How Video Encoder Computing Efficiency Can Impact Streaming Service Quality Mark Donnigan VP Marketing Beamr

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


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

Computer software is the bedrock of every function and department in the enterprise; accordingly, software video encoding is vital to video streaming service operations. It's possible to enhance a video codec application and video encoder for 2 however hardly ever 3 of the pillars. It does state that to deliver the quality of video experience consumers expect, video suppliers will require to evaluate business solutions that have been efficiency optimized for high core counts and multi-threaded processors such as those offered from AMD and Intel.

With so much upheaval in the circulation model and go-to-market service strategies for streaming entertainment video services, it may be tempting to push down the concern stack choice of new, more effective software video encoders. With software application consuming the video encoding function, calculate efficiency is now the oxygen required to flourish and win against a significantly competitive and congested 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 process of video encoding was performed with purpose-built hardware.

And then, software consumed the hardware ...

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

"Six decades into the computer revolution, four years because the development of the microprocessor, and 20 years into the increase of the contemporary Internet, all of the technology needed to transform industries through software finally works and can be commonly delivered at worldwide scale." Marc Andreessen
In following with Marc Andreessen's prophecy, today, software-based video encoders have nearly completely subsumed video encoding hardware. With software applications devoid of purpose-built hardware and able to work on ubiquitous computing platforms like Intel and AMD based x86 makers, in the data-center and virtual environments, it is entirely precise to state that "software application is consuming (or more appropriately, has actually consumed) the world."

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

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. Software video encoders can scale without needing a linear boost in physical area and energies, unlike hardware.

When dealing with software-based video encoding, the 3 pillars that every video encoding engineer must attend to are bitrate efficiency, quality conservation, and calculating performance.

It's possible to enhance a video codec execution and video encoder for two but seldom 3 of the pillars. Many video encoding operations hence focus on quality and bitrate performance, leaving the calculate performance vector open as a sort of wild card. But as you will see, this is no longer a competitive technique.

The next frontier is software computing performance.

Bitrate effectiveness with high video quality needs resource-intensive tools, which will result in slow functional speed or a significant increase 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 efficiency or outright quality is frequently needed.

Codec intricacy, such as that required by HEVC, AV1, and the upcoming VVC, is exceeding bitrate effectiveness advancements and this has actually created the need for video encoder performance optimization. Put another way, speed matters. Traditionally, this is not an area that video encoding practitioners and image scientists require to be interested in, however that is no longer the case.

Figure 1 highlights the benefits of a software application encoding execution, which, when all qualities are stabilized, such as FPS and unbiased quality metrics, can do twice as much deal Site with the exact 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 however not with x265. Beamr 5 set to the x264 comparable 'ultrafast' mode can encode 4 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 fewer machines and less complicated encoding structures required.

For those services who are mainly interested in VOD and H. 264, the ideal half of the Figure 1 graphic shows the efficiency benefit of an efficiency optimized codec execution that is set up to produce extremely high quality with a high bitrate effectiveness. Here one can see approximately a 2x advantage with Beamr 4 compared to x264.

Video encoding compute resources cost real cash.

OPEX is thought about thoroughly by every video distributor. Expect entertainment experiences like live 4K streaming can not be provided reliably as an outcome of a mismatch in between the video operations capability and the expectation of the customer.

Because of efficiency limitations with how the open-source encoder x265 uses calculate cores, it is not possible to encode a live 4Kp60 video stream on a single device. This does not mean that live 4K encoding in software isn't possible. It does say that to provide the quality of video experience customers expect, video suppliers will need to assess business solutions that have been efficiency enhanced for high core counts and multi-threaded processors such as those readily available from AMD and Intel.

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

Video suppliers desiring to utilize software for the flexibility and virtualization choices they offer will come across excessively made complex engineering difficulties unless they pick encoding engines where multi-processor scaling is belonging to the architecture of the software encoder.
Here is a short article that reveals the speed advantage of Beamr 5 over x265.

Things to think of worrying computing performance and efficiency:

Do not go after the next advanced codec without thinking about initially the complexity/efficiency ratio. Dave Ronca, who led the encoding group at Netflix for 10 years and just recently delegated sign up with Facebook in a comparable capacity, just recently released an exceptional post on the subject of codec intricacy entitled, "Encoder Intricacy Hits the Wall." Though it's tempting to think this is only an issue for video streamers with 10s or numerous countless subscribers, the exact same trade-off considerations must be thought about regardless of the size of your operations. A 30% bitrate 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 offer more than triple the return, at a 1 Mbps cost savings. The point is, we should carefully and systematically think about where we are spending our calculate resources to get the optimum ROI possible.
A business software option will be built by a devoted codec engineering group that can balance the requirements of bitrate effectiveness, quality, and compute efficiency. Precisely why the architecture of x264 and x265 can not scale.
Insist internal teams and experts conduct calculate efficiency benchmarking on all software encoding services under consideration. The three vectors to measure are outright speed (FPS), individual stream density when FPS is held constant, and the overall variety of channels that can be created on a single server utilizing a nominal ABR stack such as 4K, 1080p, 720p, 480p, and 360p. All encoders must produce similar video quality throughout all tests.
With so much upheaval in the distribution design and go-to-market organisation strategies for streaming entertainment video services, it may be appealing to press down the priority stack selection of brand-new, more effective software video encoders. With software eating the video encoding function, calculate performance is now the oxygen required to prosper and win versus a significantly competitive and crowded direct-to-consumer (D2C) marketplace.

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

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