How Video Encoder Computing Efficiency Can Impact Streaming Service Quality Mark Donnigan VP Marketing Beamr

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


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

Computer software is the bedrock of every function and department in the business; accordingly, software video encoding is essential to video streaming service operations. It's possible to enhance a video codec execution and video encoder for two but rarely three of the pillars. It does say that to provide the quality of video experience customers anticipate, video suppliers will need to assess business 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 turmoil in the circulation model and go-to-market company plans for streaming home entertainment video services, it may be appealing to push down the concern stack selection of brand-new, more efficient software video encoders. With software consuming the video encoding function, compute efficiency is now the oxygen required to flourish and win against a significantly competitive and congested direct-to-consumer (D2C) market.

How Video Encoder Computing Efficiency Can Impact Streaming Service Quality

Up 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 endeavor capital firm with financial investments in Foursquare, Skype, Twitter, box, Lyft, Airbnb, and other similarly disruptive companies, penned a post for the Wall Street Journal in 2011 titled "Why Software Is Eating The World." A version of this post can be discovered on the site here.

"6 years into the computer system revolution, 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 change markets through software application finally works and can be widely delivered at international 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 application applications released from 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 entirely precise to state that "software is consuming (or more properly, has 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 business; accordingly, software application video encoding is important to video streaming service operations. Software video encoders can scale without needing a linear boost in physical space and utilities, unlike hardware. And software application can be moved around the network and even whole data-centers in near real-time to satisfy capability overruns or temporary rises. Software application is much more versatile than hardware.

When handling software-based video encoding, the three pillars that every video encoding engineer needs to address are bitrate performance, quality preservation, and calculating performance.

It's possible to optimize a video codec implementation and video encoder for 2 but seldom 3 of the pillars. Many video encoding operations hence focus on quality and bitrate performance, leaving the calculate efficiency vector open as a sort of wild card. But as you will see, this is no longer a competitive technique.

The next frontier is software computing efficiency.

Bitrate efficiency with high video quality requires resource-intensive tools, which will cause slow functional speed or a significant 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 outright quality is often required.

Codec complexity, such as that needed by HEVC, AV1, and the upcoming VVC, is outmatching bitrate efficiency developments and this has produced the requirement for video encoder efficiency optimization. Put another method, speed matters. Typically, this is not an area that video encoding specialists and image researchers require to be worried about, however that is no longer the case.

Figure 1 illustrates the advantages of a software application 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.

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For services needing to encode live 4Kp60, one can see that it is possible with Beamr 5 but not with x265. Beamr 5 set to the x264 equivalent 'ultrafast' mode can encode 4 specific 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 ideal 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 distributor. Expect entertainment experiences like live 4K streaming can not be provided dependably as a result of a mismatch in between the video operations capability and the expectation of the consumer.

Because of performance limitations with how the open-source encoder x265 utilizes compute cores, it is not possible to encode a live 4Kp60 video stream on a single maker. This doesn't suggest that live 4K encoding in software isn't possible. It does say that to provide the quality of video experience customers 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 offered from AMD and Intel.

The requirement for software application 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 wanting to use software application for the versatility and virtualization choices they offer will experience overly made complex engineering hurdles 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 worrying computing performance and performance:

Don't chase the next more advanced codec without thinking about first the complexity/efficiency quotient. Dave Ronca, who led the encoding group at Netflix for 10 years and just recently delegated sign up with Facebook in a comparable capability, just recently released an excellent post on the topic of codec intricacy entitled, "Encoder Intricacy Strikes the Wall." It's tempting to believe this is just a problem for video streamers with tens or hundreds of millions of subscribers, the very same compromise factors to consider should 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 provide more than triple the return, at a 1 Mbps savings. The point is, we should thoroughly and methodically consider where we are investing our calculate resources to get the maximum ROI possible.
An industrial software option will be constructed by a devoted codec engineering team that can balance the requirements of bitrate efficiency, quality, and calculate efficiency. This is in stark contrast to open-source tasks where contributors have different and private concerns and programs. Precisely why the architecture of x264 and x265 can not scale. It was developed to accomplish a different set of tradeoffs.
Firmly insist internal groups and consultants perform calculate efficiency benchmarking on all software encoding solutions under factor to consider. The three vectors to determine are absolute speed (FPS), private stream density when FPS is more info here held consistent, and the overall variety 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 similar video quality throughout all tests.
With so much turmoil in the circulation model and go-to-market organisation plans for streaming entertainment video services, it may be tempting to push down the priority stack choice of brand-new, more efficient software 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) market.

You can check out Beamr's software video encoders today and get up to 100 hours of free HEVC and H. 264 video transcoding on a monthly basis. CLICK ON THIS LINK

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