Ways Video Encoder Compute 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

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

Computer system 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. It's possible to enhance a video codec application and video encoder for 2 but seldom three of the pillars. It does say that to deliver the quality of video experience customers anticipate, video distributors will need to assess business 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 turmoil in the distribution model and go-to-market organisation strategies for streaming home entertainment video services, it may be appealing to press down the priority stack selection of new, more effective software application video encoders. With software eating the video encoding function, compute performance is now the oxygen required to thrive and win against a significantly competitive and congested direct-to-consumer (D2C) marketplace.

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 carried out with purpose-built hardware.

And after that, software consumed the hardware ...

Marc Andreessen, the co-founder of Netscape and a16z the famous endeavor capital firm with investments in Foursquare, Skype, Twitter, box, Lyft, Airbnb, and other similarly disruptive companies, penned a post 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 a16z.com website here.

"6 decades into the computer system revolution, 4 years since the development of the microprocessor, and 2 years into the rise of the modern-day Web, all of the innovation required to change markets through software finally works and can be extensively provided at international scale." Marc Andreessen
In following with Marc Andreessen's prediction, today, software-based video encoders have nearly completely subsumed video encoding hardware. With software application applications freed from purpose-built hardware and able to work on ubiquitous computing platforms like Intel and AMD based x86 devices, in the data-center and virtual environments, it is completely precise to state that "software is eating (or more appropriately, has eaten) the world."

But what does this mean for a technology or video operations executive?

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

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

It's possible to optimize a video codec execution and video encoder for two however rarely three of the pillars. The majority of video encoding operations therefore concentrate on quality and bitrate performance, leaving the compute 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 performance with high video quality needs resource-intensive tools, which will lead to slow functional 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 needed.

Codec complexity, such as that required 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. Typically, this is not a location that video encoding professionals and image researchers require to be interested in, but that is no longer the case.

Figure 1 illustrates the advantages of a software encoding application, which, when all characteristics are normalized, such as FPS and objective quality metrics, can do twice as much work on the precise 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 individual 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 performance is straight associated to the quality of service as an outcome of less machines and less complicated encoding structures needed.

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

Video encoding calculate resources cost genuine money.

OPEX is considered carefully by every video distributor. Suppose entertainment experiences like live 4K streaming can not be provided reliably as an outcome of an inequality between the video operations ability and the expectation of the customer. Remembering that lots of mobile gadgets sold today can 1440p if not 4K screen. And consumers are desiring content that matches the resolution and quality of the gadgets they carry in their pockets.

Since of efficiency restrictions with how the open-source encoder x265 utilizes compute cores, it is not possible to encode a live 4Kp60 video stream on a single maker. This doesn't suggest that live 4K encoding in software isn't possible. It does state that to deliver the quality of video experience consumers expect, video suppliers will require to evaluate commercial solutions 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 to be enhanced for greater core counts was recently highlighted by AMD CTO Mark Papermaster in an interview with Tom's Hardware.

Video suppliers wishing to use software application for the versatility and virtualization options they offer will experience extremely complicated engineering obstacles unless they choose encoding engines where multi-processor scaling is belonging to the architecture of the software application encoder.
Here is a short article that reveals the speed benefit of Beamr 5 over x265.

Things to think of worrying computing efficiency and performance:

It's appealing to believe this is just a problem for video streamers with 10s or hundreds of millions of customers, the exact same trade-off factors to consider need to be considered regardless of the size of your operations. While a 30% 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 consider where we are investing our compute resources to get the optimum ROI possible.
A business software option will be built by a dedicated codec engineering team that can balance the requirements of bitrate efficiency, quality, and compute efficiency. Exactly why the architecture of x264 and x265 can not scale.
Firmly insist internal groups and consultants conduct calculate efficiency benchmarking on all software encoding solutions under consideration. The three vectors to determine are absolute speed (FPS), individual stream density when FPS is held consistent, and the total variety 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 should produce comparable video quality throughout all tests.
The next time your technical team prepares a video encoder shoot out, ensure to ask what their test plan is for benchmarking the calculate performance (performance) of each option. With so much upheaval in the circulation model and go-to-market organisation plans for streaming home entertainment video services, it may be tempting to press down the priority stack selection of brand-new, more effective software video encoders. Surrendering this work could have a genuine effect on a service's competitiveness and capability to scale to fulfill future entertainment service requirements. With software consuming the video encoding function, compute performance is now the oxygen needed to flourish and win versus a progressively competitive and congested direct-to-consumer (D2C) market.

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

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