Date: 2023-02-15 Source: Suma Tech
Cloud transcoding is one of the most popular workflows in video production and delivery over the past few years. For people who surf the internet regularly, the word "cloud" should be more familiar to them because many of them have used various of cloud services like could storage, cloud computing, etc. To put the word specific, cloud refers to the internet, and cloud service is the service that functioned on a server and you can use it online. Transcoding is the process of converting video content into different format, resolution, bitrate, etc. Obviously, the concept "cloud transcoding" means doing your transcoding tasks on an internet or virtualized server (or we can say "in the cloud").
As modern devices become rather diverse, e.g., mobile phones, tablets, laptops, desktops, TVs, compatibility has become a very critical point for media service providers. For example, video that encoded in H.264 is very common in many areas, while some audiences only have set-top boxes that support video format in MPEG-2. To make the content still accessible for these audiences, service providers should transcode their H.264 video into MPEG-2 format. Besides, when it comes to transmission, bandwidth is one of the most important factors to be considered. To increase the effectiveness of the transmission network, a practical way is to convert the video into other high-efficiency coding format (e.g., from H.264 to H.265) and therefore more content can be delivered using limited bandwidth. This is just what transcoding can do for you.
Some people may argue that we understand the importance of transcoding, but why not on-premise transcoding? Although siloed transcoding systems may be suitable under some circumstances, cloud transcoding usually surpasses the traditional method in several aspects:
There is no need to worry about the video quality when using cloud transcoding service. Cloud-based service is as powerful as the traditional on-premise system and realize the advantages of cloud transcoding will not at the cost of diminishing video quality.
It is somewhat cumbersome to use on-premise hardware for transcoding. With a cloud transcoding service, you can get access to it anywhere with a device (e.g., mobile phone, laptop) that has internet connection. This can be very convenient if you want to do your production remotely and near the broadcasting site.
Using cloud transcoding service means you do not need to prepare extra space for transcoding in your server room. This can help you save great amount of investment in hardware, shelf, electricity, maintenance, etc.
As an intrinsic feature of cloud service, you can customize your configuration anywhere and anytime you want, which means the could transcoding service has great potential for extension. You can easily scale up or down according to your requirements, and therefore you do not need to worry about hardware overload or redundancy if your transcoding planning is changed regularly.
To ensure you have the best experience when using cloud transcoding services, you should ponder the following things before you use it:
You need a specific and quantitative planning for your transcoding tasks. For example, you need to decide the amount of video files or channels you want to transcode and calculate the total bandwidth requirement in the transcoding process. Besides, you need to decide your input and output formats (e.g., HEVC, AVC, MPEG-2), and know better about the format that the cloud transcoding platform supports.
You should know how the service charge you so that you can make a smart budget. There are various of pricing model in the market, they may charge you based on time, bandwidth, volume of tasks, etc. Moreover, you should find out whether they charge for extra service like streaming.
It is necessary to ask for a trial before you pay for the service. This can help you test the stability of the transcoding system, get familiar to the functions and understand the discrepancies between your requirements and their functions.
Mostly, using cloud transcoding service do not mean abandon the existing transcoding system, which may be hardware-based. One way to make full use of the former system is to use it as your backup system for the cloud-based system, this can make your transcoding process more stable and reliable. Another way is to leave part of function on your former system and make it work simultaneously with the cloud system. However, you should pay attention to the compatibility between the systems when you using them.
Sumavision has prepared a versatile and powerful cloud-based transcoding service to help you easily convert your video into target format and resolution. Apart from basic transcoding function, others like streaming and gateway functions are also integrated into the system as modules to enable a simpler workflow and improve efficiency. Furthermore, Sumavision also provides hardware-enhanced transcoding solutions which leverage the stability of hardware to enable a better performance.