Why You Need an Automatic Transcoding System

Knowing which video formats to provide your customers with can become a tricky task once you realize how many different viewing circumstances there are to cover. Today, there are so many devices and ways screeners can view your shows that it seems impossible to provide for every individual’s needs. Good thing MediaShowroom has the answer. But we’re getting ahead of ourselves. Let’s go back to the basics for a moment.

What is transcoding?

At the most basic level, transcoding takes one video format and converts, or compresses, it into a consumer-friendly format. What is often called a video file is two parts of a whole. Video files have both a container and codec. The container does exactly what it sounds like; it holds all the information that the video needs to work, including video and audio, the most important parts.  The most common container files end with .AVI, .MP4, and .MOV. A codec gets a little deeper into the file and breaks down video and audio into bytes so that it can be transmitted (H.264 is the codec ending used for most TV programs in the cloud). The codec is one of the main factors in the quality of the video.

shutterstock_95561590Video and audio bytes are transmitted at various bitrates, a measurement of how much of your video and audio files are being processed within a certain amount of time. Higher bitrates, meaning the information contained in your video is being transmitted faster, result in better quality. Resolution, frame rate, and aspect ratio are also key factors in video quality. There are eighteen commonly used combinations of resolutions, aspect ratios, and frame rates for digital television. In general, around 24 frames per second are used in TV show video formatting. If your customers are viewing your TV shows on their computer, you can give them the option of changing the resolution (i.e. 480p vs. 720p) allowing them to adjust the speed and quality of their video. This can be done regardless of whether the video is being streamed or downloaded. If they are streaming the video, in the settings of the video there is an option to switch between different pixel amounts. If they download the video, they choose at the time of download what format their video will come in. Generally downloading a video provides the most reliable results because once the video is downloaded the internet speed and browser do not affect video performance.

Getting the best quality video to all your customers, no matter what device they are using, is a process called “Adaptive Streaming,” and requires balancing all the different indicators of quality, specifically the actual device and screen size, internet speed, bandwidth, browser, etc. Based on these factors, having your TV shows available to your customer in many different formats is important. If one format is too large for their device to support and is not automatically transcoding to a better format, they can lower the resolution in the settings of the video (think about the pixel options on Hulu and YouTube and how that affects how fast the video loads) and access a video format that is friendlier to their circumstances and will stream faster.

To recap: what happens when you shoot a TV show as one type of file (at the professional level, so most consumers’ devices won’t support that format), and want to have your show viewed by the largest audience with the widest range of viewing options possible? Your video has to be broken up into little pieces and transcoded, or compressed, into a friendlier format. Transcoding changes the resolution, bitrate, and everything in between, of that specific video, giving your customers the best and least frustrating viewing experience so they end the show wishing they could watch more.

With all the transcoding that has to happen, MediaShowroom is a great resource to use. MediaShowroom provides an automatic transcoding system that transcodes your TV shows into the best format and highest quality video possible for all your customers to screen what may become their favorite TV show.

If you want to learn more about transcoding, this is a great resource. If you’re interested in reducing stress and using an automatic transcoding system, contact us at MediaShowroom.

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