Intro to Video Encoding and Compression for Streaming

If you are thinking about getting into the business of live video streaming you’ll want to learn about the ins and outs of storing and hosting your files.

This will lead you down the road of understanding some basic trade-offs associated with the quality of your videos:

  • High-quality videos, the expectation of all consumers, result in higher hosting expenses, larger files, and longer upload times.
  • Low-quality videos, on the other hand, have lower hosting costs, smaller files, and shorter upload times.

On the consumer side, high-quality videos require more bandwidth from viewers. So, the obvious question for aspiring video streamers is, ‘how do I find a happy medium between high-quality video and smaller file sizes, shorter uploads, and reduce hosting expenses?’

This is where video encoding and compression come into play.

What is Video Compression?

Video compression, as the name suggests, is the methodology that turns large video streams into smaller ones. One example of this is the removal of repetitive or duplicate frames to make the file size smaller.

Video compression results in smaller files, less demand for storage, and lessened bandwidth requirements. While video compression helps reduce the above, it does not provide the advantage of serving consumers the highest quality videos. This where video encoding works together with compression.

What is Video Encoding?

Video encoding is a way of compressing videos without compromising the quality of them. The other key advantage of video encoding is that it makes the content compatible with the various consumer devices and platforms in existence today (i.e. iPhones, Android Phones, Rokus, FireTV, etc.).

Best Practices for Video Encoding and Compression

If you are like most media brands looking to serve your content to the masses, you will likely turn to the various software platforms that help to encode and compress your content for you.

These solutions come with different feature sets, and are often catered towards various brand sizes (startups, SMBs, enterprise, etc.). When seeking a video partner, consider the features you need and how you will scale to meet the needs of your consumers and you should be able to find an appropriate fit.

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