Encoding.com Launches their Cloud Quality Control Service

Encoding.com continues its quest to migrate large-scale video pipelines to the Cloud.

SAN FRANCISCO, CA- October 18, 2017-  Encoding.com, the most trusted cloud-based video processing service for the media and entertainment market, has introduced the first Video QC as a Service in the cloud. The new service will enable content providers to offload their video quality control infrastructure, and, alternately, utilize the cloud based API service from Encoding.com. Content providers and distributors can now automate their video QC job management and reporting pipelines through Encoding.com’s highly scalable and efficient cloud service. Users have the option to run over 50 individual QC validations at the time of transcoding and packaging or use the Encoding.com Video QC service on assets that have already been processed.

All of the QC checks requested will be performed on the same compute node as transcoding and packaging to save time, friction and money when compared to manual transfers of media to a separate QC system. Some of the services include:

  • General Validations including output size, duration, bitrate,captions and file size
  • Video Validations including frame rates, codecs, aspect ratio, level
  • Audio Validations including bitrate, codec, channels, channel layout
  • Manifest Validations including version numbers, declarations, encryption, discontinuity tags
  • API web service for complete integration into CMS/MAM/DAM platforms for production and broadcast workflows

Encoding.com will continue to add new validations and features to the QC service based on user feedback and requirements.

“The Quality Control function has lagged behind other media processing functions and has remained an expensive, manually operated on premise step within an otherwise automated media processing workflow.  Automating the QC function by moving it to the cloud and pairing tightly with transcoding and packaging workflows is the obvious future and will save our customers time and money and improve the overall quality of video reaching end viewers.“ says Greggory Heil, CEO at Encoding.com.

 

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Viaccess-Orca Partners With Encoding.com to Boost the Efficiency of OTT Media Processing Via the Cloud

Joint Solution Features Viaccess-Orca’s Cloud-Based TVaaS, With Cloud Media Processing From Encoding.com 

PR

PARIS — March 23 2017 — Viaccess-Orca, a global leader in the protection and enhancement of content services, and Encoding.com, the world’s largest and most trusted cloud-based video processing service for the media and entertainment market, have partnered to streamline the preparation of VOD content for OTT multiscreen applications. Viaccess-Orca’s cloud-based TV Everywhere as a Service (TVaaS) is now integrated with Encoding.com’s cloud media processing platform, enabling pay-TV operators to quickly prepare and manage video content for multiscreen viewing from a single pane. The joint solution can be fully managed in the cloud, with monitoring and control enabled by the operator for increased efficiency, speed, flexibility, and scalability.

 

“Speed to market and video quality are critical requirements in today’s OTT world,” said Jeff Malkin, President at Encoding.com. “Our cloud media processing platform is designed to accommodate the ebbs and flows in media processing workflows. Whether operators are working with a few or thousands of files, we can automatically scale the necessary resources to process files simultaneously and in a fraction of real-time. With Viaccess-Orca’s well-rounded approach to multiscreen content preparation and delivery, this partnership is a win-win for pay-TV operators looking to be competitive in the OTT multiscreen environment.”

Viaccess-Orca’s TVaaS simplifies multiscreen content preparation and delivery, and improves monetization by enabling operators to manage the entire workflow from transcoding to packaging, encryption, publishing, personalization, and delivery. Using this cloud TV service, TV operators and content providers can create and deliver high-quality on-demand video to subscribers on any screen.

By employing Encoding.com’s robust media processing platform with TVaaS, operators can scale up and down as needed, with sub-10-second average queue times, guaranteed queue time SLAs, and superior video quality. Encoding.com algorithms utilize compute resources intelligently based on the appropriate job profile to achieve a level of compute efficiency and speed unparalleled in the industry.

“With OTT delivery heating up in the pay-TV market, cloud infrastructure has become a fundamental requirement,” said Paul Molinier, CEO at Viaccess-Orca. “Collaborating with Encoding.com, we’re one of the first providers to offer an end-to-end, cloud-based solution for OTT multiscreen content preparation and delivery. Encoding.com has the best and most mature approach to cloud-based video processing, offering a rich set of features and best-in-class picture quality that allows the content providers to support a vast range of devices in any bandwidth scenario.”

Viaccess-Orca will demonstrate its TVaaS solution at TV Connect, March 28-30 in London at stand C32. More information is available here.

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Cloud Encoding: By The Numbers

THE BROADCAST BRIDGE, March 20, 2017, Author Brad Dick

Cloud video encoding and workflows is growing by almost every measure. To quantify such changes, Encoding.com, completed and just released a survey, which provides a snapshot of the media’s use of cloud processing.

The data set was based on responses from more than 3000 broadcasters and content publishers, all Encoding.com customers. While this represents only one cloud provider, the results provide insights that may help media managers develop their own media processing strategy.

2016 by the numbers

Measured against 2015, encoding volume grew by 63%. With 14 processing centers located across the world, the survey data represents virtually all markets. The following report is based on those markets’ responses.

Key cloud metrics

HLS (HTTP Live Streaming) is an adaptive streaming communications protocol created by Apple and works with iOS and Apple TV devices and Macs running OSX in Snow Leopard or later. HLS can distribute both live and on-demand files. Because it is the sole technology available for adaptively streaming to Apple devices, HLS is an increasingly important market segment for streaming publishers.

● For the first time since 2008, the average number output formats decreased from 12 to 10. At the same time, content publishers are mapping the HLS output to a broader set of consumer devices.

One of the biggest trends driving cloud growth is the adoption of cloud resources by the world’s largest media and entertainment companies. A few critical elements have made these companies more comfortable using the cloud.

● Transit speeds in and out of the cloud are faster than ever because of UDP technologies, making the processing of massive files a reality.

● The stringent security requirements placed on cloud providers by industry and government agencies often exceed the requirements typical for in-house data centers.

● Cloud storage has been an entry point for large companies adopting the cloud. Once a media’s content is stored in the cloud, processing the content while in the cloud becomes a much more attractive option.

Cloud storage

● Amazon remains the large storage gorilla, representing 68% of the total source location volume ingested in 2016 up from 63% in 2015. Large media and entertainment companies increasingly move mezzanine storage to Amazon’s S3, which further fuels the adoption of cloud media processing in the corresponding AWS availability zone.

Figure 1. Key cloud providers and their market shares based on this survey.

Figure 1. Key cloud providers and their market shares based on this survey.

● OpenStack’s object based storage, known as SWIFT, appears to have stumbled last year, dropping from 6% to 3% of cloud usage.

● Big media loves Akamai. The company’s dominance of the media and entertainment sector is no secret and their penetration of this market was confirmed by a large percentage of Encoding.com’s M&E customers using Akamai NetStorage as a destination for cloud media processing.

● A surprise to many will be that Google Cloud storage continues to struggle and has yet to break the 1% mark in the media processing market. This survey’s statistics show that Google Cloud storage does not represent a significant source or destination location for media companies who have migrated to cloud media processing. From a technical capability perspective, the Google cloud compute and storage offerings are quite competitive, but they continue to struggle to penetrate the media processing segment.

How content is delivered to the cloud

Let’s look at how companies get their content to and from the cloud. Despite being less efficient, FTP/SFTP accounts for more than half the media transit in 2016 because of its legacy ubiquity. However UDP, particularly Aspera’s FASP (Fast, Adaptive, Secure, Protocol), represents a significant and growing portion of the transit data. Because of its speed and security, media managers see it as a good solution to delivering high volume broadcast content.

SFTP/FTP Remains Steady

Despite that the TCP/IP protocol was never designed for moving large files around the internet, FTP remains a popular transit protocol for getting files to the cloud, primarily due to its ease and prevalence on local media servers.

UDP Continues Growth

Customers utilizing UDP technologies, like Aspera, saw steady growth over the last two years. The inherent speed and security of UDP make it a perfect protocol for the ingest and egress of high-value mezzanine assets to and from cloud processing centers.

Video Codecs & Containers

While there are more than 30 commercial open source encoding engines, let’s focus on the top six used at Encoding.com and each technology’s market share.

H.264 Holds Steady

H.264 grew slightly this year reflecting its ubiquitous device and browser support. H.264 is the underlying codec within the most dominate adaptive bitrate standard HLS.

VP9 Makes a Strong Debut

Support for the VP9 codec in 2016 was followed by strong adoption and market interest as an alternative to H.264. This is especially true for high volume customers who benefit from the nearly 50% savings in data rate for the same quality when compared with H.264.

VP9/DASH implementations sparked the most interest due to strong VP9 browser compatibility (~90%). However some markets remain hesitate to embrace the format because the significantly longer encoding times seen with Google’s libvpx encoding engine.

Netflix ran a series of encoder tests in late 2016. From a Netflix blog post, “… x265 and libvpx demonstrate superior compression performance compared to x264, with bitrate savings reaching up to 50%. This is especially the case at the higher resolutions. While x265 outperforms libvpx for most all resolutions and quality metrics, the performance gap narrows (or even reverses) at 1080p."

Figure 2. Popular video codecs and containers. <br /><br />

Figure 2. Popular video codecs and containers.

Flash Video Winding Down

While Flash is still being used for some point cases, such as online advertising and legacy browsers, its days are numbered. Flash outputs continue to decrease year over year. Many expect to see the Flash video codec disappear completely within 12 months. Flash deprecation continues with the Chrome M56 release where Flash is automatically disabled by default.

HEVC Stumbles

After showing strong growth in 2015, HEVC as a target output codec dropped 50%, with output jobs decreasing from 6% to 3%. The 4K smart TV market remains the largest consumer of the HEVC codec. But the HEVC codec license uncertainty and a lack of mobile device compatibility is significantly inhibiting the market from further exploration of this codec.

MVPD Workflows Migrate to the Cloud

Historically, M&E companies have managed their Multichannel Video Programming Distributor (MVPD) workflows in-house using on premise encoding. This made sense when only a few output formats were needed to support Comcast, Charter, Time Warner, etc.

However, much has changed. Media companies now distribute their content to an increasing number of MVPDs and virtual MVPDs (Netflix, Hulu, Amazon, iTunes, etc). Each of these distributors has its own encoding requirements.

In addition, the pace of change for each distributor has accelerated as viewers demand their content be available across multiple platforms including cable STBs, OTT STBs, Apple devices and game boxes.

The result has been a significant increase in M&E companies migrating traditional workflows to the cloud. Storing individual program components (video, audio, captions, meta-data) separately in the cloud enables content providers to assemble the required output flavors on the fly. No longer is it necessary to revert back to a single high-bitrate Mezzanine file each time a new version is needed.

This is one of many use cases where leveraging cloud-based transcoding and packaging can power more efficient workflows.

Adaptive Bitrate Standards

Adaptive packaging protocols serve as the industry standard for premium video publishers to improve the end user video experience across varying network conditions and a diverse set of playback devices.

HLS the Industry Standard

HLS remains the most prominent standard, primarily due to its broad compatibility with iOS and Android devices, browsers, and OTT players like Apple TV, Roku, Fire TV and Chromecast. HLS is especially popular with video publishers who require sophisticated DRM or Dynamic Ad Insertion. HLS v5 was announced in September 2016 and most notably included support for Fragmented MP4.

DASH Grows

Strong growth from OTT providers has moved DASH (Dynamic Adaptive Streaming over HTTP) ahead of MSS (Microsoft Smooth Streaming ) as the second most popular adaptive bitrate protocol according to Encoding.com statistics. A relative lack of DRM and DAI integration hinders the protocol’s expansion.

Screen Resolutions

Despite the industry excitement about 4K, this resolution makes up only 10% of Encoding.com’s total output. The 1080p resolution content makes up about half of the company’s output and 720p remains a leading format for most mobile devices.

Figure 3. 4K resolution output represents only 10% of total output. 1080p is most prevalent for fixed displays.<br /><br />

Figure 3. 4K resolution output represents only 10% of total output. 1080p is most prevalent for fixed displays.

Audio Formats

The audio experience remains a critical component for mobile and OTT video presentation. From low bitrate audio “fall back” streams all the way up to high bitrate surround sound living room audio are now commonplace within the same adaptive bitrate package. This ensures that the highest available experience is delivered to every device at every network speed.

Multi-Channel Audio Surges for OTT

The use of Dolby Digital (AC3) and Dolby Digital Plus (EAC3) grew significantly last year. The 5.1 and 7.1 codecs are gaining in mobile device compatibility. The codecs are often used within the premium audio channel of the HLS spec, which allows 192kbps 5.1 streams to be paired with 1080p high-bitrate video streams. This audio video combination offers a premium experience for connected televisions, and the Apple TV and Roku boxes are often connected to home theater receivers.

Figure 4. Popular encoding audio formats.

Figure 4. Popular encoding audio formats.

ACC Delivers

The AAC and Dolby HE-AAC codecs remain popular audio codecs with broad compatibility across desktop and mobile devices. The HE-AAC codec is especially popular within the HLS adaptive bitrate standard as it performs exceptionally well at the low 64Kbs audio rate, the only bitrate required in Apple’s HLS specification.

To The Cloud And Beyond

The bottom line is that cloud processing is increasingly the ‘go-to’ solution for media companies. The cloud offers secure, cost-effective and versatile program storage, coding and workflow enhancement to serve a variety of consumer devices.

With all these advantages, there is less reason for a media house to purchase, maintain and staff all their storage and coding needs on site. By outsourcing such tasks to a company that specializes in these workflows, can mean increased efficiency, productivity, security and even higher profits.

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Encoding.com Selected in the Streaming Media Top 100

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Encoding.com is very pleased to announce we have been selected by the editors of Streaming Media magazine as a member of their annual Streaming Media 100 list. This inclusion solidifies our standing as a leader in the media processing space, and we are very excited to be on the prestigious list.

“While the big streaming services and tentpole events get all the attention technology creators and partners often toil behind the scenes to make it all happen. The Streaming Media 100 is our annual attempt to shine the spotlight on the companies that enable the creation and delivery of all of that amazing content," says Eric Schumacher-Rasmussen, editor of Streaming Media. “These companies are the ones that our editors and contributors have determined to be the cream of the crop—the most important, most innovative, and most influential companies providing streaming and OTT technologies, products, and services. Congratulations to all100 of them."

The list was carefully chosen by a ranking conducted by the Streaming Media editors and publishing team of all vendors in the streaming space, with the top 100 making the list.

For more information on our services, contact sales@encoding.com.

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Encoding.com Releases a New and Improved Statistics Portal

We are very excited to share with you our new and improved statistics portal in the customer UI. We have added a number of upgrades to the page, which we’re sure you’ll find extremely useful.

Customers now can view their overall and customized usage by type of service all in one portal, with the ability to download results to excel for further analysis and insights.

Take a look at the new dashboard below:

Screen Shot 2016-07-11 at 9.16.41 AM

You can now see your monthly and overall usage by type and costs, giving you a more concise look at your spending and invoices.

Screen Shot 2016-07-05 at 11.53.28 AM

You can also now view your usage creating customized time frames..do you need to look at your usage from the last day? From the last quarter? Well, you now can easily can pull any desired time frame.

You also have the ability to search by type of usage; live, vid.ly, reserved instances, etc, if you want to take a deeper dive into one area of your encoding with us.

In addition for all prepay plans, you can now see your expected date of usage to hit 100%, which can help you budget for the year and anticipate future costs.

As mentioned, we’ve also made it easier for you to analyze your data, offering you the ability to now download your results to excel for closer or customized looks at your usage . All you need to do is click on the X button to download your results to excel.

Take a look at the new page to get a better look at your data usage. Contact us with any questions.

Thanks!
Encoding.com Founders

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Encoding.com Introduces Live Transcoding

Encoding.com partners with Harmonic and Zixi to power Live Linear and Live Event video workflows. 

SAN FRANCISCO, CA- June 16, 2016- Encoding.com, the most trusted cloud-based video processing service for the media and entertainment market, has introduced their Live Transcoding service powered by technology from Harmonic, the worldwide leader in video delivery infrastructure. Broadcasters, cable programmers and over-the-top video service providers can now leverage Encoding.com’s best of breed cloud platform along with Harmonic’s innovative VOS™ Cloud media processing solution to deliver high-quality, live video experiences to customers around the globe.

“Encoding.com is trusted by many leading media brands to transcode and package on-demand video content for consumers across all devices. Now with Harmonic’s powerful VOS Cloud technology integrated deeply into the Encoding.com platform, video service providers have access to an unrivaled set of Live and On Demand capabilities in the cloud, delivered with the industry’s best video quality,” said Bart Spriester, SVP Video Products at Harmonic.

Via a single API integration, video providers now have access to a unique platform boasting the industry’s largest capability set for VOD and live video workflows, all under one roof.

“Having been the pioneer and leader in powering cloud-based video workflows for on-demand video providers for more than eight years, Encoding.com is uniquely positioned to deliver a mature and trusted service covering a broad suite of both file and live transcoding workflows in 10 data centers across six continents,” said Greggory Heil, CEO at Encoding.com. “Leveraging Harmonic’s video technology, the high quality, reliability and efficiency demands of live services are easily met, and as a result, we expect the addition of live services by Encoding.com to accelerate the overall migration of enterprise media processing to the cloud."

Encoding.com has also partnered with Zixi, the industry leader of live broadcast-quality video delivery over public and private IP networks, to provide the industry’s highest quality video ingest over unmanaged Internet connections from any device, anywhere. Users of the Encoding.com Live Transcoding service will benefit from Zixi’s large and rapidly growing ecosystem of embedded hardware and platforms to simplify and accelerate time to market for their live video content.

“We are excited to work with Encoding.com, a highly respected pioneer in powering cloud-based media workflows,” stated Israel Drori, President at Zixi. “Combining the best-of-breed products from Zixi and Encoding.com ensures that customers can deliver high-quality live video experiences to all consumer devices in an extremely cost efficient manner. “
To learn more about this new offering or to schedule a meeting with us to discuss your workflow requirements contact sales@encoding.com.

About Encoding.com
Encoding.com is the largest and most trusted cloud-based video processing service provider. As the pioneer and market leader for enabling multi-screen video delivery, Encoding.com powers advanced workflows for the majority of the Fortune 1000 media, entertainment, cable, broadcast, and technology brands. Offering the most robust feature set in the industry, Encoding.com streamlines transcoding, packaging and video delivery to all mobile, desktop, IPTV, and OTT devices. Headquartered in San Francisco, CA with offices in Aspen, CO and St. Petersburg, Russia, Encoding.com operates in private cloud environments and 10 data centers around the globe. For the latest news, please visit www.encoding.com and follow them on Twitter https://twitter.com/encodingdotcom.

About Harmonic
Harmonic (NASDAQ: HLIT) is the worldwide leader in video delivery infrastructure for emerging television and video services. Harmonic enables customers to produce, deliver and monetize amazing video experiences, with unequalled business agility and operational efficiency, by providing market-leading innovation, high-quality service and compelling total cost of ownership. More information is available at www.harmonicinc.com.

About Zixi
Zixi has engineered a proven, patent pending software platform that enables the delivery of flawless, broadcast-quality HD video over the Internet, in real time to any device over any distance. By solving the Internet’s inherent video broadcast quality and delivery problems, Zixi enables delivery of low-latency video of unprecedented quality regardless of network conditions, transforming the Internet into a broadcast-quality, global video delivery network. Customers using Zixi to enhance their users’ experiences include the Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC), Stryker and News Corp to name a few. Zixi is privately held and based in Waltham, MA

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Encoding.com Introduces Live Transcoding Support Using Zixi Feeder

We’re excited to announce we’ve added high speed IP contribution for our live linear and live event services using the Zixi UDP technologies which will significantly enhance the quality of experience for live customers.  Both Zixi Feeder and Zixi Receiver are lightweight software tools that run on standard PC hardware or are embedded into a wide variety of professional encoders, cameras, and mobile devices. Zixi Feeder accepts and prepares encoded video for transmission over standard Internet connections using Zixi’s UDP-based transmission protocols. Zixi’s Transport Stream architecture deploys monitoring, control, and intelligence along the entire transmission path. Zixi Feeder when combined with Zixi Broadcaster Platform or a Zixi Receiver (ZixiLink) is uniquely designed to deliver the quality and reliability that enables professional broadcasters, sports networks, and service providers to adopt IP networks at the core of their operations.

This integration allows Encoding.com users to use Zixi ON-Air, Zixi’s mobile contribution solution that offers high quality video delivered from a mobile device (iOS/Android) aggregating bandwidth across 4G/LTE and WiFi connections.  Users who do not have Zixi embedded hardware, can use Zixi running on an external appliance including Zixi ZEP-Lite, a small appliance capable of up to 30Mpbs of video contribution.

In summary, a better streaming experience is ensured  through the integration!

Check out our API docs for more details on how to get set up.

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Encoding.com at NAB 2016

Are you attending this year’s  NAB? Encoding.com will be holding court in meeting room N315MR. Stop by to hear the latest happenings at Encoding.com.  We’ll be sharing some exciting news. Encoding.com, the most trusted provider of cloud-based video-on-demand workflows in Media & Entertainment, has expanded its services to include live transcoding capabilities for OTT Live Linear and Live Event workflows. Cable programmers, broadcasters and video service providers will now have access to a single point solution for world-class file-based AND live streaming, all integrated through a single API. For more information, contact sales@encoding.com to set up a meeting.

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The death of Flash could come quicker than we thought

MASHABLE  JANUARY 27, 2016

While many onlookers have been pretty sure the death of Adobe’s Flash Player is all but inevitable, a new report suggests that day could come a little sooner than expected.

Flash, once ubiquitous in browsers, is on “life support" and will all but disappear in the next two years, predicts a new report from encoding.com. The prediction follows the report’s findings that use of Flash decreased by 15% in 2015, compared with the previous year.

While it hasn’t disappeared entirely, the report notes that the technology is now primarily used in banner ads and older browsers.

“While Flash is still being used for specific uses and edge cases such as banner ads and legacy browsers, it’s days are numbered," the Global Media Format Report for 2016 says. “Flash outputs decreased nearly 15% in 2015. We expect to see the Flash video codec disappear completely from our report with 24 months."

Flash became a central part of how we browse the Internet in the early 2000’s as it was used to display games and other interactive elements of web pages, as well as to play videos and music. But current technology has made Flash increasingly irrelevant, and use of the now much-maligned browser plugin has been plunging in recent years, particularly after several high profile security vulnerabilities were linked to the software.

It seems that even Adobe may be ready to give up on Flash — at least in name. The company announced in December that it was rebranding Flash Professional to Adobe Animate CC, in order to “more accurately represent its position as the premier animation tool for the web and beyond."

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