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

Get 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 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 implementation and video encoder for 2 but seldom three of the pillars. It does state that to provide the quality of video experience customers anticipate, video distributors will need to examine commercial services that have actually been efficiency optimized 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 company plans for streaming home entertainment video services, it may be appealing to push down the top priority stack selection of new, more efficient software application 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 ate the hardware ...

Marc Andreessen, the co-founder of Netscape and a16z the famed venture capital firm with investments in Foursquare, Skype, Twitter, box, Lyft, Airbnb, and other equally disruptive companies, penned a short article for the Wall Street Journal in 2011 entitled "Why Software Is Eating The World." A version of this post can be found on the site here.

"Six decades into the computer transformation, 4 years considering that the invention of the microprocessor, and 20 years into the rise of the modern Internet, all of the innovation required to change industries through software finally works and can be widely delivered at international scale." Marc Andreessen
In following with Marc Andreessen's prophecy, today, software-based video encoders have practically totally subsumed video encoding hardware. With software application applications freed from purpose-built hardware and able to run on common computing platforms like Intel and AMD based x86 devices, in the data-center and virtual environments, it is totally accurate to state that "software is consuming (or more appropriately, has actually eaten) 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 vital to video streaming service operations. Software application video encoders can scale without requiring a linear boost in physical space and energies, unlike hardware.

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

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 thus concentrate 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 method.

The next frontier is software computing performance.

Bitrate efficiency 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 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 needed by HEVC, AV1, and the upcoming VVC, is surpassing bitrate effectiveness improvements and this has actually created the need for video encoder performance optimization. Put another way, speed matters. Typically, this is not a location that video encoding professionals and image researchers require to be interested in, however that is no longer the case.

Figure 1 illustrates the advantages of a software encoding implementation, which, when all attributes are normalized, such as FPS and objective quality metrics, can do twice as much work on the exact very same AWS EC2 C5.18 xlarge circumstances.

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 specific streams on a single AWS EC2 C5.18 xlarge circumstances while x265 operating in 'ultrafast' can not reach 60 FPS Click Here to Learn More at 4K. As you can see in this poignant example, codec efficiency is straight related to the quality of service as a result of fewer makers and less complicated encoding frameworks required.

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

Video encoding compute resources cost real cash.

OPEX is considered carefully 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 imply that live 4K encoding in software application isn't possible. It does say that to provide the quality of video experience customers expect, video distributors will require to evaluate industrial options that have actually been performance optimized for high core counts and multi-threaded processors such as those readily available from AMD and Intel.

The requirement for software 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 use software for the flexibility and virtualization alternatives they provide will experience excessively made complex engineering difficulties unless they select encoding engines where multi-processor scaling is belonging to the architecture of the software encoder.
Here is an article that shows the speed advantage of Beamr 5 over x265.

Things to believe about worrying computing performance and efficiency:

Do not go 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 delegated sign up with Facebook in a comparable capability, just recently published an outstanding post on the topic of codec intricacy entitled, "Encoder Intricacy Strikes the Wall." Though it's appealing to believe this is only a problem for video streamers with tens or hundreds of countless customers, the very same compromise factors to consider should be considered 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 savings. 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 thoroughly and systematically consider where we are investing our calculate resources to get the optimum ROI possible.
An industrial software application service will be built by a devoted codec engineering team that can stabilize the requirements of bitrate effectiveness, quality, and compute efficiency. This is in stark contrast to open-source projects where factors have separate and private priorities and programs. Exactly why the architecture of x264 and x265 can not scale. It was developed to achieve a different set of tradeoffs.
Firmly insist internal teams and experts carry out calculate performance benchmarking on all software encoding solutions under consideration. The 3 vectors to measure are absolute speed (FPS), specific stream density when FPS is held constant, and the total 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 must produce equivalent video quality throughout all tests.
With so much turmoil in the distribution design and go-to-market organisation plans for streaming entertainment video services, it may be tempting to push down the top priority stack choice of new, more efficient software video encoders. With software application consuming the video encoding function, compute performance is now the oxygen required to flourish and win against a progressively competitive and crowded direct-to-consumer (D2C) market.

You can check out 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 HERE

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