Ways Video Encoder Performance Improves Streaming Quality Mark Donnigan VP 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 at Beamr, a high-performance video encoding innovation company.


Computer software is the bedrock of every function and department in the business; appropriately, software video encoding is vital to video streaming service operations. It's possible to optimize a video codec implementation and video encoder for 2 however rarely three of the pillars. It does state that to provide the quality of video experience consumers expect, video suppliers will need to examine industrial services that have actually been efficiency enhanced for high core counts and multi-threaded processors such as those readily available from AMD and Intel.

With so much upheaval in the distribution design and go-to-market service strategies for streaming entertainment video services, it may be tempting to push down the concern stack choice of brand-new, more effective software video encoders. With software application consuming the video encoding function, calculate efficiency is now the oxygen required to grow and win against a progressively competitive and crowded direct-to-consumer (D2C) market.



How Video Encoder Computing Efficiency Can Impact Streaming Service Quality

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

And then, software ate the hardware ...

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

"6 years into the computer revolution, 4 years because the creation of the microprocessor, and two decades into the rise of the contemporary Internet, all of the innovation required to transform industries through software application lastly works and can be commonly provided at worldwide scale." Marc Andreessen
In following with Marc Andreessen's prediction, today, software-based video encoders have actually nearly entirely subsumed video encoding hardware. With software applications devoid of purpose-built hardware and able to operate on ubiquitous computing platforms like Intel and AMD based x86 machines, in the data-center and virtual environments, it is completely precise to say that "software is consuming (or more appropriately, has actually eaten) the world."

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

Computer software is the bedrock of every function and department in the enterprise; appropriately, software application video encoding is essential to video streaming service operations. Software video encoders can scale without needing a direct boost in physical space and energies, unlike hardware.

When dealing with software-based video encoding, the 3 pillars that every video encoding engineer should deal with are bitrate efficiency, quality preservation, and computing efficiency.

It's possible to optimize a video codec implementation and video encoder for two however seldom three of the pillars. A lot of video encoding operations therefore focus on quality and bitrate efficiency, leaving the calculate performance vector open as a sort of wild card. However as you will see, this is no longer a competitive technique.

The next frontier is software application computing efficiency.

Bitrate efficiency with high video quality needs resource-intensive tools, which will lead to slow operational speed or a considerable increase 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 efficiency or outright quality is frequently required.

Codec intricacy, such as that required by HEVC, AV1, and the upcoming VVC, is outmatching bitrate effectiveness developments and this has actually produced the requirement for video encoder performance optimization. Put another method, speed matters. Traditionally, this is not a location that video encoding professionals and image scientists have actually needed to be worried about, however that is no longer the case.

Figure 1 get more info illustrates the benefits of a software application encoding application, which, when all characteristics are normalized, such as FPS and unbiased quality metrics, can do two times as much work on 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 requiring 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 individual 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 performance is straight related to the quality of service as a result of less devices and less complicated encoding frameworks needed.

For those services who are primarily concerned with VOD and H. 264, the best half of the Figure 1 graphic shows the efficiency advantage of a performance optimized codec application that is set up to produce extremely high quality with a high bitrate efficiency. 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 thought about carefully by every video supplier. Expect home entertainment experiences like live 4K streaming can not be provided dependably as a result of a mismatch in between the video operations ability and the expectation of the customer.

Since of performance limitations with how the open-source encoder x265 utilizes calculate cores, it is not possible to encode a live 4Kp60 video stream on a single maker. This does not indicate that live 4K encoding in software isn't possible. However it does say that to deliver the quality of video experience customers anticipate, video distributors will need to examine business services that have been efficiency optimized for high core counts and multi-threaded processors such as those readily available from AMD and Intel.

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

Video suppliers desiring to use software for the flexibility and virtualization choices they offer will experience extremely complicated engineering hurdles unless they pick encoding engines where multi-processor scaling is belonging to the architecture of the software encoder.
Here is a post that shows the speed benefit of Beamr 5 over x265.

Things to believe about worrying computing efficiency and performance:

Don't chase after the next more sophisticated codec without thinking about initially the complexity/efficiency quotient. Dave Ronca, who led the encoding team at Netflix for 10 years and recently left to join Facebook in a similar capability, recently released an outstanding short article on the topic of codec complexity titled, "Encoder Intricacy Strikes the Wall." It's tempting to think this is just a concern for video banners with 10s or hundreds of millions of subscribers, the exact same trade-off considerations must be thought about regardless of 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% cost 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 compute resources to get the maximum ROI possible.
An industrial software service will be built by a devoted codec engineering team that can balance the requirements of bitrate effectiveness, quality, and compute efficiency. This is in plain contrast to open-source tasks where factors have separate and specific concerns and programs. Precisely why the architecture of x264 and x265 can not scale. It was developed to accomplish a various set of tradeoffs.
Insist internal teams and experts carry out calculate performance benchmarking on all software encoding solutions under factor to consider. The three vectors to determine are outright speed (FPS), individual stream density when FPS is held consistent, and the overall number of channels that can be produced 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.
With so much upheaval in the distribution model and go-to-market company plans for streaming entertainment video services, it may be tempting to push down the priority stack selection of new, more effective software application video encoders. With software application consuming the video encoding function, compute efficiency is now the oxygen required to grow and win versus a progressively competitive and crowded direct-to-consumer (D2C) marketplace.

You can try Beamr's software video encoders today and get up to 100 hours of complimentary HEVC and H. 264 video transcoding on a monthly basis. CLICK ON THIS LINK

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