How Software Encoder Performance Improves UX Mark Donnigan Vice President Marketing Beamr



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

Author:

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 business; appropriately, software video encoding is essential to video streaming service operations. It's possible to optimize a video codec execution and video encoder for two however rarely three of the pillars. It does state that to provide 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 readily available from AMD and Intel.

With so much upheaval in the distribution model and go-to-market organisation plans for streaming entertainment video services, it may be appealing to press down the priority stack selection of new, more effective software application video encoders. With software application consuming the video encoding function, compute performance is now the oxygen needed to prosper and win versus a significantly 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 process of video encoding was performed with purpose-built hardware.

And then, software application ate the hardware ...

Marc Andreessen, the co-founder of Netscape and a16z the famed venture capital firm with financial investments in Foursquare, Skype, Twitter, box, Lyft, Airbnb, and other similarly 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 a16z.com website here.

"Six years into the computer system transformation, four decades since the innovation of the microprocessor, and 20 years into the increase of the modern-day Web, all of the technology required to transform markets through software lastly 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 nearly totally subsumed video encoding hardware. With software applications devoid of purpose-built hardware and able to work on common computing platforms like Intel and AMD based x86 devices, in the data-center and virtual environments, it is completely precise to state that "software application is eating (or more properly, has actually eaten) the world."

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

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

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

It's possible to optimize a video codec application and video encoder for 2 however seldom 3 of the pillars. A lot of video encoding operations hence 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 method.

The next frontier is software application computing efficiency.

Bitrate performance with high video quality requires resource-intensive tools, which will result in slow functional speed or a substantial increase in CPU overhead. For a live encoding application where the encoder should run at high speed to reach 60 frames-per-second (FPS), a compromise in bitrate performance or outright quality is frequently needed.

Codec intricacy, 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. Traditionally, this is not an area that video encoding practitioners and image scientists have actually required to be interested in, but that is no longer the case.

Figure 1 shows the benefits of a software encoding application, which, when all characteristics are stabilized, such as FPS and unbiased quality metrics, can do two times as much deal with the specific 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 equivalent '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 performance is directly associated to the quality of service as an outcome of less devices and less complex encoding frameworks required.

For those services who are mostly worried with VOD and H. 264, the best half of the Figure 1 graphic shows the performance benefit of an efficiency enhanced codec application that is set up to produce very high quality with a high bitrate performance. Here one can see approximately a 2x benefit with Beamr 4 compared to x264.

Video encoding compute resources cost real cash.

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

Because of performance limitations with how the open-source encoder x265 uses compute cores, it is not possible to encode a live 4Kp60 video stream on a single maker. This doesn't indicate that live 4K encoding in software 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 been performance enhanced for high core counts and multi-threaded processors such as those 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 wishing to use software for the flexibility and virtualization alternatives they supply will encounter excessively made complex engineering difficulties unless they select encoding engines where multi-processor scaling is native to the architecture of the software encoder.
Here is a short article that reveals the speed advantage of Beamr 5 over x265.

Things to think of concerning computing effectiveness and efficiency:

It's tempting to think this is only an issue for video banners with 10s or hundreds of millions of subscribers, the same compromise factors to consider should be considered regardless of the size of your operations. While a 30% cost 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 need to carefully 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 calculate performance. This remains in stark contrast to open-source tasks where contributors have separate and specific concerns and agendas. Exactly why the architecture of x264 and x265 can not scale. It was built to achieve a different set of tradeoffs.
Firmly insist internal teams and consultants perform calculate efficiency benchmarking on all software application encoding solutions under factor to consider. The three vectors to measure are outright speed (FPS), individual stream density when FPS is held consistent, 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 comparable video quality throughout all tests.
With so much upheaval in the distribution model and go-to-market business plans for streaming entertainment video services, it might be appealing to press down the priority stack selection of brand-new, more effective software video encoders. With software consuming the video encoding function, calculate efficiency is now the oxygen needed to Get More Info thrive and win versus a progressively competitive and crowded direct-to-consumer (D2C) marketplace.

You can experiment with 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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