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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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Choosing a Live Transcoder

Four days on the show floor at IBC solidified the concept that your choice of the live encoder is dictated by your encoding application. In this article, I’ll review the types of encoders and the trade-offs associated with each type and will identify the type of encoder that works best for a few selected encoding applications. Types of Live Transcoders …

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Installing and Using FFMetrics to Compute and Visualize VMAF, SSIM, and MS SSIM Metrics

This tutorial teaches you how to install and use FFMetrics, a free tool that lets you compute and visualize VMAF, SSIM, and PSNR on up to 12 files.  Let me start this article by stating that the one program I couldn’t live without in my role as video tester and evaluator is the Moscow State University Video Quality Measurement Too …

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New Codec 2022 Lessons Added to Streaming Media 101 Course

Just a quick note that I’ve updated the course, Streaming Media 101: Technical Onboarding for Streaming Media Professionals, with new codec lessons for H.264, VP9, HEVC, AV1, VVC, LCEVC, and EVC. Each lesson, which vary in length from 12 to 20 minutes, covers the topics shown in the agenda below. The lessons are designed to bring the students up to …

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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 encoding is and why it’s important. Then it compares per-title …

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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 200% constrained VBR limit while traditional publishers seem to, though …

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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 program. If you haven’t heard, on January 17, 2022, FFmpeg …

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It’s The Year of AV1. 2023, That Is.

A recent Netflix post trumpets AV1’s suitability for mass-market distribution, but high encoding costs, the lack of HDR support, and nascent support in the living room make AV1 a non-starter for most producers. Most of these issues should be resolved by mid-2023, when mainstream usage should really start to blossom. Netflix: AV1 on (Some) Smart TVs In their November 2021 …

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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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Another Five-Star Review for Streaming Production Course

These two students found the streaming production course, Streaming Media 101, quite helpful.

I’m pleased to report another five-star review for the streaming production course Streaming Media 101: Technical Onboarding for Streaming Media Professionals. So far, the course has been taken hundreds of times with eleven reviews, all five stars. Here’s what the latest review, from Lasse Bronsholt, had to say. The Streaming Media 101 course was a very good experience for me …

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