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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The Correct Way to Choose an x264 Preset

To choose the optimal x264 preset, you have to balance encoding and distribution costs. This article shows you how.  Over the last few years, I’ve used the first chart below to represent the tradeoffs associated with different presets and help readers (or listeners) choose a preset. To create the chart, you encode your test files to standard parameters using all …

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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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Encode on-Premise or in the Cloud

Deciding whether to encode on-premise or in the cloud is one of the most critical decisions facing any streaming publisher. Two recent articles provide both strong opinions and insights on this decision and are worthy of review. Our take? Do the math and make your own decision. The first article is “Why we’re leaving the cloud,” by David Heinemeir Hannson. …

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Running FFmpeg on Windows Subsystem for Linux

Choosing the Linux distro.

This post details how to install, update and add FFmpeg to Windows Subsystem for Linux so you can run Linux in Windows with minimal muss or fuss. Here’s why you might want to install WSL in the first place. I recently taught a session at Streaming Media East on using variables with FFmpeg (download handout here – note that free …

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Defining Transcoder, VPU, and VCU

An image of a chalkboard defining VPU as a device that decodes, encodes, scales, overlays, and has AI capabilities.

A woman walks into a bar and asks, “I’ll have two video transcoders, please.” Bartender says, “We don’t carry transcoders; we have VPUs. Will they do?” The woman scratches her head and says, “hmm, I don’t know.” Do you? If not, you’re in the right place. This short article will briefly define transcoder, VPU, and VCU, and get you in …

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New Articles on Streaming Media Magazine

Two free learning resources are available on the Streaming Media website; How to Produce VVC With FFmpeg and How to Script for FFmpeg Using PowerShell and BASH. They’re tutorials in the Streaming Media Sourcebook, an annual production containing useful articles and collections. Learn Variables and For Loops Here’s the abridged intro: Most FFmpeg users start by creating a simple static command …

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Best Sources for Free Video Test Clips

I recently posted a request for video test clips on LinkedIn. This article summarizes the websites listed in the responses. Thanks to all who responded. 4KMedia An absolutely fabulous resource for compressionists looking for a broad range of 4K footage of reasonable duration, many, like this NY promotional clip, in HDR. Here’s the site description. 4KMedia.org is intended to demonstrate …

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Join Me at Streaming Media East in Boston in May

The Streaming Media East Conference Logo

Note: I’ve updated the descriptions below with links to the actual presentations. I will add the videos once they become available.  Streaming Media East is always a great event for learning, meeting, greeting, and catching up on the latest trends and technical innovations in the Streaming Industry. This year’s event will be held May 17 – 19 at the Boston …

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