How 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

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Mark Donnigan is VP Marketing for Beamr, a high-performance video encoding technology company.

Computer system software is the bedrock of every function and department in the enterprise; appropriately, software application video encoding is important to video streaming service operations. It's possible to enhance a video codec implementation and video encoder for two but rarely 3 of the pillars. It does state that to provide the quality of video experience consumers expect, video distributors will need to assess industrial options 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 upheaval in the circulation model and go-to-market company strategies for streaming home entertainment video services, it may be tempting to push down the concern stack choice of brand-new, more effective software video encoders. With software eating the video encoding function, calculate efficiency is now the oxygen required to thrive and win versus a progressively competitive and crowded direct-to-consumer (D2C) market.

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 consumed 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 business, penned a post for the Wall Street Journal in 2011 entitled "Why Software application Is Consuming The World." A variation of this post can be found on the website here.

"Six decades into the computer transformation, 4 decades considering that the innovation of the microprocessor, and twenty years into the increase of the contemporary Internet, all of the technology required to change markets through software application lastly works and can be widely provided at international scale." Marc Andreessen
In following with Marc Andreessen's prophecy, today, software-based video encoders have practically completely subsumed video encoding hardware. With software applications freed from purpose-built hardware and able to run on common computing platforms like Intel and AMD based x86 machines, in the data-center and virtual environments, it is totally precise to state that "software is consuming (or more properly, has eaten) the world."

But what does this mean for an innovation or video operations executive?

Computer system software is the bedrock of every function and department in the enterprise; appropriately, software video encoding is necessary to video streaming service operations. Software video encoders can scale without needing a linear increase in physical area and utilities, unlike hardware.

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

It's possible to optimize a video codec implementation and video encoder for 2 but seldom 3 of the pillars. The majority of video encoding operations therefore concentrate 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 efficiency.

Bitrate performance with high video quality requires resource-intensive tools, which will lead to slow functional speed or a substantial increase 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 efficiency or absolute quality is often needed.

Codec complexity, such as that needed by HEVC, AV1, and the forthcoming VVC, is exceeding bitrate performance advancements and this has produced the requirement for video encoder efficiency optimization. Put another method, speed matters. Generally, this is not a location that video encoding professionals and image researchers have actually required to be interested in, however that is no longer the case.

Figure 1 shows the benefits of a software application encoding implementation, which, when all attributes are normalized, such as FPS and objective quality metrics, can do twice as much work on 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 four private 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 an outcome of fewer devices and less complicated encoding frameworks required.

For those services who More Info Now are mostly 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 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 calculate resources cost genuine money.

OPEX is thought about thoroughly by every video distributor. But suppose home entertainment experiences like live 4K streaming can not be delivered dependably as an outcome of a mismatch in between the video operations capability and the expectation of the customer. Bearing in mind that numerous mobile phones offered today can 1440p if not 4K screen. And customers are wanting content that matches the resolution and quality of the devices they carry in their pockets.

Due to the fact that of efficiency restrictions with how the open-source encoder x265 utilizes compute cores, it is not possible to encode a live 4Kp60 video stream on a single device. This doesn't suggest that live 4K encoding in software application isn't possible. However it does state that to deliver the quality of video experience consumers anticipate, video distributors will need to examine industrial services that have actually been efficiency optimized for high core counts and multi-threaded processors such as those readily available from AMD and Intel.

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

Video suppliers wanting to utilize software for the flexibility and virtualization choices they provide will experience overly made complex engineering hurdles unless they choose encoding engines where multi-processor scaling is native to the architecture of the software application encoder.
Here is a short article that shows the speed benefit of Beamr 5 over x265.

Things to think of worrying computing efficiency and efficiency:

Do not chase the next advanced codec without thinking about first the complexity/efficiency quotient. Dave Ronca, who led the encoding team at Netflix for 10 years and just recently delegated join Facebook in a comparable capacity, recently released an excellent article on the topic of codec complexity entitled, "Encoder Intricacy Strikes the Wall." It's appealing to believe this is just a concern for video streamers with tens or hundreds of millions of subscribers, the same compromise considerations must be considered 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 cost savings. While a 30% cost 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 need to thoroughly and systematically think about where we are spending our compute resources to get the maximum ROI possible.
A commercial software application service will be constructed by a devoted codec engineering team that can stabilize the requirements of bitrate effectiveness, quality, and calculate performance. Precisely why the architecture of x264 and x265 can not scale.
Insist internal teams and experts carry out calculate performance benchmarking on all software application encoding services under consideration. The 3 vectors to measure are outright speed (FPS), private stream density when FPS is held continuous, and the total variety of channels that can be developed on a single server using a nominal ABR stack such as 4K, 1080p, 720p, 480p, and 360p. All encoders need to produce similar video quality throughout all tests.
The next time your technical team prepares a video encoder shoot out, make certain to ask what their test plan is for benchmarking the calculate effectiveness (efficiency) of each solution. With so much turmoil in the distribution model and go-to-market organisation plans for streaming home entertainment video services, it might be tempting to press down the top priority stack selection of new, more effective software application video encoders. However, forfeiting this work might have a real effect on a service's competitiveness and ability to scale to satisfy future home entertainment service requirements. With software eating the video encoding function, compute efficiency is now the oxygen required to grow and win versus an increasingly competitive and crowded direct-to-consumer (D2C) marketplace.

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

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