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Three Encoding Tips from Zencoder for Great-Looking Video

It's not enough to shoot your video in high-definition; you also need to encode it correctly so that your viewers get the best possible looking results. Zencoder, a cloud encoding company owned by Brightcove, just put together a white paper offering essential tips for quality video encoding.

"There's no excuse for poor-quality online and mobile video," says the white paper. To make sure you're offering customers and partners top-quality video, follow these tips:

Zencoder1. Serve each device the best possible video.

Rather than creating an average-quality video to stream to all viewers, optimize the experience by creating higher-quality encodes for different devices. First and second generation iPads can handle 1024x768 resolution video, while third generation iPads can handle 1920x1080 video, for example. Give each device the highest resolution it can take, while also providing lower-quality versions for low bandwidth connections.

2. Pay attention to bitrate, as well.

Resolution is important, but you also need to pay attention to bitrate when encoding video. Stream a low-bitrate video to someone with strong bandwidth and they'll see poor quality; stream a high-bitrate video to someone with poor bandwidth and they'll have to sit through buffering delays. The best way to avoid this is to stream adaptive bitrate video, such as Apple HTTP Live Streaming (HLS) and Microsoft Smooth Streaming.

3. Don't ignore audio quality.

Even with streaming video, audio doesn't take a backseat. It's actually more important to have strong audio quality than strong video quality, since viewers need to get a dependable continuous audio stream even more than they need a continuous video stream. Also, viewers get annoyed and distracted when audio and video don't sync up perfectly. Be careful to ensure high quality audio with low bitrates, Zencoder advises.

A little surprise for you about Zencoder's encoding tips: the actual white paper contains three additional tips, as well as more details about these three tips. If encoding quality matters to you, and it should, download the free white paper (registration required) for much more advice.

Troy Dreier's article first appeared on OnlineVideo.net

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