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Video: Encoding for OTT—How Good is Good Enough?

How do you set encoding standards for OTT video? When do you prioritize bandwidth over quality and vice versa? How do you predict performance on different devices and gauge user expectations? Does broadcast TV set the standard OTT providers need to match? Panelists from Streaming Media, Beamr, Brightcove, Verizon, and Yahoo! debate the issue at Streaming Media East 2016.

Learn more about OTT encoding at Streaming Media West.

Read the complete transcript from the clip above:

David Sayed, Brightcove: How important is it to you, really? How much time are you willing to spend, because you can spend an infinite amount of time, and it will keep getting better and better. At some point you need to say, "Great, this is good enough." Good enough for certain types of content is going to vary. Presumably because you are all here, you all care about video quality, and video delivery costs, and things like that. I would say there's probably eighty percent of people out there that don't. As long as when they press the button it plays, and it's not dropping frames crazily, and it's not pixelated beyond recognition, that's okay.

Jan Ozer, Streaming Media: The counter balance to that, is everybody cares about the bandwidth.

David Sayed: Absolutely.

Jan Ozer: I think it's incumbent upon, if you producing video for mobile, it's incumbent on you to deliver the best possible quality to the lowest possible bandwidth. Even with some of the broadband vendors threatening to put caps, I cringe every time my kids are watching Netflix. Not that Netflix is bad at this, but it's not eight bucks a month, it's eight bucks a month, plus the fifty dollars extra that Comcast has thrown at me.

Mark Donnigan, Beamr: Now they have the mobile button.

Jan Ozer: Yeah, I think everybody needs to care about, if not quality, then certainly bandwidth.

Daniel Sanders, Verizon Digital Media Services: The goal of good quality video is that you don't think about video. I'm looking at it thinking about how the video looks, but a real viewer should never even think about it.

P.P.S. Narayan, Yahoo!: You put two screens and you watch TV broadcast on one screen, and OTT on one screen, and you should not be able to make out the difference. It's kind of the Turing test for OTT streaming, and I think that we are close, but we are still far away.

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