How Video Encoder Computing 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

Written by:

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


Computer software application is the bedrock of every function and department in the business; appropriately, software video encoding is essential to video streaming service operations. It's possible to enhance a video codec execution and video encoder for 2 but rarely three of the pillars. It does state that to provide the quality of video experience customers expect, video suppliers will require to examine commercial solutions that have been performance enhanced for high core counts and multi-threaded processors such as those offered from AMD and Intel.

With so much turmoil in the distribution model and go-to-market business strategies for streaming entertainment video services, it might be tempting to push down the priority stack selection of new, more effective software video encoders. With software consuming the video encoding function, compute performance is now the oxygen needed to prosper and win against a progressively competitive and congested 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 process of video encoding was performed with purpose-built hardware.

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

Marc Andreessen, the co-founder of Netscape and a16z the famous venture capital firm with financial investments in Foursquare, Skype, Twitter, box, Lyft, Airbnb, and other similarly disruptive companies, penned an article for the Wall Street Journal in 2011 entitled "Why Software Is Consuming The World." A version of this post can be discovered on the a16z.com site here.

"Six decades into the computer system revolution, four years given that the creation of the microprocessor, and 20 years into the increase of the modern Web, all of the innovation needed to change industries through software finally works and can be extensively provided at worldwide scale." Marc Andreessen
In following with Marc Andreessen's prophecy, today, software-based video encoders have actually almost entirely subsumed video encoding hardware. With software applications released from purpose-built hardware and able to operate on common computing platforms like Intel and AMD based x86 devices, in the data-center and virtual environments, it is entirely accurate to say that "software is consuming (or more appropriately, has actually consumed) the world."

What does this mean for an innovation or video operations executive?

Computer system software application is the bedrock of every function and department in the enterprise; appropriately, software video encoding is important to video streaming service operations. Software video encoders can scale without requiring a direct increase in physical area and energies, unlike hardware. And software application can be moved the network and even entire data-centers in near real-time to fulfill capability overruns or short-term rises. Software is far more versatile than hardware.

When handling software-based video encoding, the three pillars that every video encoding engineer should resolve are bitrate efficiency, quality preservation, and computing efficiency.

It's possible to enhance a video codec implementation and video encoder for two however rarely 3 of the pillars. Many video encoding operations thus focus on quality and bitrate efficiency, leaving the calculate efficiency vector open as a sort of wild card. As you will see, this is no longer a competitive approach.

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 significant boost in CPU overhead. For a live encoding application where the encoder need to run at high speed to reach 60 frames-per-second (FPS), a compromise in bitrate performance or absolute quality is frequently required.

Codec complexity, such as that required by HEVC, AV1, and the upcoming VVC, is outmatching bitrate performance developments and this has created the requirement for video encoder efficiency optimization. Put another way, speed matters. Generally, this is not a location that video encoding practitioners and image scientists have actually required to be worried about, but that is no longer the case.

Figure 1 shows the benefits of a software encoding execution, which, when all qualities are stabilized, such as FPS and objective quality metrics, can do two times as much deal with 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 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 instance while x265 operating in 'ultrafast' can not reach 60 FPS at 4K. As you can see in this poignant example, codec efficiency is straight related to the quality of service as a result of less devices Site and less complex encoding structures required.

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

Video encoding calculate resources cost real cash.

OPEX is considered carefully by every video distributor. Suppose home entertainment experiences like live 4K streaming can not be provided dependably as an outcome of an inequality in between the video operations ability and the expectation of the customer.

Since of efficiency restrictions with how the open-source encoder x265 uses compute cores, it is not possible to encode a live 4Kp60 video stream on a single device. This doesn't imply that live 4K encoding in software isn't possible. However it does state that to deliver the quality of video experience consumers anticipate, video distributors will require to examine commercial options that have been performance enhanced for high core counts and multi-threaded processors such as those offered from AMD and Intel.

The need 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 suppliers wishing to use software application for the flexibility and virtualization alternatives they supply will experience extremely complicated engineering obstacles unless they pick encoding engines where multi-processor scaling is native to the architecture of the software encoder.
Here is a post that reveals the speed advantage of Beamr 5 over x265.

Things to think about concerning computing efficiency and performance:

Don't chase the next more sophisticated codec without thinking about first the complexity/efficiency ratio. Dave Ronca, who led the encoding group at Netflix for 10 years and recently delegated sign up with Facebook in a comparable capability, just recently released an exceptional short article on the topic of codec intricacy titled, "Encoder Complexity Hits the Wall." It's tempting to think this is only a concern for video banners with tens or hundreds of millions of subscribers, the very same compromise factors to consider should be thought about 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 offer more than triple the return, at a 1 Mbps cost savings. The point is, we should thoroughly and systematically think about where we are spending our calculate resources to get the maximum ROI possible.
A commercial software application service will be built by a devoted codec engineering team that can stabilize the requirements of bitrate efficiency, quality, and compute performance. This remains in stark contrast to open-source jobs where contributors have different and individual top priorities 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 groups and specialists perform calculate efficiency benchmarking on all software encoding services under consideration. The 3 vectors to measure are outright speed (FPS), private stream density when FPS is held consistent, and the overall number of channels that can be developed on a single server utilizing a small ABR stack such as 4K, 1080p, 720p, 480p, and 360p. All encoders need to produce comparable video quality throughout all tests.
With so much upheaval in the distribution design and go-to-market business strategies for streaming home entertainment video services, it might be tempting to push down the priority stack selection of brand-new, more effective software video encoders. With software application eating the video encoding function, calculate efficiency is now the oxygen needed to flourish and win against an increasingly competitive and congested direct-to-consumer (D2C) market.

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

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