How Video Encoder Performance Impacts UX Mark Donnigan VP Marketing Beamr



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

Author:

Mark Donnigan is VP 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 essential to video streaming service operations. It's possible to enhance a video codec execution and video encoder for 2 but seldom 3 of the pillars. It does say that to deliver the quality of video experience customers anticipate, video distributors will need to examine commercial services that have actually been efficiency enhanced for high core counts and multi-threaded processors such as those available from AMD and Intel.

With so much upheaval in the circulation design and go-to-market business plans for streaming entertainment video services, it might be appealing to press down the top priority stack selection of new, more efficient software video encoders. With software application consuming the video encoding function, calculate efficiency is now the oxygen required to thrive and win against a progressively 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 procedure of video encoding was carried out with purpose-built hardware.

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

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

"6 years into the computer system transformation, 4 decades considering that the creation of the microprocessor, and 20 years into the rise of the modern Internet, all of the innovation needed to transform industries through software finally works and can be widely delivered 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 application applications devoid of purpose-built hardware and able to operate on ubiquitous computing platforms like Intel and AMD based x86 makers, in the data-center and virtual environments, it is entirely accurate to say that "software application is eating (or more appropriately, has actually eaten) the world."

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

Computer software application is the bedrock of every function and department in the business; accordingly, software application video encoding is important to video streaming service operations. Software video encoders can scale without needing a linear increase in physical area and utilities, unlike hardware. And software application can be moved the network and even whole data-centers in near real-time to satisfy capacity overruns or temporary rises. Software is far more flexible than hardware.

When dealing with software-based video encoding, the three pillars that every video encoding engineer should address are bitrate effectiveness, quality conservation, and computing efficiency.

It's possible to enhance a video codec application and video encoder for 2 but seldom 3 of the pillars. Most video encoding operations therefore concentrate on quality and bitrate performance, leaving the calculate performance vector open as a sort of wild card. 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 lead to slow operational speed or a considerable boost in CPU overhead. For a live encoding application where the encoder must operate at high speed to reach 60 frames-per-second (FPS), a compromise in bitrate performance or outright quality is often required.

Codec complexity, such as that required by HEVC, AV1, and the upcoming VVC, is outmatching bitrate performance improvements and this has created the requirement for video encoder performance optimization. Put another method, speed matters. Traditionally, this is not Get More Info an area that video encoding specialists and image scientists have needed to be worried about, however that is no longer the case.

Figure 1 shows the benefits of a software application encoding execution, which, when all attributes are normalized, such as FPS and objective quality metrics, can do twice as much work on 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 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 4 specific 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 related to the quality of service as a result of less makers and less complex encoding frameworks required.

For those services who are mostly worried about VOD and H. 264, the ideal half of the Figure 1 graphic programs the performance advantage of an efficiency enhanced codec execution that is set up to produce really high quality with a high bitrate performance. Here one can see as much as a 2x advantage with Beamr 4 compared to x264.

Video encoding compute resources cost genuine money.

OPEX is thought about carefully by every video distributor. Expect home entertainment experiences like live 4K streaming can not be delivered dependably as a result of an inequality between the video operations capability and the expectation of the consumer.

Due to the fact that of performance 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 imply that live 4K encoding in software application isn't possible. It does say that to provide the quality of video experience consumers anticipate, video distributors will need to assess commercial services that have actually been efficiency optimized for high core counts and multi-threaded processors such as those offered from AMD and Intel.

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

Video distributors desiring to utilize software for the flexibility and virtualization options they offer will encounter overly made complex engineering difficulties unless they select encoding engines where multi-processor scaling is belonging to the architecture of the software encoder.
Here is a short article that shows the speed benefit of Beamr 5 over x265.

Things to consider worrying computing efficiency and performance:

Don't chase after the next more advanced codec without considering first the complexity/efficiency quotient. Dave Ronca, who led the encoding team at Netflix for ten years and recently left to sign up with Facebook in a comparable capability, just recently released an excellent post on the topic of codec intricacy entitled, "Encoder Intricacy Strikes the Wall." It's appealing to think this is just a concern for video streamers with 10s or hundreds of millions of customers, the same trade-off factors to consider should be considered 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 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 should carefully and methodically think about where we are investing our compute resources to get the optimum ROI possible.
An industrial software application service will be constructed by a dedicated codec engineering group that can balance the requirements of bitrate effectiveness, quality, and calculate efficiency. Exactly why the architecture of x264 and x265 can not scale.
Firmly insist internal teams and specialists conduct compute efficiency benchmarking on all software encoding services under consideration. The three vectors to measure are absolute speed (FPS), individual stream density when FPS is held continuous, and the overall number of channels that can be produced on a single server utilizing a nominal ABR stack such as 4K, 1080p, 720p, 480p, and 360p. All encoders need to produce equivalent video quality throughout all tests.
The next time your technical group plans a video encoder shoot out, ensure to ask what their test strategy is for benchmarking the calculate effectiveness (efficiency) of each option. With so much upheaval in the distribution design and go-to-market business prepare for streaming entertainment video services, it might be appealing to press down the top priority stack selection of brand-new, more efficient software video encoders. Forfeiting this work could have a real effect on a service's competitiveness and capability to scale to fulfill future home entertainment service requirements. With software application consuming the video encoding function, compute performance is now the oxygen needed to prosper and win versus an increasingly competitive and crowded direct-to-consumer (D2C) marketplace.

You can experiment with Beamr's software application video encoders today and get up to 100 hours of totally free HEVC and H. 264 video transcoding each month. CLICK HERE

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