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Increasing video encoding performance while improving sustainability; can it really…

Jan De Cock

By Jan De Cock

Director Codec Development

Increasing video encoding performance while improving sustainability; can it really be done?

In today’s multimedia world, video remains one of the most prominent distribution channels.

Technology has come a long way in the 100 years since John Baird invented a television system with 30 lines of horizontal resolution and five frames per second. Today, over 1.72 billion households have at least one television, and with more than 100 million PCs and tablets shipping every quarter, consumers have an unprecedented choice and quantity of screens from which they can watch video.

With today’s viewers looking for more immersive experiences, they expect higher screen resolutions, frame rates, and dynamic range. And in the battle over eyeballs, content owners and service providers are sparring to connect bigger audiences. To achieve this, they recognize they must deliver the best possible live experience at scale to any screen. This requires processing and encoding more pixels in real time than ever before and doing so with a reduced carbon footprint. This is no easy feat, but as demonstrated by BT Sport during a 2022 Premiership Rugby match, 8K encoding and streaming of live sports events to the home can become a reality, especially when working with the right partner.

So just how do you face the technical challenges?

Addressing the challenges

The key to handling these challenges lies in highly optimized and parallelized encoders. At Synamedia, we have pushed the envelope with our in-house developed, software-based video encoders. Pure-software encoding brings with it deployment flexibility, performance gains with every new CPU generation, and agility for rapid innovation. The trend towards higher-core count CPUs means they can process more channels, resulting in greater efficiency and lower power consumption per channel.

Thanks to Synamedia’s collaboration with AMD, we have been able to improve our processing capabilities by optimizing our encoders for the latest CPU generations.

In addition, given that high-resolution encoders process an enormous amount of data in memory, the memory architecture of AMD EPYC™ CPUs provides further advantages to Synamedia’s high-throughput compression applications.

A leap forward

By introducing the 4th generation AMD EPYC™ CPU and increasing the number of cores per processor, our extensive CPU benchmark tests registered a more than 70% increase in channel density.
By leveraging 4th Gen AMD EPYC processors, we have further raised the bar for video compression in this immersive, multiscreen age by scaling performance more than just linearly. We have reduced the power required to process and encode a single channel, helping reduce the associated emissions and carbon footprint. And that puts us all on the right track towards creating a more sustainable video streaming industry.


To learn more about how AMD EPYC™ CPUs help us to enable new applications and make a difference in video compression read our whitepaper.



About the Author

Jan leads the compression team at Synamedia and is responsible for the company’s codec development operations. Having spent his entire career in the compression space, most recently as Manager of Video and Image Encoding at Netflix, Jan is one of the industry’s foremost encoding experts.

Prior to his role at Netflix, Jan was Assistant Professor in the Department of Electronics and Information Systems at Ghent University in Belgium.

Jan holds a PhD in Engineering from Ghent University in Belgium. He was general co-chair of the 2018 Picture Coding Symposium (PCS), co-organizer of the 1st AOMedia Research Symposium in 2019, and has been a presenter and speaker at a wide range of international conferences.

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