Beyond the Hype: A Critical Look at AI in Video Streaming

I recently presented at Dan Rayburn’s Streaming Summit at NAB 2024. The topic was Beyond the Hype: A Critical Look at AI in Video Streaming. Here’s the description:

Artificial intelligence has become a buzzword in all technologies, including streaming video, with the promise of revolutionizing how we create, compress, and watch videos. However, it’s crucial to separate the hype from reality. In this session, Jan Ozer from the Streaming Learning Center explores the most recent streaming-related AI announcements to detail which to dismiss, which will become relevant, and when.

Here’s What I Covered in the Presentation

After speaking to several companies, I reached several conclusions. First, it was impossible to separate the hype from reality by having a conversation. You must test the products, and even then, the AI is frequently embedded so deeply that it’s impossible to tell whether it’s the primary engine, a secondary contributor, or irrelevant.

In this regard, particularly for pre-processing and encoding products, it’s best to ignore the AI contribution altogether and evaluate the product as a whole. I explain this at the start of the presentation.

This changed the presentation’s focus to a high-level survey of the applications shown above and how AI technologies influence and enhance them. In between are several demos of the AI-related functionality of these products and services.

Key Highlights from the Video:

Overview: Begins by discussing AI’s broader implications in the buying decision process, setting the stage for a deeper understanding of its role in video compression.

Industry Survey: A survey of various AI applications shows how companies integrate AI from the encoding stage onward, focusing on preprocessing, encoding, packaging, and advertising.

Impact of AI on Compression: Discusses longstanding AI applications in compression, citing references dating back to 2016, and explores potential future innovations.

Practical Advice: Insights into evaluating AI technologies, including key questions to ask vendors and strategies for assessing their real-world benefits.

Discover how AI is reshaping the landscape of video technology by enhancing efficiency and quality.

Here’s the video. You can download the presentation here Beyond-the-Hype_-A-Critical-Look-at-AI-in-Video-Streaming_handout.pdf (170 downloads ) . Beneath the video is a list of companies that I spoke with, along with links to the recorded interview.

Here’s a list of companies that I interviewed and the recorded videos.

1.   Optimizing Video with AI: The VisualOn Optimizer –

2.  Digital Harmonic’s Mason Baron on the AI tech in Keyframe –

3.  EyeQ: The AI Engine Powering Harmonic’s Video Encoding –

4.  Zoe Liu Discusses Visionular’s AI-Driven Futureg –

5.  Codec Market Cloud Launches with AI-Based Encoding –

6.  Arsalan Zafar from Deep Render talks AI-based Codecs –

7.  Exploring CompressAI: InterDigital’s AI-Powered Codec Toolkit –

8.  AI Powers Interra Baton Captions –

9.  IMAX Viewer Score: How AI is Transforming VQA –

10.  How Bitmovin is Integrating AI in Video Analytics –

11.  Media Distillery improves viewing experiences with AI –

12.  Operative Deploys Generative AI: Streamlining Pitch to Play –

13.  Workflow Automation with AI: A Telestream Vantage Demo –

About Jan Ozer

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I help companies train new technical hires in streaming media-related positions; I also help companies optimize their codec selections and encoding stacks and evaluate new encoders and codecs. I am a contributing editor to Streaming Media Magazine, writing about codecs and encoding tools. I have written multiple authoritative books on video encoding, including Video Encoding by the Numbers: Eliminate the Guesswork from your Streaming Video ( and Learn to Produce Video with FFmpeg: In Thirty Minutes or Less ( I have multiple courses relating to streaming media production, all available at I currently work as as a Senior Director in Marketing.

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