Transcoding and Why Is It Critical for Streaming

Streaming media is booming and everyone seems to be getting onboard. A 2015 report by Cisco predicted that in 2016, 6.1 exabytes of data have been to be consumed on mobile platforms. It was anticipated to rise to 9.6 exabytes in 2017 and bounce to 15.2 exabytes in 2018. Without knowing the precise numbers, it is safe to say the demand and growth will continue.

For those who’re concerned with streaming media, you either know all about video transcoding, or you’re wondering why you keep hearing about it. When you aren’t certain you need it, that places you in the second camp. An understanding of video transcoding and the right way to do it is critical for any success with streaming video; particularly if it’s essential to deliver streaming video to a wide range of completely different devices.

What is Video Transcoding?

Video transcoding, sometimes called video encoding, is the conversion from one digital encoding format to another, such as for movie data files. This involves translating all three elements of a digital video at the identical time — the file format, the video, and the audio.

This is a vital function when a target system does not assist the current format of your media, or has limited storage capacity that requires a reduced file dimension (think going from WMV to MP4). It is also used to transform incompatible or out of date data to a better-supported, read newer, video format.

Why is Transcoding Critical?

Video transcoding is critical once you want your content to reach more end users.

For instance, you’re making ready to do a live stream out of your office. It’s a possibility that you simply’re capturing webcam audio and video with a browser-based mostly desktop application like Adobe Flash, which generates 1080p H.264 video and Speex audio.

Your show will likely be delivered live to on-line viewers; nevertheless, an attempt to stream it directly can have problems:

Those viewing without sufficient bandwidth won’t be able to view the stream — they’ll be watching the ‘buffering’ circle.

With a purpose to render the Speex audio, most individuals might want to watch using Flash Player on a computer. Now you’ve just excluded virtually anybody with slower data speeds, tablets, and mobile phones.

With video transcoding, you can create a set of time-aligned video streams, each with a distinct bitrate and frame size, while changing the Speex audio to AAC audio. This group of streams is internet-friendly, allowing you attain virtually any screen on the planet.

How is Video Transcoding Achieved?

Video begins life in a format unique to the camera or program used to capture your images and sounds. This is typically not the format wanted to deliver the video online or play it from another device. Video transcoding is used to vary the unique format into one allowing the video and audio to play properly on a user’s gadgets — be they computer, tablet, smartphone, or tv.

Video encoding, or video transcoding, involves a two-step process. First, the original file is decoded to an uncompressed format. Second, this uncompressed format is then encoded into the target format.

What are Formats and File Types in Video Transcoding?

When talking about video transcoding, we confer with file formats, file types, and something called codecs.

Video format specifies how video and audio have been combined and tells playback devices learn how to play the files.

Video and audio codec formats refer to the applied sciences used to both create and play back the digital video and audio.

Examples of file types are MPEG-4 (MP4), Quicktime (MOV), and Flash Video (FLV). The key variable in most cases is the streaming platform you use. Always check what codecs and codecs are supported by the platform you wish to use, and whether or not your video file should be converted to a supported format.

DaCast, for example, requires an MPEG-4 (MP4) file format with an H.264 video codec. Windows Media Video (WMV) files are Advanced Systems Format (.asf) files that include audio, video, or both compressed with Windows Media Audio (WMA) and Windows Media Video (WMV) codecs.

MP4 video provides higher quality and compression over WMV, allowing you to store higher quality video for a similar file size. A good video transcoding program can be able to convert multiple file formats and codecs.

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