Bitmovin's Free Tool Offers OTT Encoding Recommendations
To help OTT publishers get the best image quality with the least bandwidth, video infrastructure provider Bitmovin created a free resource called the Per-Title Benchmark Tool. By using it, publishers can learn the optimal encoding specifications for their videos.
According to Stefan Lederer, Bitmovin's CEO, the tool is meant to be easy to use. Publishers start by visiting the site and creating an account.
"Once the user has selected the piece of content they want to test, they only need to ingest the source video asset from an existing URL," Lederer says. "The piece of content is then analyzed to create the per-title encoding ladder, followed by two separate encoding operations—one corresponding to the fixed ladder and the other for the per-title ladder. The tool also runs diagnostics to create a report that compares the fixed bitrate ladder against the optimized ladder, corresponding to per-title encoding."
Anyone interested can use the tool up to 20 times. Besides offering encoding guidance, the tool spells out bitrate and storage savings, and creates a video quality assessment the publisher can use to identity areas that need improvement.
"We created the tool to help the industry offer the best quality of experience to viewers. Ultimately, the objective is to help developers improve video quality to increase viewership and time spent watching content—which then results in better monetization," Lederer says. "While the tool compares and contrasts the user’s own content and chosen fixed ladders against our per-title-determined ladder, we don’t use it to make people adopt per-title encoding. For us, the value is in the benchmarking activity and the benefits to the user's own choice of fixed ladder, as related to the specific piece of content."
When per-title encoding is used with three-pass encoding, publishers can maximize quality and better compete with popular SVOD services, Bitmovin says.
A three-pass process will learn from previous encodes to speed processing time and deliver better optimized files.
Bitmovin surveyed respondents across the globe, finding the lowest DASH usage in the U.S. and the highest in APAC and LATAM.
Bitmovin announced that it's adding AV1 to its VOD and live encoding service, and will demonstrate live AV1 encoding at NAB. It's still too early to assess whether AV1's performance claims are true, though.
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