Streaming Forum Preview: Choosing a Cloud Encoder

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Over the last 24 months, cloud encoding has evolved from a “why would I want to do that?” technology to a “when should I start?” technology. There are multiple reasons. First, in live event scenarios, live cloud transcoding has proven to be exceptionally useful and cost effective. Second, as upload bandwidth becomes faster and cheaper, the upload time delays associated with on-demand encoding has dramatically decreased.

Most importantly, the encoding world has gotten vastly more complicated over the last 24 months, courtesy of the now almost de rigueur support for adaptive streaming and multiple mobile and OTT platforms, as well as the advent of new codecs like HEVC and VP9. Pumping out a single FLV file for Flash distribution is one thing; encoding for adaptive streaming to multiple platforms quite another. If you haven’t seriously considered cloud encoding for awhile, it’s definitely time for another look.

And that’s what you’ll get in my upcoming session at the Streaming Forum, entitled "Choosing a Cloud Encoder," at 10:30 on 24 June. Specifically, you’ll learn what cloud encoding is, the top use cases, and how to differentiate the various cloud service offerings.

I’ll start by defining how cloud encoding works, which is easy enough in a VOD environment, but a touch more complicated in live scenarios. Who’s using live cloud transcoding? Well, 24 months ago, probably no one. Today, Brightcove uses live cloud transcoding in their live streaming service, as does Onstream Media for their webinars and YouTube Live for their productions. Why? As you’ll learn at the session, live cloud transcoding reduces the cost of on-site encoding as well as the outbound bandwidth requirements at the site, which is a total win/win for live event producers.

Then I’ll run through the results from a recent article discussing the factors a number of companies considered when choosing between cloud and on-premise encoders. I’ll also discuss the available options for load balancing between on-premise and cloud facilities, which is a great way to transition to the cloud. If you’re currently trying to figure out when and how to transition to the cloud, you’ll find this section particularly useful.

The next section will cover differentiating the various cloud offerings, both VOD and live. I’ll detail performance results, quality comparisons, feature sets and pricing models, updating the results of recent cloud encoding reviews like and Elemental. Choosing a service is never simple, but you’ll leave with a framework of factors to consider to make the best decision for your organization, and lots of competitive info about the various services.

Overall, if streaming video is mission critical for your company, and you’re not thinking about cloud encoding, you almost certainly should be. If you need to get up to speed quickly, you’ll find my session at the Streaming Forum a great place to start.

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Streaming Forum Preview: Choosing a Live Encoder

The product categories and workflows for live encoding have exploded in number and complexity. This session at Streaming Forum will help you make sense of it all, and put you on the path to deciding what live encoders work best for your productions.