As demand for video streaming skyrockets worldwide, content providers are continually examining new compression methods to ensure consumer expectations for a high-quality viewing experience are met. With more devices, platforms, and standards than ever, there are multiple optimization points to carefully consider for delivering video at a level of quality and relevant bitrate. Choosing the right encoding strategy can be make-or-break for streaming platforms looking to mark their territory in the competitive media industry. And it’s an area MediaKind is proud to be leading the industry on.
Of course, when it comes to codecs (i.e., standards), we should consider how codecs ultimately define the syntax and required operation of the decoder. Every decoder produces an identical output for a given bitstream. Encoders are specific implementations of a codec or standard and, in most cases, are free to choose any way it wishes to encode (if the output is compliant). Increasing expertise and compute power means building more efficient encoders while retaining compatibility with existing decoders.
Why does this matter? Because when we’re trying to evaluate a codec, we’re essentially comparing encoders. The encoders may or may not reflect the performance possible with a given codec in another implementation. And the variation between different implementations in terms of coding efficiency can easily be much larger than between codecs – so it’s essential to consider the actual implementations used, along with their configurations.
Choosing the right codec
MediaKind has deep expertise and heritage in codec development, and we’ve recently broken new ground in live streaming UHD OTT content through significant investment into the latest industry codec, Versatile Video Codec (VVC).
MediaKind spends a significant portion of its R&D focus on codec development, and we are noticing growing levels of VVC adoption amongst leading industry bodies and organizations. We are one of the few companies in the industry enabling live UHD OTT VVC streaming on a public cloud through our Aquila Streaming solution. This is no small achievement. Live UHD streaming remains one of the perennial challenges facing our industry due to the network capacity required to cope with reliable large event delivery at scale. This makes compression efficiency a pertinent topic for the entire media industry, and MediaKind’s use of VVC in this environment is a milestone moment. BCS Bureau