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

Author:

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


Computer 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. It's possible to enhance a video codec implementation and video encoder for two however rarely three of the pillars. It does state that to deliver the quality of video experience consumers expect, video suppliers will require to evaluate industrial options that have been performance optimized 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 service strategies for streaming entertainment video services, it may be tempting to push down the top priority stack choice of new, more efficient software video encoders. With software application consuming the video encoding function, calculate efficiency 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

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 after that, software application consumed the hardware ...

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

"Six decades into the computer revolution, 4 years because the creation of the microprocessor, and two years into the rise of the contemporary Internet, all of the technology needed to change markets through software application finally works and can be widely provided at global scale." Marc Andreessen
In following with Marc Andreessen's prediction, today, software-based video encoders have actually nearly entirely subsumed video encoding hardware. With software application applications released from purpose-built hardware and able to run on ubiquitous computing platforms like Intel and AMD based x86 makers, in the data-center and virtual environments, it is entirely precise to say that "software is consuming (or more appropriately, has eaten) the world."

What does this mean for a technology or video operations executive?

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

When dealing with software-based video encoding, the three pillars that every video encoding engineer needs to deal with are bitrate efficiency, quality preservation, and computing performance.

It's possible to optimize a video codec execution and video encoder for two however rarely 3 of the pillars. Many video encoding operations hence concentrate on quality and bitrate efficiency, leaving the compute performance 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 application computing performance.

Bitrate effectiveness with high video quality needs 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 must operate at high speed to reach 60 frames-per-second (FPS), a compromise in bitrate effectiveness or absolute quality is frequently required.

Codec complexity, such as that required by HEVC, AV1, and the upcoming VVC, is outpacing bitrate effectiveness improvements and this has created the need for video encoder efficiency optimization. Put another method, speed matters. Generally, this is not an area that video encoding practitioners and image scientists have required to be worried about, however that is no longer the case.

Figure 1 shows the advantages of a software encoding implementation, which, when all qualities 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 but 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 associated to the quality of service as a result of fewer machines and less complex encoding frameworks needed.

For those services who are mostly interested in VOD and H. 264, the right half of the Figure 1 graphic shows the efficiency benefit of an efficiency optimized codec implementation that is set up to produce extremely 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 thoroughly by every video distributor. Expect home entertainment experiences like live 4K streaming can not be delivered dependably as a result of a mismatch in between the video operations capability and the expectation of the consumer.

Because of performance constraints with how the open-source encoder x265 utilizes calculate cores, it is not possible to encode a live 4Kp60 video stream on a single machine. This doesn't imply that live 4K encoding in software application isn't possible. But it does say that to deliver the quality of video experience consumers anticipate, video suppliers will need to examine commercial options that have been performance enhanced for high core counts and multi-threaded processors such as those readily available from AMD and Intel.

The requirement for software to be enhanced 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 options they offer will come across extremely made complex engineering difficulties unless they select encoding engines where multi-processor scaling is native to the architecture of the software application encoder.
Here is a post that reveals the speed advantage of Beamr 5 over x265.

Things to think about concerning computing effectiveness and efficiency:

It's tempting to believe this is only a concern for video streamers with 10s or hundreds of millions of subscribers, the very same trade-off factors to consider must be thought about 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 must 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 group that can balance the requirements of bitrate effectiveness, quality, and calculate efficiency. This remains in plain contrast to open-source projects where contributors have separate and private top priorities and agendas. Exactly why the architecture of x264 and x265 can not scale. It was developed to achieve a different set of tradeoffs.
Firmly insist internal groups and consultants conduct compute efficiency benchmarking on all software application encoding options under factor to consider. The 3 vectors to determine are absolute speed (FPS), individual stream density when FPS is held consistent, and the overall variety of channels that can be produced on a single server using a nominal ABR stack such as 4K, 1080p, 720p, 480p, and 360p. All encoders must produce similar video quality throughout all tests.
With so much turmoil in the circulation design and go-to-market business plans for streaming entertainment video services, it might be tempting to push down the top priority stack choice of new, more efficient software application video encoders. With software consuming the video encoding function, calculate efficiency is now the oxygen required to grow and win get more info versus a progressively competitive and crowded direct-to-consumer (D2C) marketplace.

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

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