How to Compress and Encode Your Own Videos: The Essentials
- 27 May, 2022
One of the most impressive things about the last 100 years is that we've fit more data into less space. Technologies like video encoding have made this possible. Cisco's latest Visual Networking Index says that video traffic will increase by four times by 2022. But how does video encoding change the way live video is sent? Now let's find out!
First things, first!
What Is Video Encoding?
Video encoding is a process of turning an uncompressed video into a digital format that can be sent quickly over the internet. Encoding happens as soon as a video stream is captured, and it is an essential part of all live streaming workflows. The encoder itself could be built into a camera, but it could also be a separate piece of hardware, a computer program, or a mobile app.
How Does Encoding Work?
After a live stream is recorded, the data must be reduced in size to be sent quickly across the internet. Often, gigabytes of data in a stream are cut down to megabytes of data.
Software and hardware for encoding videos use two-part compression tools called codecs to do this. In particular, codecs use algorithms to squeeze the video and audio data in as many ways as possible. Once the stream gets to the viewer, a video decoder built into the player software or set-top box uncompresses the data so it can be played.
What are the Video Encoding Formats?
Here are the formats that will be most popular in the last few years:
- H.264/AVC: H.264 is an efficient and widely used video compression technology that works well with low-latency streaming workflows.
- VP9: VP9 is a more advanced and higher-quality compression method than H.264/AVC. It works well for 4K streaming and is more compatible than many of its alternatives.
- H.265/HEVC: Right now, the best way to encode premium OTT content for devices in the living room is with the royalty-paying H.265 codec.
- AV1: AV1 is the newest and best open-source video encoding technology, but because it takes a long time to encode, it costs a lot to encode.
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