▼ Scroll to Site ▼

Netflix Re-Encoding Entire Catalog to Reduce File Sizes By 20%

Article Featured Image

Netflix has reached the end of a four-year project to add intelligence to its video encoding and reduce file sizes by around 20 percent. According to Variety, Netflix engineers realized in 2011 that the adaptive encoding presets it used were wasteful, as they encoded simple animated programs and big-budget action movies in the same way. That meant that watching a cartoon in HD carried the same bandwidth demands as a Hollywood blockbuster.

At first Netflix thought the solution would be to create genre-specific presets, encoding action movies with one standard and cartoons with another. But it quickly discovered that not all movies within a genre have the same demands, and even TV shows can vary by episode. That’s when Netflix decided to apply presets on a title-by-title basic. The company partnered with researchers at the University of Southern California, the University of Nantes, and the University of Texas at Austin to create automated quality-control solutions. Netflix offered a detailed look at how it achieves its encoding savings in a blog post. The lower-bitrate files will help consumers avoid data cap limits and will be an assets as Netflix expands into countries with lower bandwidth averages.

Netflix has rigorously tested newly encoded files to ensure that viewers get an identical image. The company should complete re-encoding its vast video library by the end of Q1 2016. After that, it may dive into an even larger encoding project: re-encoding movies and shows on a scene-by-scene basis, since even within a title some scenes are more visually demanding than others. 

Streaming Covers
Free
for qualified subscribers
Subscribe Now Current Issue Past Issues
Related Articles

The Cost of the Cloud for Video Encoding: Crunching the Numbers

Cloud encoding companies offer software-as-a-service and platform-as-a-service options. Here's how to decide when to go with the cloud, and which option is right for your needs.

Conference Research Tests Adaptive Video and Quality Benchmarks

Video encoding professionals should take note of four papers presented at the recent International Symposium on Electronic Imaging. Read on for a detailed assessment.

Netflix Creates Local Recommendations Using Global Communities

The algorithm wizards at Netflix pull back the curtain and show how they use worldwide data to improve local and personal recommendations.

How Netflix Pioneered Per-Title Video Encoding Optimization

One-size-fits-all encoding doesn't produce the best possible results, so Netflix recently moved to per-title optimization. Learn why this improves video quality and saves on bandwidth, but isn't the right model for every company.

CES '16: Netflix Launches in Over 130 Countries During Keynote

Chelsea Handler, Will Arnett, Krysten Ritter, and Wagner Moura join Reed Hastings and Ted Sarandos to celebrate the SVOD's future

70% of Traffic Video/Audio; Netflix Twice as Popular as YouTube

A report from Sandvine shows that Netflix alone now makes up a greater share of traffic than all audio and video did five years ago.

Netflix Use Skyrockets Among Regular Viewers, Finds GfK

Regular viewers of the SVOD average watching 10 shows and 4 movies on it each week; mobile Netflix viewing is also on the rise.

Netflix Announces Partnership With SoftBank for Japan Launch

The SoftBank Group will help Netflix make an entrance by offering streamlined sign-up and billing to its customers.