Just in time for the IBC show in Amsterdam, we’re excited to announce the beta availability of both a groundbreaking new feature of our industry leading VOD transcoding service, and a major new addition to our service – Live Cloud Transcoding. If you’re at IBC stop by the Brightcove booth (5.C20) to pay us a visit and to see some demos.
Instant Play Transcoding
A typical transcoding job consists of three serial steps: downloading to the transcoder, transcoding, and uploading to the desired end-point. Instant Play collapses these into one continuous operation, making video available for playback before the entire file is uploaded and transcoded, regardless of the length of the file. Publishers with time-sensitive content (ex. breaking news, political content, sports clips) can now make content available for playback in a matter seconds.
Instant Play is available in beta for anyone with a Zencoder account. You can read more about it here.
Live Cloud Transcoding
Live video streaming has evolved greatly over the past few years. RTMP and RTSP used to be the only options for streaming live video, and with limited consumer bandwidth, video was plagued with dropped frames and stalled video. As more, (and better) streaming formats became available and the number of Internet connected consumer devices proliferated, the needs of content providers got more complex. And as a result, live streaming workflow got more expensive to assemble and required considerable skill to set up and operate.
Today we announced an early release of a cloud-based API for transcoding live video. The web service will accept RTMP input streams, and transcode to RTMP and HLS in multiple bitrates for adaptive bitrate playback.
Cloud-based VOD transcoding has enabled a lot of really cool products – certainly more than we could dream up. The costs and complexity of live video can discourage experimentation. This was one of the most common product requests that we’ve received over the past two years, and we’re now putting powerful live transcoding at every developer’s fingertips. We can’t wait to see the results.
Generally, cloud transcoding for live video offers some major efficiencies:
It eliminates outbound bandwidth bottlenecks. Outbound bandwidth can be a major bottleneck for distributing live video. Encoding on-premise limits the number and bitrates of streams to the outbound throughput, leading to tough decisions between device support and providing the best user experience with technologies like adaptive bitrate playback. With Cloud Video Transcoding, content providers publish just one RTMP stream, and transcode to other formats and bitrates.
It transparently scales to handle any number of input streams. Broadcasting multiple camera angles or several simultaneous events is simple and minimizes upfront investments in expensive hardware or software.
It transparently scales to handle numerous output streams. Output streams can be gated not only by bandwidth, but also by processing power. The cloud provides instant access to powerful computing resources and in the initial launch, we’ll allow up to 20 output streams per live input stream.
It will feature usage-based pricing. The details need to be worked out, but like our VOD transcoding, Live Cloud Transcoding will be based on usage.
The functionality that we’re launching with will get live video onto a variety of devices with a great adaptive bitrate user experience. We plan on expanding functionality from here, and want your feedback on what’s important.