Video transcoding is the process of converting a video from one format, codec or resolution, into another. This can be done for many reasons, including reaching better distribution channels, new devices or even better management of studio quality videos.
Qencode's cloud Video Transcoding solution allows users to leverage economies of scale to perform complex operations for a large variety of media workflows. By using advanced algorithms, customers leverage existing infrastructure to create powerful solutions using the latest formats, codecs and resolutions without investing resources into superfluous development maintenance.
The Importance of Video Transcoding
Effective video transcoding is becoming increasingly important each year. Users require their content to be delivered to them as quickly as possible and across all of their devices. While the maximum speeds from your Internet Service Provider rarely increase, there are new video formats, codecs and resolutions being developed each year with promises of better efficiency, quality and feature support.
You may notice that videos on your phone and OTT apps buffer much less frequently than they have in previous years, quality continues to increase. This is due to the massive innovations that have been made to compress video files to fractions of the original file size. These compression algorithms require elaborate mathematical equations, significant computational resources are required to decode and re-encode large video files. Since there are hundreds of formats and codecs for both video and audio, a high level of expertise is also required to manage these sophisticated infrastructures.
Popular Video Formats for the Web
Choosing the right formats, codecs and resolutions is an important decision for your workflow. If you are working with videos online, the most important video formats to consider are MP4, HLS, MPEG-DASH, and WEBM. The most important codecs are probably H.264, H.265, VP8, VP9 (with AV1 and VVC competing for the future).
Here are the popular features available in most video transcoding solutions today:
- MPEG-4 (mp4, m4a, m4v, f4v, f4a, m4b, m4r, f4b, mov)
- 3GP (3gp, 3gp2, 3g2, 3gpp, 3gpp2)
- MPEG-TS, MPEG-2 PS, MPEG1
- MPEG2 (CableLabs)
- AVI, FLV, VOB, WEBM (webm)
- H.264 (AVC1)
- H.265 (HEVC)
- Amazon S3
- Digital Ocean Space
- Google Cloud
- Microsoft Azure
- Custom S3 solutions
There are many ways how an effectively encoding your videos in the cloud can lead to large cost savings across many areas of your business. First of all, by lowering the size of your files you save on requirements for storage and content delivery infrastructure. These cost savings are really significant whenever you have a large library, many output variations, or many active users.
Another optimization is in the support of technological infrastructure. Your servers will likely go through huge fluctuations in demand and usage, which means you will need a lot of backup infrastructure to create a seamless experience for your clients. The problem is that infrastructure is very expensive, and in order to be competitive you need to provide services efficiently. It is much more effective to pool resources together from many different companies and leverage their availability against each other. This is one of the key advantages of using a cloud transcoding solution for your internal workflow.
Being ahead of the curve in terms of video formats and codecs requires experienced team members to allocate a large amount of time to developing and maintaining the infrastructure. This time is usually better spent focused on the innovations your own business is driving. Especially since this is a very tedious process that could require working at odd hours of the night when something goes wrong. Having a service that handles all of these elements and provides a robust API that is easy to use is important tool for your success.
There are many other advantages to using a cloud solution to transcode video content. This is one of the main reasons companies with previously massive infrastructures are switching their entire workloads to solutions that offer these services at scale. As these networks become more dynamic, additional advantages will be gained that will make these services more effective than ever.
By using an existing global network of distributed servers, the underlying technology cloud networks provide is highly redundant and available. This is important for workflows that do complicated video encoding because this minimizes potential downtime. This also means the system can quickly scale up geographically close to your user at anytime.
One of the leading causes of security issues is internal. Disgruntled employees and vigilantes often compromise the system from within the organization, creating massive damage to reputation and employee moral. Cloud systems greatly reduce this risk by removing sensitive components beyond the influence of risk, and personally standing by the protection of your materials. They are also able to implement cutting edge privacy technologies and stringent best practice requirements.