With the advent of advancements in the digitised world, the most advantageous industries are the media and entertainment. But with the advantage comes the responsibility or pressure of keeping up with the latest trends in high quality streaming even before the launch.
If you don’t want to get buried in the sand dunes of the technology desert, you need to stay ahead in the video streaming platforms market. Even if you work hard to beat up the most competitive, as fun as it looks from the outside, you have to work on the high end algorithms to improve the process by 1-2%. This may seem a small number but it makes a huge difference in the end product.
The top industry players provide high video quality without compromising the user experience. This habit has been fed to the customers that even a slight difference in the quality or delay over the expected time can increase the bounce rate from the video platform.
For this, transcoding is the most useful process of transforming the encoded video files into high quality, multi-platform streamable video streaming files.
What Is Video Transcoding?
Basically, video transcoding allows you to convert a video file from one digital encoding format to another format.
It happens by transforming an encoded piece of video into one or more compressed streams, which gets compatible according to the end user’s player settings and methods used.
Transcoding also involves the adaptive bitrate streaming technology, which provides quality adaptability according to the user’s internet connection bandwidth. For example, a raw video which is compressed from 90 mbps to 5 kbps bitrate can be streamed at a particular bandwidth. An end user with the internet connection lower than that bandwidth will get patchy video quality with some lags. So, to automatically adapt your video stream according to the user’s bandwidth it’s required to use ABR, which provides an extra encoded file in your cloud for different bandwidth requirements. Therefore, ABR senses the user device’s bandwidth to select the appropriate bitrate for that bandwidth, which plays the uninterrupted quality video for the user.
Though transcoding may seem just a simple process, it’s a professional’s game. It is a costly process which needs to be deployed only if it’s needed. To tackle this decision, marketing analysis helps you transcode only specific videos in bitrates which will work on majority devices of the target market.
For target market owning high-end devices with high quality playback settings, transcoding at higher bitrates is advised.
Best Video Transcoding Practices
Selecting the right bitrate for encoding any video is not easy. Especially for a CBR-encoded video, which are encoded at the highest bit rates only. For the VBR videos, ideally variable bitrate should be adjusted equal to the pixel width of the video.
You need to assure which type of video is to be transcoded for deciding the bitrate. For example, animated videos even at low bitrates can produce high quality video streaming, whereas action movies involving fast dynamic frames need higher bitrates for high quality streaming.
You can use 2-pass VBR technology for transcoding high quality videos having variable scene types. The 2-pass VBR uses a lower data rate than 1-pass VBR for delivering the same video quality. VBR involves two stages of encoding:
- 1-pass helps in calculating the ideal bitrate required for every keyframe of the video,
- 2-pass helps in rendering the entire video according to those bitrates.
With the 2-pass VBR, the encoding process depends on the preceding and the following keyframes, which are selected with the scene changes. This way, 2-pass VBR renders high-quality pre-recorded videos, but does not help for live streaming purposes.
Remove Blocking Artifacts
The blocking artifacts, also known as ‘pixelation’, appear due to the block transform coding, reducing the video quality during the compression process. To tackle this problem of blocking artifacts you need to improve your HEVC encoding efficiency, which can be easily done by selecting the vertical and horizontal frame size dimensions as multiple of 16. This way you don’t compromise the video quality while adjusting easily to the user’s screen.
You can follow some dimensions for the frame size:
- 4:3 aspect ratio – 480×360, 320×240, 640×480
- 16:9 aspect ratio – 1024×576, 1280×720, 640×360, 1920×1080
Switch To Progressive Scanning
While watching any video, you must have surely read the video quality options like 480p or 720p, that “p” stands for progressive.
The progressive scanning, also known as non-interlaced scanning, sorts and displays the still or moving images from a screen or a camera, where the entire video images are captured in one frame in one go.
Whereas, non-progressive or interlaced scanning divides the image into horizontal lines, where odd lines are scanned for 20ms and then the even lines for 20ms. This way the entire frame is created.
The benefit of progressive scanning of faster transcoding provides high quality video which is smoother and presents a higher realism degree than the non-progressive scanning.
Tweak Your Profile Settings
You must have experienced times when the video suddenly stops streaming or doesn’t load at all. While this may seem a technical glitch from your player’s end, you may end up ruining the situation even further by tampering with your player’s backend.
The best way to attend this situation is to check your encoder profile settings on your transcoding platform dashboard. You must ensure that you’ve chosen the correct settings for the video before its encoding, which otherwise can malfunction the video streaming with incompatible values.
Escape Upscaling Dimensions
Sometimes you may get desperate to upscale the source dimensions, which may stretch a video to a huge extent.
Such a video which is stretched beyond its dimensions than what was recorded in, the transcoding process will blurr and shred the video quality.
High Quality Recording
There is no doubt that you must use a high quality recording device if you want to produce good quality video content irrespective of the encoding and transcoding processes. The original recorded video, also called as master video, is the basic requirement for creating high quality transcoding. Without a high quality master video recording you cannot have a good transcoding process.
Transcoding may get tricky and you need to have some technical hand before performing it. Following these above best video transcoding practices will keep you away from committing mistakes, and help deliver high quality content to your end users. You must ensure that your original video quality is high, and your transcoding settings are tweaked according to the user’s player settings options.