How Video Encoder Performance Improves Video Experience Mark Donnigan Vice President Marketing Beamr



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

Written by:

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 business; 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 two however seldom three of the pillars. It does say that to provide the quality of video experience customers expect, video suppliers will need to evaluate business services that have actually been efficiency optimized for high core counts and multi-threaded processors such as those offered from AMD and Intel.

With so much turmoil in the circulation model and go-to-market company plans for streaming home entertainment video services, it might be appealing to push down the top priority stack choice of brand-new, more efficient software video encoders. With software consuming the video encoding function, calculate performance is now the oxygen needed to prosper and win against a progressively competitive and crowded 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 procedure 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 equity capital firm with investments in Foursquare, Skype, Twitter, box, Lyft, Airbnb, and other equally disruptive business, 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 years into the computer system revolution, four decades because the creation of the microprocessor, and 2 decades into the rise of the modern Internet, all of the technology required to change industries through software finally works and can be commonly delivered at global scale." Marc Andreessen
In following with Marc Andreessen's prediction, today, software-based video encoders have actually practically entirely subsumed video encoding hardware. With software applications devoid of purpose-built hardware and able to operate on ubiquitous computing platforms like Intel and AMD based x86 machines, in the data-center and virtual environments, it is totally precise to say that "software is eating (or more properly, has actually eaten) the world."

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

Computer software application is the bedrock of every function and department in the enterprise; appropriately, 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 can be walked around the network and even entire data-centers in near real-time to fulfill capability overruns or short-lived surges. Software application is a lot more flexible than hardware.

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

It's possible to enhance a video codec application and video encoder for two but rarely three of the pillars. Many video encoding operations hence focus on quality and bitrate performance, leaving the calculate effectiveness 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 efficiency.

Bitrate efficiency with high video quality needs resource-intensive tools, which will cause slow operational speed or a considerable boost in CPU overhead. For a live encoding application where the encoder need to operate at high speed to reach 60 frames-per-second (FPS), a compromise in bitrate performance or absolute quality is often required.

Codec intricacy, such as that needed by HEVC, AV1, and the upcoming VVC, is outpacing bitrate effectiveness improvements and this has actually created the requirement 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, 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.

No alt text attended to this image
For services needing 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 private 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 structures required.

For those services who are mostly concerned with VOD and H. 264, the right half of the Figure 1 graphic programs the efficiency advantage of a performance enhanced codec execution that is established to produce extremely high quality with a high bitrate efficiency. Here one can see up to a 2x benefit with Beamr 4 compared to x264.

Video encoding calculate resources cost real money.

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

Due to the fact that 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 device. This does not imply that live 4K encoding in software application isn't possible. It does state that to deliver the quality of video experience consumers expect, video suppliers will require to evaluate industrial options that have been performance enhanced 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 higher core counts was recently highlighted by AMD CTO Mark Papermaster in an interview with Tom's Hardware.

Video suppliers wishing to utilize software for the flexibility and virtualization choices they supply will encounter overly made complex engineering obstacles unless they pick encoding engines where multi-processor scaling is belonging to the architecture of the software application encoder.
Here is an article that shows the speed advantage of Beamr 5 over x265.

Things to think of worrying computing performance and efficiency:

It's tempting to think this is just a problem for video streamers with 10s or hundreds of millions of subscribers, the exact same compromise considerations need to be thought about regardless of the size of your operations. 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 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 developed by a dedicated codec engineering group that can balance the requirements of bitrate efficiency, quality, and compute efficiency. This is in plain contrast to open-source projects where factors have separate and specific concerns and agendas. Precisely why the architecture of x264 and x265 can not scale. It was built to attain a different set of tradeoffs.
Firmly insist internal teams and specialists perform compute efficiency benchmarking on all software application encoding services under consideration. The three vectors to determine are outright speed (FPS), private stream density when FPS is held constant, and the total variety of channels that can be developed on a single server utilizing a nominal ABR stack such as 4K, 1080p, 720p, 480p, and 360p. All encoders need to produce comparable video quality throughout all tests.
The next time your technical group prepares a video encoder shoot out, make sure to ask what their test plan is for benchmarking the compute performance (efficiency) of each solution. With so much get more info upheaval in the circulation design and go-to-market service prepare for streaming entertainment video services, it may be tempting to press down the top priority stack selection of brand-new, more efficient software application video encoders. Nevertheless, surrendering this work could have an authentic effect on a service's competitiveness and capability to scale to fulfill future entertainment service requirements. With software eating the video encoding function, compute performance is now the oxygen needed to thrive and win against a significantly competitive and congested direct-to-consumer (D2C) market.

You can attempt out 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 ON THIS LINK

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