Five Codec-Related Techniques to Cut Bandwidth Costs

Rating techniques that cut bandwidth costs.

The mandate for streaming producers hasn’t changed since we delivered RealVideo streams targeted at 28.8 modems; that is, we must produce the absolute best quality video at the lowest possible bandwidth. With cost control top of mind for many streaming producers, let’s explore five codec-related options to cut bandwidth costs while maintaining quality. For each, I’ll consider the factors summarized …

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Codec Royalties on Content and the Jaws Moment

I was raised in a beachfront commuter town about 60 miles south of Manhattan and five miles north of Springsteen’s Asbury Park. I went to Seashore Day Camp years 8-13, swimming laps in the pool each morning and clowning around in the ocean each afternoon. I spent middle school and high school in the Atlantic as often as possible, swimming, …

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Telestream Resurrects’s Global Media Format Report

Telestream resurrects’s Global Media Format Report to provide valuable data on codec usage and other production details.  For years,’s Global Media Format Report provided a key set of data points on codec usage and other topics from the prior years encoding production. Since was the first and remains one of the largest cloud encoding providers, this data …

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Video Codec Quick Reference Guide

This article provides a quick reference for video codec details from H.264 to LCEVC, excluding EVC, because so little progress has been made on productization. Codec Overview Starting at the top, the year released emphasizes how long H.264 has remained the dominant codec, as evidenced by ReThink’s 2023 usage rate of about 72%. Browser penetration, as measured by CanIuse, is …

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Replace Bitrate Viewer with FFBitrateViewer

Recently I was asked to visually illustrate the data rate difference between two HEVC files, one encoded with CBR at 6 Mbps, the other using capped CRF with the same cap. Of course, everyone’s go-to bitrate visualization viewer has always been Bitrate Viewer, which does a great job displaying the bitrate of a single H.264-encoded file. Unfortunately, it can’t input …

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B-Frames, Ultra Low-Latency Encoding, and Parking Lot Rules

One of my sweetest memories of bringing up our two daughters was weekly trips to the grocery store. Each got a $5.00 bribe for accompanying their father, which they happily invested in various tchotchkes that seldom lasted the week. When we exited the car, “parking lot rules” always applied, which meant that each daughter held one of Daddy’s hands for …

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Which is the Best AWS CPU for FFmpeg?

Figure 2. Cost per hour to produce a single 1080p stream using the x264 codec and FFmpeg. Graviton is clearly the most cost effective.

If you encode with FFmpeg on AWS, you probably know that you have three CPU options: AMD, Graviton, and Intel. Which is the best AWS CPU for FFmpeg? This article reveals all. For those in a hurry, it’s Graviton for x264 and AMD for x265, often by a significant margin. But the devil is always in the details, and if …

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A Guide to VVC Deployment

Below are six video presentations and downloadable PDFs relating to VVC deployment from a session at Streaming Media East in 2023, all from recognized experts from companies developing and deploying VVC. The session was sponsored by Access Advance.  The sessions begin with an in-depth exploration of VVC and how it compares to other codecs such as H.264, HEVC, and AV1. …

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How to Optimize x264 and x265 Quality in FFmpeg

Agenda for talk on optimizing x265 and x265 quality with FFmpeg

This blog includes the video and handout from my talk on “How to Produce x264 and x265 Video at Maximum Quality and Maximum Efficiency” at NAB 2023 (thanks to Dan Rayburn). Here’s the description. This research-based session explores configuration options like presets, threads, color depth, and others that impact output quality and encoding efficiency. Balancing encoding cost and streaming bandwidth, …

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VVC Playback Surprisingly Efficient on Computers

Spin Digital Spin Player VVC playing EuroTruckSimulator2 at full frame rate.

The last time I looked at VVC playback in software was for this article in Streaming Media Magazine. Fraunhofer’s VVDec decoder delivered an uninspiring 39 frames per second when converting the input file to YUV. This was on a (then) nine year old i7-based HP desktop. I just retested with a version of FFmpeg that Fraunhofer supplied, and this number …

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