Ways Video Encoder Computing Efficiency Can Impact Streaming Service Quality 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 software 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 optimize a video codec application and video encoder for 2 however rarely three of the pillars. It does say that to deliver the quality of video experience consumers anticipate, video suppliers will need to assess business solutions that have been performance optimized 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 service strategies for streaming entertainment video services, it may be tempting to push down the concern stack choice of brand-new, more efficient software video encoders. With software consuming the video encoding function, compute performance is now the oxygen required to grow and win against a progressively competitive and crowded 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 procedure of video encoding was carried out with purpose-built hardware.

And then, software consumed the hardware ...

Marc Andreessen, the co-founder of Netscape and a16z the renowned equity capital company with investments in Foursquare, Skype, Twitter, box, Lyft, Airbnb, and other similarly disruptive business, penned a post for the Wall Street Journal in 2011 titled "Why Software Is Eating The World." A variation of this post can be found on the a16z.com site here.

"6 years into the computer system revolution, 4 decades since the development of the microprocessor, and twenty years into the rise of the modern-day Internet, all of the innovation required to transform markets through software application finally works and can be extensively delivered at worldwide scale." Marc Andreessen
In following with Marc Andreessen's prediction, today, software-based video encoders have actually almost completely subsumed video encoding hardware. With software application applications devoid of 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 entirely precise to say that "software is eating (or more appropriately, has actually consumed) the world."

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

Computer system software is the bedrock of every function and department in the business; accordingly, software application video encoding is vital to video streaming service operations. Software application video encoders can scale without requiring a linear boost in physical space and utilities, unlike hardware.

When handling software-based video encoding, the 3 pillars that every video encoding engineer must address are bitrate efficiency, quality conservation, and computing performance.

It's possible to enhance a video codec implementation and video encoder for two however seldom three of the pillars. The majority of video encoding operations hence focus on quality and bitrate performance, 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 application computing performance.

Bitrate effectiveness with high video quality requires resource-intensive tools, which will result in slow operational speed or a substantial 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 typically required.

Codec intricacy, such as that needed by HEVC, AV1, and the forthcoming VVC, is outmatching bitrate effectiveness advancements and this has produced the need for video encoder performance optimization. Put another way, speed matters. Traditionally, this is not an area that video encoding professionals and image scientists require to be worried about, however that is no longer the case.

Figure 1 illustrates the benefits of a software application encoding execution, which, when all attributes are normalized, such as FPS and objective quality metrics, can do twice as much deal with 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 needing to encode live 4Kp60, one can see that it is possible with Beamr 5 however not with x265. Beamr 5 set Get More Info 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 associated to the quality of service as an outcome of fewer devices and less complex encoding structures needed.

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

Video encoding compute resources cost real money.

OPEX is thought about thoroughly by every video supplier. However suppose entertainment experiences like live 4K streaming can not be delivered dependably as an outcome of a mismatch between the video operations capability and the expectation of the consumer. Remembering that lots of mobile devices sold today can 1440p if not 4K display. And customers are desiring material that matches the resolution and quality of the gadgets they carry in their pockets.

Because of performance restrictions with how the open-source encoder x265 makes use of calculate cores, it is not possible to encode a live 4Kp60 video stream on a single machine. This doesn't indicate that live 4K encoding in software isn't possible. But it does say that to deliver the quality of video experience customers anticipate, video suppliers will require to assess business solutions that have actually been efficiency optimized for high core counts and multi-threaded processors such as those available from AMD and Intel.

The need for software to be optimized for higher core counts was just recently highlighted by AMD CTO Mark Papermaster in an interview with Tom's Hardware.

Video suppliers wishing to utilize software for the versatility and virtualization options they provide will experience overly complicated engineering obstacles unless they choose encoding engines where multi-processor scaling is native to the architecture of the software encoder.
Here is a short article that shows the speed benefit of Beamr 5 over x265.

Things to think about concerning computing effectiveness and performance:

It's tempting to believe this is just a problem for video streamers with 10s or hundreds of millions of subscribers, the very 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 provide more than triple the return, at a 1 Mbps savings. The point is, we should carefully and methodically think about where we are spending our calculate resources to get the maximum ROI possible.
A commercial software solution will be constructed by a dedicated codec engineering team that can balance the requirements of bitrate performance, 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 application encoding options under factor to consider. The three vectors to measure are outright speed (FPS), private stream density when FPS is held continuous, and the overall number 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.
With so much turmoil in the distribution design and go-to-market business plans for streaming home entertainment video services, it might be tempting to push down the priority stack selection of new, more efficient software video encoders. With software application consuming the video encoding function, compute efficiency is now the oxygen needed to flourish and win against a progressively competitive and crowded direct-to-consumer (D2C) marketplace.

You can attempt out Beamr's software application video encoders today and get up to 100 hours of complimentary HEVC and H. 264 video transcoding every month. CLICK HERE

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