Cloud Video Transcoding / Encoding for Small & Medium Businesses

How can you provide the best possible video streaming quality to your viewers? This has long been a serious challenge for broadcasters. In one study, 63 percent of viewers cited buffering issues as their most serious problem when watching online video. And when viewers have quality problems, they tend to leave your website and not come back.

One of the best ways to mitigate this potential problem is through video transcoding. This blog will look at video transcoding in detail—especially how to rapidly get up-and running with cloud video transcoding for your business.

Video Encoding 101

Video transcoding is the process that converts a video file from one format to another, in order to make videos viewable across different OTT platforms and devices. This process is sometimes called file encoding.

Transcoding is also how we refer to the process of creating several “renditions” of the same video. Each rendition is encoded at a different quality level, allowing you to offer your viewers different video qualities.

For details on how encoding works, the most popular codecs, and more, check out our ultimate guide to video encoding.

Why is Video Transcoding Important for Businesses?

MPEG-DASH_encoder_live_stream

There are two main benefits of video transcoding.

1. Maximize Video Quality for Viewers

Creating multiple renditions of your videos can be combined with an adaptive bitrate video player to ensure the best possible quality and uninterrupted streaming for each users. Viewers with fast internet connections can be offered very high-quality videos. Meanwhile, those with slower or intermittent signals can be delivered lower quality videos, which won’t look as good, but crucially will avoid buffering problems.

This process happens automatically, with no user interaction necessary. The video player will detect the viewer’s internet speed, and deliver them the correct quality by default. This is fully depending on video transcoding.

2. Ensure Compatibility and Playback Across All Devices

Transcoding is also used when the original uploaded format of the video cannot be played correctly. The standards formats for online video today are MP4 file type, H.264 video codec, and AAC audio codec. You should stick to these formats for your  uploads  when possible. But when you can’t, cloud transcoding helps convert other filetypes (like AVI, MOV, and MP3) to these standards.

With DaCast, as with other video streaming platforms, you must transcode any non-natively supported videos that you upload to your account. Through this process, our platform sets up all transcoded files for maximum compatibility with any device.

How to Access Professional Cloud Video Transcoding Tools

Now we’ve established what transcoding is, how it works, and what the benefits are. The next step is to access transcoding and create a workflow for your digital media content.

Generally speaking, there are two ways to transcode video: locally, or in the cloud. There are benefits and drawbacks to each approach. For in-house processing, you can use tools like Handbrake, Premiere Pro, or Compressor. These tools run on a computer and allow you to transcode in the studio or office. In most cases, local video transcoding is slower. It also results in multiple files that you must upload and manage separately. However, it’s also a free approach to video transcoding.

Cloud transcoding, on the other hand, may entail specific pricing plans. In some cases, limited transcoding may come with an online video platform. When you have a large and growing content library, want to deliver multi-bitrate adaptive streaming video, or don’t want to tie-up in-house machines on time- and processor-intensive transcoding, you’re better off looking for cloud video transcoding tools.

Transcoding with Dacast

video transcodingOur platform offers a variety of tools for professional to host, secure, deliver, analyze, and monetize online video—both video on-demand (VOD) and live streams.

This includes a number of tools for cloud transcoding. With Dacast’s newest video transcoding setup, we make it quicker, easier, and more efficient to transcode your files for online distribution. Here are three ways Dacast makes it easy to transcode your video files.

1. Manual Transcoding for VOD Uploads

Whenever you upload a VOD file to Dacast, a popup will allow you to choose between a “raw upload” and “auto encoding.” Using a raw upload is fine as long as your video conforms to the MP4 file type, H.264 video codec, and AAC audio codec.

However, you may wish to quickly transcode this video it into a variety of quality levels. You can do this by navigating to the video in question via the Dacast dashboard, then selecting the “multi-bitrate” tab. From this menu, you can begin transcoding your master file into a variety of renditions in just a single click.

2. Auto-Encoding for VOD Uploads

If you want to automate your transcoding, you can select the auto-encoding option. This will automatically re-encode your master file into compatible formats (MP4, H.264, AAC).

3. Ingest Recipes

video transcodingTo further automate, our advanced video hosting platform allows you to create “ingest recipes.” This allows you to designate a set of rendition/quality levels which can be applied to all your videos. At that point, each video that is uploaded will be automatically transcoded into these different qualities.

You can create multiple ingest recipes. For example, if you receive files in different sizes and formats, you can create an ingest recipe for each. Whenever you upload files, it’s easy to select the ingest recipe to apply on a batch level, or for each video individually.

Please note that encoding a file will add the processing time before it is ready for playback. While short and small videos tend to encode within 20 or 30 minutes, longer and larger files may take up to an hour to process. Therefore, if it’s essential to get a VOD online immediately, you may want to transcode in-house beforehand.

Is Transcoding Limited?

Dacast users receive transcoding credits based on their plan level.

  • Starter Plan: 20GB
  • Pro Plan: 200GB
  • Premium Plan: 500GB
  • Enterprise Plan: Custom
  • Event Plans
    • 1 – 20TB: 20GB
    • 20TB to above: Custom

Transcoding credits are used when you auto-archive a live stream, upload a VOD file with auto-encoding turned on, or transcode a video on-demand file via the Dacast dashboard. Note that when transcoding a video into several different qualities, you will only be charged for the highest setting.

If you run out of transcoding credits, it’s easy to purchase more, with bulk pricing available. We charge a simple, flat rate of $3 per GB for transcoding credits, with a 2GB minimum purchase. However, larger clients get a pro-rated discount as follows:

  • 20GB – 50GB = $2,50/GB
  • 50GB – 100GB = $2,25/GB
  • 100GB = $2/GB
  • To purchase more than 100GB, please contact us.

Conclusion

The Dacast video hosting platform makes it easy for you to encode your files for the best possible playback experience. Not yet streaming with Dacast, and ready to give our platform a try? Click the button below to sign up for our 30-day free trial (no credit card required) to test out our service for yourself! This free trial include 2 GB of transcoding capabilities, so you can test out the feature for yourself.

Do you have further questions about the information on video transcoding shared in this article? Are there related topics you’d like us to cover in future posts or updates to this article? Let us know your questions and feedback in the comment section below. We’ll do our best to get back to you as soon as we can, and we love to hear from our readers!
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By Max Wilbert

4 thoughts on “Cloud Video Transcoding / Encoding for Small & Medium Businesses

    • DaCast says:

      Great question James, we actually already convert the RTMP streams into a format that can be accessed over mobile devices. This is why there is an added delay of around 30 seconds to the HTML5/All Device streams to allow for this process compared to the Legacy Flash channels we also provide.

      • James Wasem says:

        Totally! What about live transcoding to different resolutions (360p, 480p, 720p) from the native RTMP ingest stream? Right now I have to send a separate stream for each resolution I want to let my viewers select, which helps them manage their download bandwidth, but it also taxes my upload bandwidth.

        • DaCast says:

          Hi James,

          Yep, we do get that request a bit so will add you as someone requesting it. And yes sadly it does require having a pretty good upload speed and being able to broadcast to several different resolutions simultaneously.

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