With so many people around the globe sheltering in place as a result of the COVID-19 crisis, video streaming is being accessed by unprecedented numbers of viewers. Though an unexpected boon to video service providers, this surge in online video consumption has seriously taxed the bandwidth capacity of our IP networks, resulting in slower download speeds and decreased video quality. Broadband Now, a consumer broadband research website, recently reported that median download speeds have dropped 38% in San Jose, Calif., and 24% in New York since the crisis began.
Government regulators have stepped in quickly to help free up bandwidth. The EU, for instance, is pushing streaming companies to lower the quality and bitrate of their video files to help reduce internet traffic by 25%. In the U.S., wireless carriers have been granted more spectrum to bolster the capacity of their networks.
For streaming video companies, the easiest way to reduce bandwidth is to lower the video resolution of their content, but having to watch SD video when you’re used to HD leads to a negative viewing experience for many consumers. A better option — and one purposely designed to reduce video bitrates while maintaining superior video quality at full resolution — is to employ encoding technology from Beamr, a leading developer of Content-Adaptive Bitrate (CABR) solutions with 48 granted patents.
Encoding.com now offers this capability by integrating Beamr’s 5x HEVC and 4x AVC CABR encoding engines within the Encoding.com cloud workflow. Unlike competing solutions, which operate on a per title, per scene or per GOP level, Beamr’s technology enables the encoder to make smarter encoding decisions based on the true visual quality of each video frame. Scenes with high motion and detailed textures get higher bitrates, while scenes with low motion and smooth surfaces get lower bitrates. As a result, action movies can see up to 25% bitrate reduction and non-action content up to 50% reduction.
In addition to helping meet government regulations and satisfying viewer expectations, the resulting smaller file sizes offer the added benefit of lower CDN and storage charges.
Let us demonstrate the bitrate savings you can realize by employing Beamr CABR technology as part of the Encoding.com workflow. Contact us today to get started.