Encoding

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Streaming Industry Insights: The Bitmovin Video Developer Report 2023

Streaming Industry Insights: The Bitmovin Video Developer Report 2023

The Bitmovin Video Developer Report, now in its 6th edition, is one of the most far-reaching and useful documents available to streaming professionals (now with no registration required). It’s a report that I happily download each December and generally refer to frequently during the next twelve months. Like the proverbial elephant, what you find important in the report depends upon …

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How to Build an Encoding Ladder: What You Need to Know

Learning how to build an encoding ladder is one of the most fundamental tasks for a streaming media professional. It’s astounding how much you need to know to get it right. By way of background, the original encoding ladder used by most professionals was from Apple Tech Note TN2224, long since replaced by Apple’s HLS Authoring Specifications. This H.264-only ladder …

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Key Lessons from YouTube’s ARGOS Encoding ASIC

ASICs vs. Software-Based Transcoding: An Analysis of YouTube's Argos Transcoder

Even in 2023, many high-volume streaming producers continue to rely on software-based transcoding, despite the clear CAPEX, OPEX, and environmental benefits of ASIC-based transcoding. At least part of this inertia relates to outdated concerns about the shortcomings of ASICs, including sub-par quality and lack of upgradeability. As a parent, I long ago concluded that there were no words that could …

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Computing the payback period on ASIC-based transcoders

computing the payback period on ASIC-based transcoders

One of the most power-hungry processes performed in data centers is software-based live transcoding, which can be performed much more efficiently with ASIC-based transcoders. With power costs soaring and carbon emissions an ever-increasing concern, data centers that perform high-volume live transcoding should strongly consider switching to ASIC-based transcoders like the NETINT T408. To assist in this transition, NETINT recently published …

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SVT-AV1 vs. LibAOM

SVT-AV1 vs. LibAOM

In August 2020, the Alliance for Open Media created a software working group to “use the Scalable Video Technology for AV1 (SVT-AV1) encoder developed by Intel…to create AV1 encoder implementations that deliver excellent video compression across applications in ways that remove computational complexity trade-offs for an ever-growing video delivery marketplace.” Testing published around that time indicated that SVT-AV1 had quite …

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The Intersection of AI and Video Encoding

The Intersection of AI and Video Encoding

The intersection of video processing and artificial intelligence (AI) delivers exciting new functionality, from real-time quality enhancement for video publishers to object detection and optical character recognition for security applications. Forward-thinking product designs incorporate both video processing (decode/scale/overlay/encode) and AI to provide the optimal platform for video-related AI applications like those discussed below.   For example, I recently joined NETINT in …

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Handouts from Streaming Media West

Streaming Media West was a high-energy conference with a great vibe and the usual elegance of the Hyatt Regency Huntington Beach Resort & Spa. I gave two talks; a 3-hour preconference session entitled Advanced Codec Implementation & Production and a 45-minute session on Encoding AV1 with Open Source Alternatives. Below are the descriptions and links to the presentation downloads. W1. …

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NETINT Quadra vs. NVIDIA T4 – Benchmarking Hardware Encoding Performance

NETINT Quadra vs. NVIDIA T4 – Benchmarking Hardware Encoding Performance

This article is the second in a series about benchmarking hardware encoding performance. In the first article, available here, I delineated a procedure for testing hardware encoders. Specifically, I recommended this three-step procedure: Identify the most critical quality and throughput-related options for the encoder. Test across a range of configurations from high quality/low throughput to low quality/high throughput to identify …

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Choosing a Preset for SVT-AV1 and libaom-AV1

This article shows the quality/encoding time tradeoffs for producers choosing a preset for SVT-AV1 and libaom-AV1. Note to readers – 12/13 – AOM has released version 1.4, which fixed the SVT-AV1 preset issues reported in the first version of this article.  Presets are the most important configuration option for controlling quality and throughput for most codecs. For this reason, when …

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How to Compare Hardware Transcoders

How to Compare Hardware Transcoders

This article details a methodology for comparing hardware transcoders considering cost/stream, watt/stream, and output quality. If you’ve ever benchmarked software codecs, you know the quality/throughput tradeoff; simply stated, the higher the quality, the lower the throughput. In contrast, for many first-generation hardware encoders, throughput was prioritized, but the quality was fixed; you got what you got. Finding the Key Quality …

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