Read 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; appropriately, software video encoding is necessary to video streaming service operations. It's possible to optimize a video codec application and video encoder for 2 but rarely three of the pillars. It does state that to provide the quality of video experience consumers anticipate, video suppliers will need to assess business solutions that have been efficiency enhanced 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 business plans for streaming entertainment video services, it might be appealing to press down the priority stack selection of new, more efficient software application video encoders. With software application consuming the video encoding function, compute performance is now the oxygen required to prosper and win versus a progressively competitive and crowded direct-to-consumer (D2C) marketplace.
How Video Encoder Computing Efficiency Can Impact Streaming Service Quality
Until public clouds and common computing turned software-based video operations mainstream, the process of video encoding was carried out with purpose-built hardware.
And after that, software application consumed the hardware ...
Marc Andreessen, the co-founder of Netscape and a16z the renowned endeavor capital company 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 Is Eating The World." A version of this post can be found on the a16z.com website here.
"6 years into the computer system transformation, 4 decades given that the invention of the microprocessor, and 20 years into the rise of the modern Web, all of the innovation required to transform industries through software lastly works and can be widely delivered at worldwide scale." Marc Andreessen
In following with Marc Andreessen's prophecy, today, software-based video encoders have almost entirely 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 makers, in the data-center and virtual environments, it is entirely precise to say that "software is eating (or more properly, has actually eaten) the world."
But what does this mean for a technology or video operations executive?
Computer system software is the bedrock of every function and department in the business; appropriately, software video encoding is necessary to video streaming service operations. Software application video encoders can scale without requiring a direct 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 performance, quality preservation, and calculating performance.
It's possible to enhance a video codec implementation and video encoder for two however rarely 3 of the pillars. Most video encoding operations thus focus on quality and bitrate efficiency, leaving the compute 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 computing performance.
Bitrate performance with high video quality requires resource-intensive tools, which will result in slow functional speed or a significant 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 absolute 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. Generally, this is not a location 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 advantages of a software encoding execution, which, when all characteristics are stabilized, such as FPS and objective quality metrics, can do two times as much deal with the specific same AWS EC2 C5.18 xlarge instance.
In this example, the open-source encoders x264 and x265 are compared click here 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 efficiency is straight related to the quality of service as a result of less machines and less complex encoding structures required.
For those services who are primarily concerned with VOD and H. 264, the ideal half of the Figure 1 graphic shows the efficiency advantage of an efficiency optimized codec application that is set up to produce really high quality with a high bitrate efficiency. Here one can see approximately a 2x advantage with Beamr 4 compared to x264.
Video encoding calculate resources cost real money.
OPEX is thought about thoroughly by every video distributor. Expect entertainment experiences like live 4K streaming can not be delivered dependably as an outcome of a mismatch between the video operations capability and the expectation of the customer.
Because of performance constraints 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 mean that live 4K encoding in software isn't possible. It does state that to deliver the quality of video experience consumers anticipate, video distributors will require to examine business solutions that have been performance optimized for high core counts and multi-threaded processors such as those readily available from AMD and Intel.
The requirement for software application to be enhanced for greater core counts was recently highlighted by AMD CTO Mark Papermaster in an interview with Tom's Hardware.
Video suppliers wishing to use software application for the flexibility and virtualization options they provide will encounter overly made complex engineering obstacles 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 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 a problem for video streamers with tens or hundreds of millions of subscribers, the very same trade-off factors to consider should be considered regardless of the size of your operations. While a 30% savings at 1080p (H. 264), which is encoded at 3.5 Mbps, will give more than triple the return, at a 1 Mbps savings. The point is, we should carefully and methodically consider where we are investing our compute resources to get the optimum ROI possible.
An industrial software solution will be built by a devoted codec engineering group that can balance the requirements of bitrate effectiveness, quality, and compute performance. This remains in plain contrast to open-source jobs where contributors have separate and specific concerns and agendas. Exactly why the architecture of x264 and x265 can not scale. It was constructed to accomplish a different set of tradeoffs.
Insist internal teams and specialists perform compute performance benchmarking on all software application encoding services under factor to consider. The three vectors to measure are absolute speed (FPS), specific stream density when FPS is held continuous, and the total number 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 must produce similar video quality throughout all tests.
With so much turmoil in the distribution design and go-to-market service plans for streaming entertainment video services, it might be tempting to push down the top priority stack choice of brand-new, more efficient software video encoders. With software application eating the video encoding function, compute efficiency is now the oxygen needed to prosper and win against an increasingly competitive and congested direct-to-consumer (D2C) market.
You can try Beamr's software application 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