Get the original LinkedIn article here: How Video Encoder Computing Efficiency Can Impact Streaming Service Quality
Mark Donnigan is Vice President of Marketing at Beamr, a high-performance video encoding technology company.
Computer software is the bedrock of every function and department in the business; appropriately, software application video encoding is important to video streaming service operations. It's possible to optimize a video codec execution and video encoder for two but rarely 3 of the pillars. It does say that to deliver the quality of video experience customers expect, video distributors will need to assess industrial services that have 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 circulation design and go-to-market service plans for streaming entertainment video services, it might be appealing to push down the priority stack choice of new, more effective software video encoders. With software application consuming the video encoding function, compute efficiency is now the oxygen needed to grow and win versus an increasingly competitive and crowded direct-to-consumer (D2C) marketplace.
How Video Encoder Computing Efficiency Can Impact Streaming Service Quality
Till public clouds and common computing turned software-based video operations mainstream, the procedure of video encoding was performed with purpose-built hardware.
And then, software application ate the hardware ...
Marc Andreessen, the co-founder of Netscape and a16z the renowned equity capital company with financial 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 Eating The World." A variation of this post can be discovered on the a16z.com site here.
"6 decades into the computer revolution, four decades because the invention of the microprocessor, and two decades into the rise of the modern Internet, all of the technology required to transform industries through software lastly works and can be extensively provided at international scale." Marc Andreessen
In following with Marc Andreessen's prediction, today, software-based video encoders have actually nearly completely subsumed video encoding hardware. With software applications devoid of purpose-built hardware and able to run on ubiquitous computing platforms like Intel and AMD based x86 devices, in the data-center and virtual environments, it is totally accurate to state 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 enterprise; accordingly, software application video encoding is necessary to video streaming service operations. Software application video encoders can scale without requiring a direct boost in physical space and energies, unlike hardware. And software can be walked around the network and even entire data-centers in near real-time to fulfill capacity overruns or short-term surges. Software application is much more versatile than hardware.
When handling software-based video encoding, the 3 pillars that every video encoding engineer should resolve are bitrate efficiency, quality conservation, and calculating performance.
It's possible to enhance a video codec implementation and video encoder for two however rarely three of the pillars. The majority of video encoding operations thus concentrate on quality and bitrate efficiency, leaving the calculate performance vector open as a sort of wild card. But as you will see, this is no longer a competitive method.
The next frontier is software computing performance.
Bitrate performance with high video quality needs resource-intensive tools, which will lead to slow operational speed or a substantial increase in CPU overhead. For a live encoding application where the encoder should run 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 needed by HEVC, AV1, and the upcoming VVC, is outpacing bitrate efficiency developments and this has actually developed the requirement for video encoder performance optimization. Put another way, speed matters. Traditionally, this is not an area that video encoding specialists and image scientists have actually required 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 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 More Info 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 circumstances while x265 operating in 'ultrafast' can not reach 60 FPS at 4K. As you can see in this poignant example, codec efficiency is straight associated to the quality of service as a result of fewer devices and less complex encoding structures needed.
For those services who are mainly worried with VOD and H. 264, the best half of the Figure 1 graphic programs the performance benefit of a performance optimized codec implementation that is established to produce really 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 calculate resources cost real cash.
OPEX is thought about thoroughly by every video distributor. Suppose home entertainment experiences like live 4K streaming can not be provided reliably as a result of a mismatch in between the video operations ability and the expectation of the consumer. Keeping in mind that numerous mobile devices sold today are capable of 1440p if not 4K display screen. And customers are wanting material that matches the resolution and quality of the devices they bring in their pockets.
Because of performance constraints with how the open-source encoder x265 uses calculate cores, it is not possible to encode a live 4Kp60 video stream on a single machine. This does not suggest that live 4K encoding in software isn't possible. However it does state that to deliver the quality of video experience customers anticipate, video suppliers will need to assess commercial options that have actually been performance optimized 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 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 choices they supply will encounter excessively complicated engineering difficulties unless they pick encoding engines where multi-processor scaling is native to the architecture of the software encoder.
Here is a short article that reveals the speed benefit of Beamr 5 over x265.
Things to believe about worrying computing efficiency and efficiency:
It's tempting to think this is only an issue for video banners with tens or hundreds of millions of subscribers, the exact same trade-off considerations need to be considered regardless of the size of your operations. While a 30% cost savings at 1080p (H. 264), which is encoded at 3.5 Mbps, will provide more than triple the return, at a 1 Mbps savings. The point is, we should thoroughly and methodically think about where we are spending our calculate resources to get the maximum ROI possible.
An industrial software service will be developed by a dedicated codec engineering group that can stabilize the requirements of bitrate effectiveness, quality, and compute performance. Precisely why the architecture of x264 and x265 can not scale.
Insist internal groups and specialists conduct compute performance benchmarking on all software encoding solutions under consideration. The 3 vectors to measure are absolute speed (FPS), individual stream density when FPS is held continuous, and the overall variety of channels that can be created on a single server using a nominal ABR stack such as 4K, 1080p, 720p, 480p, and 360p. All encoders should produce equivalent video quality throughout all tests.
With so much upheaval in the distribution model and go-to-market organisation plans for streaming entertainment video services, it might be tempting to push down the concern stack choice of new, more effective software video encoders. With software application eating the video encoding function, calculate efficiency is now the oxygen required to prosper and win against a progressively competitive and crowded direct-to-consumer (D2C) marketplace.
You can experiment with Beamr's software video encoders today and get up to 100 hours of totally free HEVC and H. 264 video transcoding monthly. CLICK HERE