Ways Video Encoder Performance Impacts Streaming Quality 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 technology company.


Computer system software application is the bedrock of every function and department in the enterprise; accordingly, software application video encoding is necessary to video streaming service operations. It's possible to optimize a video codec application and video encoder for 2 however seldom three of the pillars. It does state that to deliver the quality of video experience customers expect, video suppliers will need to examine commercial services 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 distribution model and go-to-market organisation plans for streaming home entertainment video services, it may be appealing to push down the top priority stack selection of brand-new, more effective software application video encoders. With software application consuming the video encoding function, calculate efficiency is now the oxygen required to flourish and win against a progressively competitive and congested direct-to-consumer (D2C) market.



How Video Encoder Computing Efficiency Can Impact Streaming Service Quality

Till public clouds and ubiquitous computing turned software-based video operations mainstream, the process of video encoding was carried out with purpose-built hardware.

And after that, software application ate the hardware ...

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

"6 years into the computer system transformation, four decades considering that the innovation of the microprocessor, and two years into the rise of the modern Internet, all of the innovation required to change industries through software finally works and can be widely provided at global scale." Marc Andreessen
In following with Marc Andreessen's prophecy, today, software-based video encoders have practically completely subsumed video encoding hardware. With software application applications released from purpose-built hardware and able to operate on common computing platforms like Intel and AMD based x86 machines, in the data-center and virtual environments, it is entirely precise to state that "software is eating (or more appropriately, has eaten) the world."

What does this mean for an innovation or video operations executive?

Computer software is the bedrock of every function and department in the enterprise; accordingly, software video encoding is necessary to video streaming service operations. Software video encoders can scale without requiring a direct increase in physical space and utilities, unlike hardware.

When handling software-based video encoding, the three pillars that every video encoding engineer must resolve are bitrate effectiveness, quality conservation, and computing performance.

It's possible to enhance a video codec execution and video encoder for 2 but rarely 3 of the pillars. The majority of video encoding operations thus focus on quality and bitrate efficiency, leaving the compute performance vector open as a sort of wild card. However as you will see, this is no longer a competitive method.

The next frontier is software computing efficiency.

Bitrate performance with high video quality requires resource-intensive tools, which will cause slow operational speed or a substantial boost in CPU overhead. For a live encoding application where the encoder should operate at high speed to reach 60 frames-per-second (FPS), a compromise in bitrate effectiveness or absolute quality is typically required.

Codec intricacy, such as that needed by HEVC, AV1, and the forthcoming VVC, is exceeding bitrate performance developments and this has actually developed the requirement for video encoder efficiency optimization. Put another method, speed matters. Traditionally, this is not a location that video encoding practitioners and image scientists have actually required to be interested in, more info here but that is no longer the case.

Figure 1 illustrates the advantages of a software encoding execution, which, when all attributes are stabilized, such as FPS and unbiased quality metrics, can do two times as much deal with the precise very 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 comparable 'ultrafast' mode can encode four private streams on a single AWS EC2 C5.18 xlarge circumstances while x265 operating in 'ultrafast' can not reach 60 FPS at 4K. As you can see in this poignant example, codec efficiency is directly associated to the quality of service as a result of fewer makers and less complicated encoding frameworks required.

For those services who are mostly worried with VOD and H. 264, the best half of the Figure 1 graphic shows the efficiency benefit of a performance enhanced codec execution that is set up to produce very high quality with a high bitrate efficiency. Here one can see up to a 2x benefit with Beamr 4 compared to x264.

Video encoding calculate resources cost real money.

OPEX is considered carefully by every video supplier. Expect home entertainment experiences like live 4K streaming can not be delivered dependably as an outcome of a mismatch in between the video operations capability and the expectation of the consumer.

Because of efficiency constraints with how the open-source encoder x265 utilizes compute cores, it is not possible to encode a live 4Kp60 video stream on a single machine. This does not mean that live 4K encoding in software application isn't possible. It does state that to deliver the quality of video experience customers anticipate, video distributors will require to evaluate industrial options that have been efficiency enhanced for high core counts and multi-threaded processors such as those available from AMD and Intel.

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

Video suppliers wanting to use software for the versatility and virtualization choices they supply will experience overly made complex engineering hurdles unless they select encoding engines where multi-processor scaling is belonging to the architecture of the software encoder.
Here is an article that reveals the speed benefit of Beamr 5 over x265.

Things to consider worrying computing performance and performance:

It's appealing to believe this is only an issue for video banners with 10s or hundreds of millions of subscribers, the very same compromise considerations must be thought about regardless of the size of your operations. While a 30% cost savings at 1080p (H. 264), which is encoded at 3.5 Mbps, will give more than triple the return, at a 1 Mbps cost savings. The point is, we should carefully and methodically consider where we are spending our calculate resources to get the optimum ROI possible.
A business software option will be constructed by a devoted codec engineering group that can stabilize the requirements of bitrate effectiveness, quality, and calculate performance. Exactly why the architecture of x264 and x265 can not scale.
Insist internal teams and specialists conduct compute efficiency benchmarking on all software encoding services under factor to consider. The 3 vectors to determine are absolute speed (FPS), specific stream density when FPS is held continuous, and the total number of channels that can be created on a single server utilizing a small ABR stack such as 4K, 1080p, 720p, 480p, and 360p. All encoders must produce comparable video quality throughout all tests.
The next time your technical group plans a video encoder shoot out, make sure to ask what their test plan is for benchmarking the compute performance (performance) of each option. With a lot upheaval in the distribution design and go-to-market service strategies for streaming entertainment video services, it might be tempting to lower the concern stack choice of brand-new, more efficient software video encoders. However, surrendering 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 consuming the video encoding function, compute performance is now the oxygen needed to grow and win versus a progressively competitive and crowded direct-to-consumer (D2C) marketplace.

You can check out Beamr's software video encoders today and get up to 100 hours of complimentary HEVC and H. 264 video transcoding each month. CLICK HERE

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