If you are thinking about streaming online videos, you might fall into either of the two groups. Either you know what Transcoding is and how to go about it, or you’re confused at hearing the term transcoding everywhere and want to get an idea of what it is and why it is needed. In this article, let’s help you understand the top three reasons you should perform video transcoding for your digital media. But before that, let’s first understand exactly what video transcoding refers to.
In the streaming world, the word Transcoding is often used as a broad term to talk about different, independent media tasks. These include:
- At extremely high levels, Transcoding is all about taking already encoded content, decoding it, and compressing it even more. For instance, we might change the audio or video codec from one to another, such as converting MPEG-2 to AAC, or so on. Other tasks could include adding logos, graphics, or watermarks to the video.
- Transrating is about changing the bitrates. What it means is that we take a 4K video input stream at 15Mbps and convert it into lower-bitrate streams or renditions. This could be HD at 7Mbps, or other renditions such as 3Mbps, 1Mbps, and so on.
- Transsizing refers to resizing the video frame from a higher resolution (4K UHD) to a lower resolution (1080p or 720p, as required).
So, when we say “transcoding,” we are essentially talking about any combination of the above-mentioned tasks. Since the video conversion process is computationally very intensive, Transcoding can’t be done without proper, powerful hardware resources. This includes faster CPUs, GPUs, and so on. Transcoding is also performed using a live transcoder.
With that settled, let’s now understand the three important reasons why video transcoding is an important aspect of digital media, which every creator should leverage.
Video transcoding is useful for several reasons. However, the three main reasons that make video transcoding an extremely important process include:
With the ever-increasing diversity in file formats and codec support, there has been an increase in the need for media exchange between different systems. With video transcoding, it becomes possible to re-encode a given video stream into different formats like HLS or MPEG. That way, you get a chance to stream your videos to a range of applications that support other formats. When working with digital media, production, post-production, distribution, and storing are all distinct tasks and operate on their own practices. With Transcoding, you get a chance to bridge the gaps among these tasks, enable media exchange between different systems, and increase digital media use cases.
Media service providers and live streaming services such as Netflix are the epitomai of users of transcoding software. The reason for that is that Transcoding allows them to serve their diverse user base more comfortably and efficiently. Video transcoding allows live streaming broadcasters to accommodate the bitrate based on certain factors, including the device it’s being viewed on, bandwidth availability, codec support, and more. For instance, using HLS allows for dynamic switching between different video sources, depending on the device and the network speed.
If your users experience continuous lagging, buffering, or slow videos, their quality of experience is bound to go down. By Transcoding, video providers cannot only improve the viewers’ quality of experience but also ensure that the video plays just the way it should on their device. This makes Transcoding essential for any media broadcaster.
Apart from improving the quality and ensuring the video plays well on all devices, Transcoding is also important for ensuring that the final file size is small and easily accommodable. The source video file on which Transcoding is first done is generally much larger than the final file produced. That way, transcoding eliminates the burden on the user to take care of storage and provides them an easier alternative in the form of a smaller file size.
In today’s day and age, where digital media has become the de-facto method of communicating and informing, both video broadcasters and streaming services need to understand the nuances that go into making the whole video experience better for the end user. Transcoding is one such method that offers numerous benefits when it comes to improving the video quality, reducing size, and ensuring wide playability!