What is the Purpose of a Live Streaming Encoder?

Media Entertainment Tech Outlook | Thursday, January 13, 2022

A software encoder gives you many options for setting up a live stream. It's flexible and powerful, and it can be installed on practically any machine.

Fremont, CA: Streaming live video over the Internet is a technically demanding challenge. It necessitates a thorough understanding of a variety of operational components. Broadcasters must comprehend these systems to make the best decisions possible when making a critical broadcast.

Purpose of a live streaming encoder

Encoding is the key to digital video live streaming. Video compression and formats are referred to as encoding. In its most basic form, the digital video consists of a series of still images that are presented in order while an audio track plays in the background. However, this kind of video streaming consumes a lot of storage space. A single minute of uncompressed or raw high-definition video footage might take up many GB of storage. When footage reaches 30, 60, or 90 minutes in duration, file sizes become far too large to handle.

Compression is the solution: a mathematical approach of "throwing out" redundant data. Video compression minimizes file sizes by discarding data for video segments that do not change from frame to frame. For example, if a video corner is black for ten minutes, most of the actual data can be discarded and replaced with a reference such as "make this corner black for the next 300 frames." A live streaming encoder decreases the bitrate (or size) of a streaming video so that it can be sent over the Internet. Compression at high levels can drastically reduce the quality of a video, making it appear pixelated. To overcome this problem, many other "codecs" have been developed over the years and are now available.

When it comes to encoding, though, there is another factor to consider: streamability. Neither raw video nor most compressed video formats are well-suited to Internet streaming. Special markers and containers are used in streaming formats to ensure that video is sent piece by piece without any glitches or errors. As a result, encoders not only compress video but also convert it into streaming-friendly formats.