May, 2022

  • 12 May

    SVT-AV1 1.0 Shows Great Promise

    I’ve been testing SVT-AV1 1.0 for a presentation that I’m giving on open-source AV1 encoding alternatives at Streaming Media East on May 24, 2022. The results have been impressive; two-pass VBR encoding is working well, and the codec offers a great range of presets, with several much faster than real-time. …

  • 12 May

    Finding the Optimal Top Rung Data Rate

    Table 2. Top-rung quality of these UGC and premium services.

    The top rung of your encoding ladder is the most expensive to deliver, and in many regions, it’s also the most frequently viewed. Encode at too high a bit rate and you’re wasting money; encode too low, and you’re potentially reducing viewer quality of experience. This makes choosing the top …

April, 2022

  • 9 April

    Per-Title Encoding 2022

    My article, Buyers’ Guide to Per-Title Encoding is up on Streaming Media. Per-title encoding is one of the simplest and least expensive ways to reduce streaming bandwidth, increase viewer QoE, or accomplish both. It’s becoming a standard feature in cloud-encoding services. The article begins with an overview of what per-title …

  • 7 April

    Encoding for Transcoding vs Encoding for Distribution

    A consulting client sent the following command string for a 1080p file they were encoding for upload to Vimeo, their online video platform. crf=20:vbv-maxrate=10000:vbv-bufsize=9500 What’s wrong with these parameters? First, some theory. One distinction to understand when encoding files is the difference between producing a mezzanine file to use for …

  • 3 April

    Estimating the Bitrate for 8K Videos When Encoding with HEVC and AV1

    It’s a well-known and oft-repeated truism that codecs operate more efficiently at higher resolutions. The question is, is the truism really true? It turns out that it is, and we prove it below. To lend numbers to our truism and focus the issue, the basic question is this. 8K video …

  • 1 April

    Constrained VBR Levels of the Rich and Famous

    I’ve been wondering if publishers still care about constraining their maximum bitrates (see here for more background), so I grabbed my copy of youtube-dl and performed a little study. The TL/DR version seems to be that new media sites like YouTube, Facebook, and Vimeo don’t strictly adhere to the typical …

March, 2022

  • 29 March

    Does Anyone Care About Constrained VBR Anymore?

    I’m comparing cloud-based per-title VOD encoding technologies for a report I hope to publish in the near term. In an attempt to create a level playing field I set the following specifications. 2-second GOP 200% constrained VBR 2-second VBV buffer Kind of like you were encoding with FFmpeg and using …

  • 2 March

    Bitmovin Video Developer Report Reports on Codec Usage

    Bitmovin Video Developer Report

    Every year around this time, like an early Christmas present, Bitmovin releases its Annual Video Developer’s Report, a must-read for all streaming media professionals. Now in its fifth year, the report contains valuable insights regarding codec usage, production workflows, and the issues that are keeping streaming professionals up at night, …

  • 1 March

    VVC Performance, Royalty, and Implementation Status

    Figure 5. VMAF BD-Rate table for multiple codec implementations.

    VVC reached First Draft International Specification in July 2020. We’re about 18 months past that date and it’s useful to check in on VVC progress to date, including licensing, performance, chipset development, and trials. VVC Patent Owners Video quality is nice, but money makes the world go-’round, so let’s start …

January, 2022

  • 31 January

    Does FFmpeg 5 Break Your Scripts?

    FFmpeg turns 5.0; the new release has big API changes but doesn’t appear to break existing command scripts, though x265-based encodes are worth checking. As much as we like major releases of programs that we know and love, one big question is always whether it changes how we use the …