How Video Encoder Performance Improves UX Mark Donnigan Vice President Marketing Beamr



Read the original LinkedIn article here: How Video Encoder Computing Efficiency Can Impact Streaming Service Quality

Written by:

Mark Donnigan is Vice President of Marketing for Beamr, a high-performance video encoding innovation company.


Computer software application is the bedrock of every function and department in the enterprise; appropriately, software video encoding is necessary to video streaming service operations. It's possible to enhance a video codec application and video encoder for two but rarely 3 of the pillars. It does say that to deliver the quality of video experience consumers expect, video distributors will require to assess business options that have actually been performance optimized for high core counts and multi-threaded processors such as those readily available from AMD and Intel.

With so much upheaval in the circulation model and go-to-market business strategies for streaming home entertainment video services, it might be appealing to press down the priority stack choice of brand-new, more efficient software video encoders. With software eating the video encoding function, compute efficiency is now the oxygen required to thrive and win against a significantly competitive and congested direct-to-consumer (D2C) market.



How Video Encoder Computing Efficiency Can Impact Streaming Service Quality

Up until public clouds and common computing turned software-based video operations mainstream, the process of video encoding was performed with purpose-built hardware.

And then, software ate the hardware ...

Marc Andreessen, the co-founder of Netscape and a16z the famous endeavor capital company with financial investments in Foursquare, Skype, Twitter, box, Lyft, Airbnb, and other similarly disruptive business, penned a post for the Wall Street Journal in 2011 titled "Why Software Is Consuming The World." A variation of this post can be found on the a16z.com website here.

"Six decades into the computer system revolution, 4 years considering that the development of the microprocessor, and two decades into the rise of the modern Web, all of the innovation required to change industries through software finally works and can be widely provided at international scale." Marc Andreessen
In following with Marc Andreessen's prediction, today, software-based video encoders have almost entirely subsumed video encoding hardware. With software applications released from purpose-built hardware and able to work on common computing platforms like Intel and AMD based x86 makers, in the data-center and virtual environments, it is totally precise to state that "software application is eating (or more properly, has actually consumed) the world."

However what does this mean for an innovation or video operations executive?

Computer software is the bedrock of every function and department in the business; appropriately, software application video encoding is essential to video streaming service operations. Software application video encoders can scale without requiring a linear boost in physical space and utilities, unlike hardware. And software application can be moved the network and even entire data-centers in near real-time to fulfill capability overruns or temporary surges. Software is much more flexible than hardware.

When handling software-based video encoding, the 3 pillars that every video encoding engineer needs to deal with are bitrate performance, quality conservation, and calculating performance.

It's possible to enhance a video codec implementation and video encoder for 2 however seldom three of the pillars. Most video encoding operations therefore focus on quality and bitrate efficiency, leaving the calculate efficiency vector open as a sort of wild card. As you will see, this is no longer a competitive method.

The next frontier is software computing performance.

Bitrate efficiency with high video quality needs resource-intensive tools, which will result in slow functional speed or a significant boost in CPU overhead. For a live encoding application where the encoder need to run at high speed to reach 60 frames-per-second (FPS), a compromise in bitrate effectiveness or absolute quality is often required.

Codec complexity, such as that required by HEVC, AV1, and the upcoming VVC, is outpacing bitrate effectiveness improvements and this has created the requirement for video encoder performance optimization. Put another way, speed matters. Traditionally, this is not a location that video encoding specialists and image researchers require to be interested in, but that is no longer the case.

Figure 1 highlights the benefits of a software encoding execution, which, when all qualities are stabilized, such as FPS and unbiased quality metrics, can do two times as much deal with the specific same AWS EC2 C5.18 xlarge instance.

In this example, the open-source encoders x264 and x265 are compared to Beamr's AVC and HEVC encoders, Beamr 4, and Beamr 5.

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For services needing to encode live 4Kp60, one can see that it is possible with Beamr 5 but not with x265. Beamr 5 set to the x264 equivalent 'ultrafast' mode can encode four private streams on a single AWS EC2 C5.18 xlarge instance while x265 operating in 'ultrafast' can not reach 60 FPS at 4K. As you can see in this poignant example, codec efficiency is straight associated to the quality of service as an outcome of fewer makers and less complicated encoding structures required.

For those services who are primarily worried about VOD and H. 264, the best half of the Figure 1 graphic shows the efficiency advantage of a performance enhanced codec application that is established to produce really high quality with a high bitrate effectiveness. Here one can see as much as a 2x benefit with Beamr 4 compared to x264.

Video encoding compute resources cost real money.

OPEX is considered carefully by every video distributor. Expect entertainment experiences like live 4K streaming can not be delivered reliably as an outcome of a mismatch in between the video operations capability and the expectation of the consumer. Bearing in mind that many mobile gadgets sold today can 1440p if not 4K display screen. And customers are desiring content that matches the resolution and quality of the devices they carry in their pockets.

Due to the fact that of performance restrictions with how the open-source encoder x265 makes use of compute cores, it is not possible to encode a live 4Kp60 video stream on a single device. This doesn't indicate that live 4K encoding in software application isn't possible. It does say that to provide the quality of video experience customers expect, video suppliers will require to assess business services that have been performance optimized for high core counts and multi-threaded processors such as those readily available from AMD and Intel.

The requirement for software application to be optimized for greater core counts was just recently highlighted by AMD CTO Mark Papermaster in an interview with Tom's Hardware.

Video suppliers wishing to utilize software application for the versatility and virtualization options they offer will come across overly complicated engineering difficulties unless they choose encoding engines where multi-processor scaling is native to the architecture of the software application encoder.
Here is a post that shows the speed advantage of Beamr 5 over x265.

Things to think about concerning computing efficiency and performance:

Don't chase the next advanced codec without considering first the complexity/efficiency quotient. Dave Ronca, who led the encoding group at Netflix for 10 years and just recently delegated sign up with Facebook in a comparable capability, just recently released an excellent post on the subject of codec intricacy entitled, "Encoder Intricacy Hits the Wall." Though it's tempting to think this is only a concern for video streamers with tens or hundreds of countless customers, the very same trade-off considerations should be considered despite the size of your operations. A 30% bitrate cost savings for a 1 Mbps 480p H. 264 profile will return a 300 Kbps bandwidth cost savings. While a 30% savings at 1080p (H. 264), which is encoded at 3.5 Mbps, will give more than triple the return, at a 1 Mbps savings. The point is, we need to thoroughly and methodically consider where we are investing our calculate resources to get the maximum ROI possible.
An industrial software application solution will be built by a dedicated codec engineering group that can stabilize the requirements of bitrate efficiency, quality, and calculate performance. This remains in stark contrast to open-source tasks where contributors have different and private priorities and agendas. Precisely why the architecture of x264 and x265 can not scale. It was developed to attain a different set of tradeoffs.
Firmly insist internal teams and experts conduct calculate efficiency benchmarking on all software encoding options under consideration. The 3 vectors to measure are absolute speed (FPS), specific stream density when FPS is held constant, and the total variety of channels that can be created on a single server using a small ABR stack such as 4K, 1080p, 720p, 480p, and 360p. All encoders need to produce comparable video quality throughout all tests.
The next time your technical group prepares a video encoder shoot out, make sure to ask what their test strategy is for benchmarking the calculate efficiency (performance) of each option. With a lot upheaval in the distribution design and go-to-market organisation prepare for streaming entertainment video services, it might be appealing to lower the priority stack selection of new, more efficient software video encoders. Forfeiting this work might have a genuine effect on a service's competitiveness and capability to scale to fulfill future entertainment service requirements. With software application eating the video encoding function, compute efficiency is now the oxygen needed to grow and win against a progressively competitive and congested direct-to-consumer (D2C) marketplace.

You can try Beamr's software video encoders today and get up to More Info 100 hours of free HEVC and H. 264 video transcoding monthly. CLICK HERE

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