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Tips for Choosing an Enterprise-Class Video Encoder
When a desktop encoder isn't fast enough, it's time to get more powerful software. Here's how to make the best choice.

When a company's encoding needs are great, which is the best encoder to turn to? At the recent Streaming Forum conference in London, Streaming Media contributor Jan Ozer gave expert buying advice on enterprise encoders, starting with what separates them from desktop encoders.

"It varies by product. All products are different, but here are some concepts that kind of differentiate an enterprise-class encoder for me from a desktop encoder," Ozer said. "There's shared use, so enterprise encoders are typically designed to be used by multiple people, and typically in an automated way. Most enterprise encoders have user interfaces but they're primarily designed to be used by watch folder or, mostly, programming interface. So they're built to interface directly with your content management system, with your web publishing system, and the quality of the API is one of the things you need to determine before you can choose a product."

Enterprise encoders can also handle many files at once, letting high-volume publishers create encodes as quickly as their hardware can handle.

"Some of the desktop products are differentiated from the enterprise products by performance. So, if you look at desktop versions of Episode, they can only do two encodes simultaneously. They don't do split-and-stitch encoding which really speeds the encoding of long files, but if you buy the Engine version it's got unlimited encoding. As many cores as you have on your system, you can have unlimited encodes up to that number."

For more on selecting an enterprise encoder, watch the video below.

How to Choose an Enterprise-Class Encoder

This session will discuss factors to consider when choosing an enterprise video encoding system from the likes of ATEME, Envivio, MainConcept, Thomson, AmberFin, Elemental and others. Factors include performance, output quality, quality control options, format support, expansion options, programmability, and other variables.

Jan Ozer, Principal, Doceo Publishing — USA