In digital technology, the possibilities on mobile devices and PC seem to be endless. This allows the developers to create videos that grab the attention of an audience within seconds. Nowadays, videos are not just something that we watch, they are something that we engage in and something we become a part of. It is necessary to understand the different video file formats to ensure that the video is produced in the best format and quality for its intended purpose and trends. In addition to a codec, each video file has a container. The container is like a box that contains the video, audio, and metadata.
Market trends in 2018
At the end of year 2018, the video codes which are being used significantly by developers H.265/HEVC. H.264/AVC continues to hold a strong stake. This shows that users are working with both codecs simultaneously.
VP9 is the high-efficiency codec like HEVC; it has more efficient compression than H.264 and maintained a similar level of usage in 2018. VP9 reaches browsers like Chrome and Firefox. due to better quality video delivery for the same amount of data and maintaining same visual quality.
AV1 was launched in this year itself as the royalty free codec from the Alliance for Open Media and endorsed by all major device manufacturers, browser vendors, and content distributors. AV1 reached momentum within one year only. This indicates that commercial applications are just around the corner.
If you study the reports published in 2018, video developers continue to use software encoders on local and on-premise machines, While hardware encoders are slightly down from 2018, they are still very popular, especially for live streaming use cases. In 2018, a big pickup in cloud deployments of encoding software has been observed.
For audio formats, AAC continues to dominate in 2018 with 90 percent of respondents reporting using the codec. Dolby Digital, Dolby Digital Plus, and True HD are primarily used in premium use cases on STBs and TVs.
Platforms and devices to stream video and audio content
In 2018, HTML5 is clearly the technology of choice for desktop delivery and also has a significant footprint on mobile devices. This indicates that mobile video delivery is a key focus for developers in 2018 and it is refreshing to see that in well over half of the use cases, developers are leveraging.
For OTT delivery, Chrome cast dominates with targeting the streaming device, followed by Apple tvOS at 36 percent, and Roku and Fire TV with less than a quarter of respondents reporting using these OTT platforms.
In 2018, as we look at the native mobile and Smart TV platforms we observe that, iOS and Android were equally strong across all regions. Between the two Smart TV platforms, Android TV may be stronge in some regions and weaker in another region, while WebOS was evenly targeted across all regions.
Popular streaming format in 2018 and regional variations
Apple’s HTTP Live Streaming (HLS) continues to be the industry workhorse in 2018. This is a consistent pattern since 2017, whereas MPEG-DASH and CMAF have also gained good support, perhaps indicating wider adoption in the near future. In 2018, we can see a significant increase in MPEG-DASH and MPEG-CMAF adoption in North America. While in APAC, HLS, and MPEG-DASH have gained at the expense of all other formats. HLS is gaining in a big way and surprisingly, so is smooth streaming.
Biggest problem experienced with video technology
The most common problem has been broadcast delay, also referred as latency, closely followed by Getting playback running to all devices. Broadcast delay affects all streamers alike, and can be a sign of a wide range of issues – from CDN and network performance, to encoding optimization and player adaptation. Over and above this, video is consumed on more and more different platforms, which all come with their own special problems.