Capture, Codec, Distribution, Oh My!

May 6, 2012, 15:39 by dliu

That’s the whimsical title of a workshop at the recent Power of Partners conference, where TelVue’s Engineering VP Dan Pisarski (seated in the middle) talked about the evolution of codecs, and the difficulties involved in working in what he calls “the compressed domain”.

JAG president Bob Duthaler (seated at the left) opened the session with a disheartening but all-too-familiar description of the pitfalls of trying to get your content into all the formats required to reach TV everywhere.

If you want to hit the universe of devices out there, the panel agreed, it takes many formats.  And to make many formats can really complicate your workflow.

“You can try to do it yourself, or do it in the cloud.” Duthaler noted.  “The same goes for storage.”

“There’s a lot of focus in the industry about the format wars,” Pisarski said.  “You have one from Microsoft, Adobe, Apple.  MPEG Dash is coming soon.  If you record something as HLS (HTTP Live Stream), it will only work on iOS devices.”

The best solution to reaching multiple devices, Pisarski noted, is Adaptive Bitrate (ABR) delivery. “It uses http, delivers video in tiny chunks, and allows delivery of different bitrates on the fly,” he explained.  “This is what enables the TV-like experience on Internet.  It’s the reason Roku can deliver TV over the Internet and look like HDTV.”  His advice?  “Put a lot of work into preparing the video beforehand for smooth reception at the end.”



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