Digital Media

Revisiting video encoding and transcoding- with cloud

by Vidya Subramanian Nath 04 Jan 2018
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One of the solution markets that I have been tracking for years is video encoding and transcoding. Highly disrupted by trends such as the shift from hardware to software-based solutions and SaaS-based models, video compression has become a commodity. Yet, it is an essential piece of the video delivery ecosystem that continues to keep several media company IT heads and CTOs challenged. Digital video proliferation and hybrid delivery environments (simultaneous multimedia video distribution) means transcoding thousands of hours of video streams in the best of quality for average broadband speeds around the world.

Pay TV service operators and broadcasters fully understand that OTT and TVE are the keys to continued user engagement and service/revenue growth. Frost & Sullivan forecasts that SVOD subscriptions will double from more than 500 million accounts in 2015 to over 1 billion by 2021. Per-capita online video consumption is growing steadily worldwide by every metric. The implication of these surging numbers is that the volume of content that will be brought online—across movies, on-demand television, catch-up TV, live linear broadcasts and special events—will correspondingly skyrocket.

While video over IP and over the top (OTT) video delivery has achieved significant reach for every leading broadcaster as well as Pay TV company, the challenge that majority of the service providers face is that these delivery formats do not have critical mass reach all the time for them to invest in heavy on-premise infrastructure. Every content company is looking for a highly scalable model, one that can suit multimedia needs and support adaptive bit rate (ABR) streaming, HLS ( live streaming) and MPEG-DASH.

Growth in video processing volume to serve device-based consumption will far outpace managed workflow growth. Accordingly, all content companies will need to expand their transcoding and streaming workflow capacity to manage more fragmented and complex formats, encompass a wider range of technologies, and accommodate rapidly growing volume while lowering turnaround times to support instant gratification expectations.

Transcoding with a cloud-based solution is a growing reality to deal with these challenges and several vendors have been offering it. But widespread adoption continues to be restrained. Media companies CIOs are still weighing the benefits of cloud-based transcoding versus on-premise solutions trying to answer questions on throughput and quality, SaaS for broadcast workflows, differentiation of various solutions, and the impact on their bottom lines.

We have recently evaluated these in a whitepaper commissioned by Bitmovin, a promising and fast growing European solution provider. The whitepaper outlines each of the myths around cloud-based transcoding, as well as provides a vital checklist to consider while making that decision.

The whitepaper also provides key insights from a case study of how an Austrian prime TV broadcaster relaunched its video-on-demand service by transforming its workflows based on cloud-based transcoding. The media company wanted to transition to HTTP-based streaming using HLS and MPEG-DASH for an expansive library comprising thousands of titles.

Click here to learn more and download the whitepaper.

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