Why You Should Equip Your Encoder with Storage
Streaming video is the process of taking your valuable content as baseband video, compressing it, and sending it over the network as an IP video stream. Within this process you always have the option to have a hard drive on the encoder to capture the video stream just after it’s compressed, while the encoder is streaming, or even if the encoder isn’t streaming.
Read on to learn why you should have an encoder that can store your live streams.
Insurance against network failure
A lot of technology has been developed to protect streaming content from network related issues. Haivision’s SRT (Secure Reliable Transport), for example, protects the stream from packet loss, helps get it through firewalls, and applies encryption. However, planning for network failure is always a good idea, especially for high value live enterprise or broadcast content. Recording at the source encoder is a smart form of redundancy.
To illustrate how critical redundancy can be, here’s an example from one of our customers. A U.S. state legislature was mandated to live stream and then publish all of their sessions as a part of the Open Meeting requirement. Our Makito X encoders with Storage were fueling 24 channels of live streaming content when a mass network outage in one of the main buildings prevented the streams from making it to the centralized recorder.
Thanks to the storage option, the state legislature was able to record the content directly to the encoder and keep the legislative session running while the network was being repaired.
Other examples where our clients have benefited from the additional redundancy can be seen in enterprise settings. Our performance network recording system Calypso is used for focus groups and usability labs. In one case, a server issue caused the content from the PTZ cameras to stop recording during a critical moment in a user test. Luckily, they had used an encoder with storage, allowing them to retrieve the video asset, and publish it to their server once everything was working.
Stream low, record high
Another common practice is to use the encoders natural Multi-bitrate (MBR) streaming capabilities while recording to save the highest quality mezzanine files. For example, a single source can be encoded at a low bitrate to accommodate network transmission (say 2 Mbps HD) and at the same time a high bitrate stream (20 Mbps) can be recorded for downstream high quality VoD workflows.
The “stream low, record high” workflow is especially important to a number of niche applications. One high value use case from our customer deployments is within aerial surveillance helicopters that have limited and fragile connectivity to the ground. On-board technicians can watch and review high quality streams within the aircraft while their counterparts on the ground review the 3G/4G bound real-time stream. Should connectivity be lost, the high quality recordings of emergency events are always available for review by the emergency response teams.
Streamline your encoder options
In portable applications, form factor and simplicity are at a premium. A portable encoder with high density storage, like the Makito X with Storage, allows mobile producers to streamline their fly kit by eliminating a separate recording deck. Using the encoder’s web interface, users can get immediate access to recorded content during the event or after it is finished. The video files are standards compliant and can fit into any broadcast or post-production workflow.
For the record
Storage capacity these days is pretty accommodating. The Makito X for example with a 256GB high performance SSD drive can store 5 days of video at 5 Mbps (see Haivision’s Streaming Calculator to estimate your storage requirements). Our encoders with storage can also be upgraded with off-the-shelf, high performance solid state drives.
Don’t work with clunky external storage options, when there’s a better, purpose built encoder on the market. When you’re interested in learning more about how you can create redundant video workflows, contact our video experts.