Encoding And Transcoding For OTT Platforms

Seamless video streaming is made possible with the use of modern streaming technology. Here encoding and transcoding are two processes that help in maintaining the quality of the stream and delivering the content as quickly as possible. Streaming quality plays an important role in bringing a quality experience to the viewer. Quality of experience is so important that it can lead to a decline in the subscription of the platform. 

Great user experience is the game changer in the streaming industry. With this blog, we will try to understand encoding and transcoding and try to resolve the confusion that arises with the use of both terms.

Encoding vs. Transcoding: What Are The Differences

Encoding and transcoding are the processes used for streaming video content over the internet. Both the terms have their individual importance. Encoding is used to convert the non-streamable file to a digital format that can be streamed over the internet. While on the other hand, transcoding refers to talking the compressed file and creating copies of video files in different sizes. 

A large video requires a faster speed than a smaller video. A heavy video can create regular buffering and lagging making a negative user experience. OTT live streaming a smaller file will be easy and will provide a good user experience. Let’s understand what are the needs and necessities of getting the file encoded and transcoded.

Why Encoding Is Necessary?

Video encoding is essential to make the video file streamable on the internet. Encoding helps in creating a smaller video file size to be smoothly delivered to the end users. Encoding can help in compressing a large file into a smaller one. For instance, it can compress a file of gigabytes into manageable megabytes.

Encoding helps in streaming the video content smoothly during live streaming as well. In short, it helps in getting the content quickly to the end user and providing them with a quality experience. 

Why Transcoding Is Necessary? 

Transcoding is quite necessary to bring a great user experience. Not every viewer has a fast internet connection, there will be some who have a weak internet connection. Transcoding helps in bringing a continuous stream of the content without a break or a big pause. It creates several copies of the video file in different sizes. These files are named renditions. The creation of multiple files is due to different internet speeds at the users’ end. The core idea behind it is to handle different file sizes for different internet speeds. Large video file needs a faster internet connection while smaller file.

How Encoding and Transcoding Affect The Quality Of The Video?

If you know what encoding and transcoding are, you must want to know how they affect the quality of the video. 

Encoding And Quality Of Video

There are two different types of encoding which include lossy compression and lossless compression. 

  • Lossy Compression: Lossy compression is those which discards unnecessary data from the video file. 
  • Lossless Compression: Lossless compression makes a file compact and therefore maintains the data integrity of the file. ZIP file is an example of this type of compression.

Encoding video is naturally a lossy process. The video quality usually corresponds to bitrate size and makes the video streaming experience accordingly. 

Transcoding And Quality Of the Video

There are three types of transcoding techniques, which include:

  • Lossless-to-lossless: In this type of transcoding, the video file has not lost any information. Transcoding in this way does not remove data for a second time. It is more likely to result in a large video file size. 
  • Lossy-to-lossy: In this sort of transcoding, the process degrades the already low-quality file further.
  • Lossless-to-lossy: In this type of transcoding, a file is compressed which removes the unnecessary data from a video. 

It is quite important to choose the suitable method according to the type of device you are going to use and what data you can remove from the file.