Recent Articles

Choosing the Data Rate for your Mezzanine Files

As more and more producers move their encoding to the cloud, the data rate for the mezzanine files is significant factor for upload time and bandwidth and storage costs. The big question is, how much extra output quality do higher quality formats and higher data rates really afford. As you’ll learn in this article, the answer is not that much.

Apple Makes Sweeping Changes to HLS Encoding Recommendations

In the past twelve months, Apple has made sweeting changes to their recommendations regarding the production of HTTP Live Streaming (HLS), including the (gasp!) depracation of the venerable TN2224. This article provides an overview of those changes and the location of the new controlling document. 

How To: Build Your Own Cloud Encoder With FFmpeg

Here's the session description; click over to the main article to download the handout.

Almost all of the commercial cloud encoding services, and many of the largest streaming producers encode in the cloud using FFmpeg. It’s cheap, relatively simple, and highly effective. To accomplish this yourself, you need two basic skill sets; first how to encode with FFmpeg, and then how to automate, schedule, and manage the encoding processes. This presentation will detail how to produce H.264 files with FFmpeg, and describe the tools and techniques available to simplify the automation and management of these encoding jobs for both live and VOD encoding.

D101 - How To: Fine-Tuning Your Adaptive Encoding Groups With Objective Quality Metrics

Here's the session description; click over to the main article to download the handout

Choosing the number of streams in an adaptive group and configuring them is usually a subjective, touchy-feely exercise, with no way to really gauge the effectiveness and efficiency of the streams. However, by measuring stream quality via metrics such as PSNR, SSIM, and VQM, you can precisely assess the quality delivered by each stream and its relevancy to the adaptive group. This presentation identifies several key objective quality metrics, teaches how to apply them, and provides an objective framework for analyzing which streams are absolutely required in your adaptive group and their optimal configuration

W2: Encoding 2016: Codecs and Packaging for PCs, Mobile and OTT/STB/Smart TVs

Here's the description for my workshop at Streaming Media West:

As video resolutions increase and target playback platforms multiply, video producers must leave their H.264/HLS/HDS comfort zone and expand into HEVC, VP9, and MPEG-DASH. This workshop is divided into multiple segments by target platform to teach you the applicable standards and best strategies for delivering live and VOD adaptive video to viewers on that platform, both with and without DRM. Along the way, attendees learn options for producing H.264, HEVC, and VP9; the status of standards such as the Media Source Extensions (MSE) and Encrypted Media Extensions (EME); and how and when to utilize them. Attendees walk away knowing the technical requirements for delivering to all key platforms and the best practices for making it happen.

You can download the handout by clicking over to the complete article. 

Cloud Pricing Survey Shows Hybrik Least Expensive Option By Far

I recently finished a white paper comparing the pricing for a new cloud encoding service named Hybrik with multiple cloud providers, including Amazon Elastic Transcoder, Microsoft Azure, Bitmovin, encoding.com, Telestream Cloud, and Zencoder. The white-paper was sponsored by Hybrik, and you can download it by clicking over to the main article. 

Bitrate Control and QoE-CBR is Better

When distributing video under constrained conditions, the bitrate control technique used to encode the files can have a profound impact on the quality of experience (QoE). Specifically, under some conditions, CBR-encoded files deliver a superior QoE to files encoded using 200% constrained VBR, while also reducing the overall bandwidth delivered.

How to Use Objective Quality Measurement Tools

Every compressed file involves dozens of configuration-related decisions, including resolution, data rate, H.264 profile, VBR or CBR, entropy coding technique, x.264 preset, b-frames, reference frames—the list goes on and on. Most encoding professionals simply use configurations gleaned from presets supplied with their encoding tools, or perhaps from recipes found on the web. But how can you be sure that you’re squeezing the last bit of quality out of the selected data rate, or that your videos are optimally bandwidth-efficient? How can you tell how much additional quality a 1080p@ 7.5Mbps stream delivers over the 5.5Mbps stream?

Fine-Tuning Your Adaptive Encoding Groups With Objective Quality Metrics

Click over to the main article to download the presentation. Here's the description. 

Choosing the number of streams in an adaptive group and configuring them is usually a subjective, touchy-feely exercise, with no way to really gauge the effectiveness and efficiency of the streams. However, by measuring stream quality via metrics such as PSNR, SSIM, and VQM, you can precisely assess the quality delivered by each stream and its relevancy to the adaptive group. This session identifies several key objective quality metrics, teaches how to apply them, and provides an objective framework for analyzing which streams are absolutely required in your adaptive group and their optimal configuration.

Streaming Media East Presentation: Status of HEVC and Other UHD Codecs

johnny-automatic-scales-of-justice-2400px.pngHere's the description; click over to the main story to download the handout.

This session explores the current status of HEVC, including an update on the proposed royalty terms and status of High Dynamic Range Specifications, and the status of competitive technologies such as PERSEUS, VP9, and the codec from the Alliance for Open Media. Video from session also available. 

Recent Blogs

Webinar: Top 10 Encoding Mistakes Made by Streaming Producers

I'm co-hosting a webinar with MediaPlatform on February 23, 2017 at 2:00 PM ET entitled Top Ten Encoding Mistakes Made by Streaming Producers. Here's the description.  Join MediaPlatform and Jan Ozer of Streaming Media Magazine for an in-depth discu...

Per-Title Encoding With the Capella Systems Cambria FTC Encoder

So, I was reviewing Camtasia 9 for Streaming Media magazine (review to appear later in the year), and I had promised Capella Systems a testimonial for their Cambria FTC encoder, specifically the per-title encoding feature. Below is the video I produc...

INXPO Publishes Q & A Session Regarding Video Encoding by the Numbers

On February 2, online event producer INXPO published a question and answer session regarding my new book, Video Encoding by the Numbers. The session included six questions, ranging from, "how did you get into writing a book on compression?" to "who ...

Join Me at the Streaming Forum In London at a Discount!

Just a quick note to let you know that I'm speaking on two topics at the Streaming Forum later this month in London, and leading two roundtable discussions.    On Tuesday, February 28th, at 11:30, I'll present HEVC: Rating the contenders. Here's t...

Facebook Live Resources

I spent a lot of time late last fall looking at Facebook Live, trying to understand who was using it and why, and which tools they used. This effort culminated in three resources available now on the Streaming Media website.  Here's the main article...