02 Feb 2017

Streaming Video Encoding Best Practices: Video Encoding by the Numbers

We’ve followed Jan Ozer for a while. To us he is one of the best and brightest when it comes to streaming video and encoding. We were pleased to find out that he’s released a recent book Video Encoding by the Numbers.

This book is chock full of detailed and quantitative information on the decisions behind how to encode your video no matter the content type.

Here’s some background information on the book:

Video Encoding by the Numbers teaches readers to optimize the quality and efficiency of their streaming video by measuring the impact of critical configuration options with industry-standard quality metrics like PSNR and SSIMplus. This takes the guesswork out of most encoding decisions and allows readers to achieve the optimal quality/data rate tradeoff.

Since all videos encode differently, the tests detailed in the book involve eight different videos, including movie footage, animations, talking head footage, a music video, and PowerPoint and Camtasia-based videos. The book walks the reader through quality testing, basic encoding configurations, encoding with H.264, HEVC, and VP9, and encoding for adaptive streaming, including technologies for transmuxing and dynamic packaging.

When appropriate, chapters conclude with a section detailing how to configure the options discussed in that chapter with FFmpeg, a preferred tool for high-volume video producers, including packaging into HLS and DASH formats (the latter with MP4Box). The book also details how to use key Apple HLS creation and checking tools like Media File Segmenter and Variant Playlist Creator.

and a link to Jan’s very informative blog and a description of the book in his own words: http://www.streaminglearningcenter.com/blogs/ozer-ships-new-book-video-encoding-by-the-numbers.html

Also, here’s a couple teaser images to get your appetite going. 🙂

Metrics to capture the optimal balance between time and quality

Metrics to capture the optimal balance between time and quality

 

Streaming Video: Encoding Time and Quality by Preset

Streaming Video: Lets use metrics to really measure what it means to have an efficient encode.

Anyway, check it out for yourself. We’re sure you won’t be disappointed.

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14 Oct 2016

CD Summit & Jenkins Days: Promising DevOps Technologies

I had the pleasure of attending CD Summit & Jenkins Days this week in Denver. The conference was very focused on Continuous Delivery, DevOps, and great team culture to promote best development and deployment practices. I’ve never been to this conference series before but it was a pleasant experience that I hope to check out again in the future.

If you are responsible for championing DevOps at your place of employment and wear many hats, it can be difficult to keep track of all the fancy new developments. Here’s a list of the new technologies that I learned about or dove deeper with while attending the conference:

Jenkins Pipeline

DevOps - Jenkins Pipeline View

  • Really cool way to manage your workflow from build to test to deploy.
  • Reminiscent of the fancy pipeline approach I dig about GoCD
  • Groovy DSL and Jenkinsfile yummies. Less UI-based configuration please!

IBM BlueMix Garage Method and ToolChains

DevOps - IBM Bluemix Toolchains

  • DevOps best practices through the Garage Method
  • Customizable Toolchains to get you from dev to deploy
  • Sweet Web-based IDE
  • Both free for anyone using BlueMix

Electric Cloud’s Electric Flow

DevOps - Electric Cloud Electric Flow

  • A fully featured and extensible release automation tool with a super slick UI
  • Free for up to 10 deploy nodes
  • So far about 180 different plugins

In Conclusion

I enjoyed my time at the conference and learned a lot. The tools above are the three most impressive that I saw and I look forward to playing around with them!

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16 Sep 2015
02 Jun 2015
19 Feb 2015

Using PHDS/PHLS/PRTMP? A case for updating to AMS 5.0.7.

Using the PHDS, PHLS, or PRTMP feature of Adobe Media Server is reliant on some certificate files provided with the installation. From time to time these files are set to expire and new files are provided by new AMS install versions. With the release of AMS 5.0.7, it has been noted in the release notes that these certificate files will need to be replaced again before April 6th, 2015:

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28 Oct 2014
13 Aug 2014
24 Jul 2014

Quick Tip: IP Multicast Fallback with Apache mod_rewrite

Recently, I was tasked with building a video player that would play live streams via IP Multicast on a supported network and automagically switch to Unicast on an unsupported network. Problem is, with IP Multicast the clients will make a connection and just wait around for data without bombing out. This is because the clients are connected to the IP Multicast address space via their network hardware and not a server endpoint in many other types of streaming.

In the past, this type of configuration might be implemented through a connection timeout in the video player logic. However, I wanted a seamless and immediate way to fall back without making the user have to wait. Enter Apache mod_rewrite.

The general workflow I wanted to follow was this:

  1. The end user hits the video player page on the Apache server
  2. The video player seamlessly and immediately point itself at the right stream.
  3. Everyone’s happy

I accomplished the above with a little mod_rewrite magic in my Apache config.

First, I needed to make sure clients on specific subnets would play back the live stream using Unicast. Second, I needed to properly redirect all other clients to the live stream using IP Multicast. Also, I needed to make sure that VOD requests would be ignored.

Here’s a gist of my rewrites along with some commentary.

 

Enjoy!

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02 Jul 2014
14 May 2014

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