Ways Software Encoder Performance Improves UX 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 technology company.

Computer software is the bedrock of every function and department in the enterprise; accordingly, software video encoding is essential to video streaming service operations. It's possible to optimize a video codec implementation and video encoder for 2 but seldom 3 of the pillars. It does state that to provide the quality of video experience consumers expect, video distributors will require to examine commercial solutions that have actually been performance optimized for high core counts and multi-threaded processors such as those available from AMD and Intel.

With so much upheaval in the distribution design and go-to-market organisation plans for streaming entertainment video services, it might be appealing to press down the top priority stack selection of new, more efficient software video encoders. With software eating the video encoding function, calculate performance is now the oxygen required to thrive and win against a significantly competitive and congested direct-to-consumer (D2C) market.

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 performed with purpose-built hardware.

And then, software application consumed the hardware ...

Marc Andreessen, the co-founder of Netscape and a16z the famous endeavor capital firm with investments in Foursquare, Skype, Twitter, box, Lyft, Airbnb, and other similarly disruptive business, penned an article for the Wall Street Journal in 2011 titled "Why Software application Is Consuming The World." A variation of this post can be discovered on the a16z.com site here.

"Six years into the computer system transformation, four decades considering that the invention of the microprocessor, and twenty years into the increase of the contemporary Web, all of the innovation needed to transform industries through software application finally works and can be commonly delivered at worldwide scale." Marc Andreessen
In following with Marc Andreessen's prediction, today, software-based video encoders have practically entirely subsumed video encoding hardware. With software applications devoid of purpose-built hardware and able to operate on ubiquitous computing platforms like Intel and AMD based x86 makers, in the data-center and virtual environments, it is totally precise to state that "software application is consuming (or more properly, has consumed) 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; appropriately, software video encoding is vital to video streaming service operations. Software application video encoders can scale without needing a linear boost in physical space and energies, unlike hardware. And software application can be moved around the network and even whole data-centers in near real-time to satisfy capacity overruns or short-lived rises. Software is a lot more flexible than hardware.

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

It's possible to optimize a video codec application and video encoder for 2 but rarely three of the pillars. Many video encoding operations thus focus on quality and bitrate efficiency, leaving the calculate performance vector open as a sort of wild card. As you will see, this is no longer a competitive method.

The next frontier is software computing efficiency.

Bitrate performance with high video quality needs resource-intensive tools, which will lead to slow functional speed or a significant increase in CPU overhead. For a live encoding application where the encoder must run at high speed to reach 60 frames-per-second (FPS), a compromise in bitrate Get More Information effectiveness or outright quality is often required.

Codec intricacy, such as that needed by HEVC, AV1, and the upcoming VVC, is exceeding bitrate performance developments and this has produced the requirement for video encoder efficiency optimization. Put another way, speed matters. Typically, this is not a location that video encoding practitioners and image scientists have actually needed to be worried about, but that is no longer the case.

Figure 1 illustrates the advantages of a software encoding application, which, when all characteristics are normalized, such as FPS and unbiased quality metrics, can do twice as much work on 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 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 performance is directly related to the quality of service as an outcome of less makers and less complex encoding structures needed.

For those services who are mainly concerned with VOD and H. 264, the right half of the Figure 1 graphic programs the efficiency benefit of a performance optimized codec application that is set up to produce extremely high quality with a high bitrate efficiency. Here one can see approximately a 2x benefit with Beamr 4 compared to x264.

Video encoding compute resources cost real money.

OPEX is considered carefully by every video distributor. But expect entertainment experiences like live 4K streaming can not be provided dependably as a result of a mismatch between the video operations capability and the expectation of the consumer. Bearing in mind that numerous mobile phones sold today are capable of 1440p if not 4K display. And customers are desiring material that matches the resolution and quality of the gadgets they bring in their pockets.

Since 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 device. This does not suggest that live 4K encoding in software application isn't possible. It does say that to provide the quality of video experience consumers expect, video suppliers will require to evaluate industrial solutions 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 to be optimized for higher core counts was recently highlighted by AMD CTO Mark Papermaster in an interview with Tom's Hardware.

Video suppliers wishing to utilize software application for the flexibility and virtualization options they offer will experience extremely complicated engineering obstacles unless they select encoding engines where multi-processor scaling is native to the architecture of the software encoder.
Here is a post that reveals the speed benefit of Beamr 5 over x265.

Things to think of concerning computing effectiveness and performance:

It's appealing to believe this is only an issue for video streamers with 10s or hundreds of millions of subscribers, the same compromise considerations 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 give more than triple the return, at a 1 Mbps cost savings. The point is, we should carefully and methodically consider where we are spending our compute resources to get the optimum ROI possible.
A business software application solution will be constructed by a devoted codec engineering group that can balance the requirements of bitrate efficiency, quality, and calculate performance. Precisely why the architecture of x264 and x265 can not scale.
Insist internal teams and consultants conduct compute performance benchmarking on all software application encoding options under consideration. The three vectors to determine are absolute speed (FPS), specific stream density when FPS is held constant, and the total variety of channels that can be created on a single server utilizing a nominal ABR stack such as 4K, 1080p, 720p, 480p, and 360p. All encoders need to produce comparable video quality throughout all tests.
The next time your technical group prepares a video encoder shoot out, make certain to ask what their test plan is for benchmarking the compute efficiency (performance) of each solution. With a lot upheaval in the circulation model and go-to-market organisation prepare for streaming home entertainment video services, it may be tempting to press down the priority stack selection of brand-new, more efficient software video encoders. However, surrendering this work could have a genuine impact on a service's competitiveness and ability to scale to satisfy future entertainment service requirements. With software consuming the video encoding function, calculate performance is now the oxygen needed to flourish and win versus an increasingly competitive and congested direct-to-consumer (D2C) market.

You can experiment with Beamr's software application video encoders today and get up to 100 hours of totally free HEVC and H. 264 video transcoding monthly. CLICK ON THIS LINK

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