The Essential Guide to Video Encoding:
FROM VIDEO COMPRESSION AND CODECS, TO LATENCY AND TRANSPORT PROTOCOLS
Video streaming over the internet is gaining importance in many industries, including broadcast, enterprise, and government. It has become popular for a number of reasons, particularly because live video is a great way to contribute content and engage with consumers, employees, and the community. For broadcast engineers video streaming over the internet is a cost-effective and flexible alternative to satellite services. For AV professionals, video streaming, if correctly implemented, can be an efficient and flexible means of communicating across an organization. Flexibility is not only important for content creation and keeping up with demand, but also for scalability and business continuity.
Video streaming begins with video encoding. For content creators, video encoding can be the most important part of a workflow, which is why it is so important to have a solid grasp of the basics of video encoding before embarking with video streaming.
This guide will explore the concepts of video encoding and streaming, including compression, codecs, latency, and network transport considerations when streaming from encoders.
Synchronizing Feeds Some decoders, like the Haivision Makito series, support multiple incoming streams and can resync them based on timecode prior to decoding to SDI. This is especially useful for live broadcasts with multiple camera angles that share an audio source.
AN INTRODUCTION TO VIDEO ENCODING
What is Video Encoding?
Video encoding is the process of compressing raw video for transport over IP networks such as office LANs and the internet. As IP networks have limited bandwidth, the encoder needs to be able to compress the content accordingly. There are two types of video encoding: file-based and live, and it’s important to make the distinction between them.
When working with video files, encoders are used to compress and reduce the size of video content so that it can take up less storage space and be easier to transfer from one part of a video production workflow to another. Since the video files are not live, latency is usually not a key concern.
Live video encoding is the process of compressing real-time video and audio content prior to streaming. Compression significantly reduces the bandwidth required, making it possible for real-time video to be transmitted across constrained networks while maintaining picture quality at levels suitable for viewing. However, depending on the type of encoder used, compressing live video can also add latency which if too great can negatively impact the overall quality of experience.