet my data rate targets. More on that here.

To see the review, click here.

To see a tutorial illustrating Squeeze's new features, click here.

Sorenson Squeeze 6

Sorenson Media recently released Squeeze 6.

If you click to the full article, you can view a screencam that I created for Millimeter magazine. In a couple of weeks, I'll post a written article comparing encoding quality and performance of Squeeze 6 with previous versions and other products in its class.

Sorenson Squeeze 6 - A New Feature Overview

Squeeze6fig1We've all heard about Sorenson Squeeze 6, this article contains an overview of the new features, which include the new review and approval workflow, new filters, faster H.264 encoding and superior integration with Sorenson 360, Sorenson's online video platform.

Presentations at Streaming Media Europe

I've been in London at Streaming Media Europe and gave two presentations which I've attached below. Here are the descriptions from the program.


Encoding H.264 Video for Streaming and Progressive Download


This seminar focuses on producing H.264 video for streaming or progressive download. It will start with an in-depth look at key H.264 encoding parameters like B-frames, profiles, and levels, and how to customise encoding parameters for distributing via QuickTime and Flash. After detailing how to operate the H.264-related encoding parameters in tools from Adobe, Apple, Microsoft, Sorenson, and Telestream, it will then provide a brief overview of the respective quality output of these tools. You’ll learn how your encoding tool compares in terms of quality and configurability, as well as how to configure your encoding tool for maximum H.264 quality.


Choosing a Video Encoding Tool


How do the top sub-$5,000 encoding tools compare in terms of encoding quality, speed and feature set? Find out in this presentation. Tools analyzed include Adobe Media Encoder, Apple Compressor, Sorenson Squeeze, Telestream Episode Pro and Episode Engine, Microsoft Expression Encoder, and On2 Flix Pro.

I hope you find these useful.

Encoding in the Cloud

As streaming media enters its second decade, it’s not all that often that we get to explore a totally new topic. But now we do, as I recently took my first look at cloud encoding. What is cloud encoding? At a high level, it’s an internet-based service that encodes your uploaded source video files and delivers them back to you or your distribution partners.

This article identifies what cloud encoding is, how it works and why it should be on your radar.

Review: Telestream Episode Engine

For VP6 and H.264 encoding, Telestream’s Episode Engine is fast and produces equal or better quality than most other streaming encoders. For those producing shiny optical discs, MPEG-2 performance and quality is also quite good. However, Windows Media producers should look elsewhere because Engine’s encoding speed is slow and the output quality is subpar.

Apple Compressor - New Encoding Features

Apple released the new Final Cut Studio today; what’s in it for streaming producers? Some nice workflow improvements, especially for producers of short-form content; for producers of long-form content, though, objects in the mirror may not be as close as they appear. More on that below. In terms of more mainstream uses, the big news includes Blu-ray output from within Final Cut Pro and Compressor, three new versions of ProRes, and general improvements to all suite components save DVD Studio Pro. Click over to the main article to read about the additions to Apple Compressor.

Dicas claims new algorithm boosts H.264 quality by 30%

Dicas produces the H.264 codec used by Telestream in most (if not all) of their encoding products, including Episode Pro and Episode Engine. On June 11, 2009, Dicas announced a new quality enhancing algorithm called dicasVICO that the company claims will deliver equivalent quality to today's streams at a 30% lower bit rate. The full article contains a very brief description about how the new codec works and why it's important.