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Old April 24th, 2013, 09:20 AM   #1
Join Date: Apr 2013
Location: Bangkok, Thailand
Posts: 1
H264 Hardware encoding options

Hi folks,

My company is building a VOD distribution system for a local video distributor, and one of the roadblocks I am encountering now is video compression.

The system will be based on adaptive streaming, in other words 4-5 different versions of the videos in different resolutions and bitrates. And as they have over 1,000 titles in all, you can imagine this is a pretty huge undertaking, especially as a good portion are in 1080p HD.

Ideally, we want encoding that is fast yet retaining good quality at relatively low bitrates, as such:

1080p: 8Mbps
720p: 5Mbps
480p: 2Mbps
360p: 512kbps
240p: 256kbps (we'll also have Android and iOS apps)

I've tested a variety of "off-the-shelf" software, my test computer configuration is pretty beefy (i7 3930K 6-core with a mild overclock to 3.8GHz, 8GB RAM and a GeForce GTX660)

Anyway using pure CPU-based encoders (such as x264 through Handbrake, or MainConcept H264 through Sorenson Squeeze), I am just not able to get faster-than-realtime conversion.

And when using CUDA or QuickSync accelerated software options, it is indeed blazing fast (a 2-hour movie compressed to 1080p in 20 minutes!), but the video quality is far from acceptable.

I am curious about hardware solutions like the Matrox MX02 or Winfast's PxVC1100, which, from what I read, give a good compromise of speed and quality. But, this hardware is already several years old, and I am not sure if it might not just end up slower than relying on a high-speed modern CPU?

So, I would be very grateful if someone more experienced in this field has some advice or experiences to share!

Many thanks,

Thomas Gires is offline   Reply With Quote
Old April 24th, 2013, 10:54 AM   #2
Major Player
Join Date: Mar 2007
Location: North Hollywood, CA, United States
Posts: 807
Re: H264 Hardware encoding options

Telestream has just released Vantage 5 which has GPU accelerated H264 encoding. I haven't seen it in action, but the folks over there are nice and can give you some guidance.
Edward Carlson is offline   Reply With Quote
Old April 24th, 2013, 11:26 AM   #3
Join Date: Apr 2008
Location: Sydney Australia
Posts: 1,166
Re: H264 Hardware encoding options

No personal experience but a colleague of mine who is doing a lot of H.264 rendering swears by Edius using Quick Sync Hardware. He said he has seen nothing to come close to it in render times. Way faster than realtime he tells me. Have a look at this comparo for a bit of an idea.

Comparing H264 encoding in EDIUS to other programs

Chris Young
CYV Productions
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