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How Many Rungs on Your Encoding Ladder?

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Learn more about per-title encoding at Streaming Media East Connect 2021.

Read the complete transcript of this clip:

Jan Ozer: Why is adjusting the number of rungs in the encoding ladder so important? When I tested per-titling encoding technology for Streaming Media and for some previous presentations at Streaming Media East and West, I started off with a fixed bitrate ladder, and then I applied the per-title encoding technologies to see how they changed the ladder. So this is the fixed ladder I started with. This is per-title a, and this is what we're seeing as they went from seven rungs to three rungs. And even though they dropped the number of rungs from seven to three, they provide very good coverage at the top rung. It's a very simple file to encode. It's a Camtasia-based video and the top rung is 860 Kilobits per second. But the VMAF score is 97, which is quite high.

The lowest rung, which we targeted around 200-250 kilobits per second, is at 214. So we got the quality and the data that we wanted covered in three rungs. And that's because this technology was able to change the number of rungs in the encoding ladder.

Per-title encoding technology B maintained the number of rungs. You started with seven, you ended up with seven, so it was likely an optimization technology. And the problem with that is we created five rungs down here that we're never going to use because we wanted rungs going down to 200-250 Kilobits per second, because this was a very simple file. And because this technology couldn't change the number of rungs, it produced 5 rungs from 22 Kilobits per second to 118 Kilobits per second with really dismal VMAF quality. So the ability for a per-titl encoding technology to change number of rungs is very fundamental and very helpful.

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