Cloud Encoding Pricing Comparison Reveals Dramatic Cost Differences – Are You Overpaying?

This whitepaper, sponsored by Dolby/Hybrik, tracks cloud encoding pricing for H.264 and HEVC output and reveals dramatic price differences among popular services. I’ve just completed a whitepaper sponsored by Dolby/Hybrik to compare pricing for multiples of one hour of H.264 and HEVC encoding using the recommended encoding ladders in the Apple HLS Authoring Specifications. You can download the whitepaper here. …

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Which Codec Does YouTube Use, Part III

This article analyzes the codecs used by YouTube for 4K videos with millions of views, and the savings that AV1 and VP9 deliver over YouTube’s full encoding ladder.  This is the third in a series of articles written about which codecs YouTube uses. The first covers which codecs YouTube uses for high-volume 1080p videos. The second covers the codecs used …

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Formulate the Optimal Encoding Ladder with VMAF

This post describes how to formulate the optimal encoding ladder with VMAF. This analysis is excerpted from a lesson in the online course Streaming Media 101: Technical Onboarding for Streaming Media Professionals.  I received the following question from a reader; it’s got such general applicability that I thought I would share my response.  Question:  We’re currently reviewing our ABR ladder …

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Which Codecs Does YouTube Use?

Author’s Note (March 15, 2022): A colleague recently advised me that YouTube was now encoding all videos into VP9 format. A quick check revealed that he was correct; literally every video that I checked, including some uploaded back in 2010, was encoded into VP9 as well as H.264. What’s interesting is that many low-volume videos, like this one with 118 …

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Beginner’s Guide to Encoding H.264

Encoding H.264 with Wirecast

The H.264 codec is still the most widely used video compression technology — aka codec in the world and likely will be for the next few years. For this reason, every streaming media professional should know what the H.264 codec is and how to encode with H.264. This beginner’s guide to encoding H.264 will describe what H.264 is, detail the …

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Panel Discussion on Advanced Video Compression and Applications

I’m appearing on a panel next week at the SPIE Optics and Photonics Conference entitled Advanced Video Compression and Applications with a host of encoding luminaries. The panel will be streamed on August 3, 2021, at 3:30 PM PDT, but only registered guests can watch the Zoom feed (you can register here). The discussion will then be made available on YouTube …

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How to Choose Your Bitrate Control Technique

This article is derived from a lesson in Streaming Media 101: Technical Onboarding for Streaming Media Professionals. If you’re looking for an efficient way to get up to speed on key streaming terms, technologies, workflows, and best practices, check out the course here.  Every time you encode a video file with a distribution-oriented codec like H.264, HEVC, VP9, or AV1, …

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The past, present, and future of per-title encoding

Figure 2. Finding the Convex Hull.

Maya Angelou once said that “You can’t really know where you are going until you know where you have been,” and so it is with per-title encoding. What began as a one-dimensional data rate adjustment that reflected the simple reality that all videos encode differently is now a complex analysis that incorporates frame rate, resolution, color gamut, and dynamic ranges, …

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MediaInfo and BitRate Viewer – Essential Tools for Video Analysis

Streaming producers need tools to explore different encoding options and verify their work. Here are two free Windows tools that I couldn’t live without. MediaInfo MediaInfo is a video analysis tool that displays the most significant data points regarding a video file, including resolution, data rate, codec, bit depth, frame rate, duration, etc. It’s available for download here, and there …

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Computing Break Even on Codec Deployments

To a great degree, video codec adoption is driven by the simple break-even formula presented above. You put your costs on top, your savings per hour on the bottom, and come up with the number of hours of video you have to distribute to recoup your costs and start hitting the plus column. If you’re in a TL/DR frame of …

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