Cloud Video Encoding, or Cloud Video Transcoding, is the capability to convert video files to make them viewable by any media players, operating systems, devices or web browsers using the power of the Cloud. Cloud Computing brings you scalability, speed and efficiency no matter where you are on the planet Earth.
In video production the term video encoding refers to the process of organizing a video's output format and specifications for easy and seamless recording and playback. The process is also called video transcoding or video conversion. Digital videos normally exist in different video formats such as .MOV, .FLV, .MP4, and .WMV among other others with different video codecs such as H264 and ProRes and video bitrates such as megabits and kilobits. Since different computer browsers and mobile devices have different specifications, it is necessary to encode or convert videos from one format to another depending on the end user's device. Video encoding can either be done in-house using a company's own servers or via third party cloud video encoding services.
Cloud computing is basically a form of computing which depends on sharing computer resources instead of using individual local servers to handle applications. Cloud video encoding therefore refers to converting video output into the required format using a cloud-based company's facilities. Cloud computing is normally best suited to handle the CPU-intensive nature of video encoding. Cloud video transcoding allows you to reach out to a multitude of devices with minimal infrastructure costs.
There are many benefits of using cloud video transcoding services in comparison to the traditional in-house video encoding model. Cloud video encoding has the capacity to scale according to demand leaving you with large video encoding clusters without having to pay for idle computer resources. Cloud video transcoding is therefore more cost effective in the long run than traditional in-house video trancoding techniques. In an in-house model, the video creator usually encodes his or her content then distributes it directly to the viewers using video encoding software and a dedicated server farm. One must therefore install and maintain the video transcoding software besides hiring skilled IT staff to manage the software. You will further need to keep up with the latest technology trends in the industry through constant training and seminars.
If you do not keep up with emerging trends in video encoding, you may easily end up investing millions of dollars in a dwindling user-base which is not really good investment. It is more difficult to plan for peak utilization in an in-house video transcoding model than in a cloud video encoding facility. In cloud video transcoding, you are spared all the technical issues such as peak utilization and management of server resources. In an in-house video transcoding model your team will have to plan for enough server capacity lest your video content queues endlessly creating delays in processing. Cloud video encoding provides an ideal platform for converting and transmitting video content in multiple formats to suit your audience needs.
Cloud video transcoding furthermore helps you eliminate running expenditures and other costs associated with ongoing support. There are also significant savings in terms of floor space used, electricity, and other power related expenses you would normally run into if you managed your video transcoding tasks in-house. Moving your video transcoding activities to a cloud-based company saves you all these costs for a single monthly fee. Cloud video encoding is not only cheaper but allows you to only pay for what you use.
Noteworthy, the big issue of cyber-security always crops up when discussing the benefits of cloud video transcoding. Basically, once you have delegated your video content to a third party away from your server farm, you actually lose a significant amount control of the content. This does not mean that cloud video encoding is less secure. On the contrary, cloud video transcoding is less vulnerable to getting hacked since it is more distributed in nature and most of its locations are usually anonymous. With the right network level security, auditing, and architecture, cloud video encoding is secure enough for all types of content. It therefore makes sense to use cloud video transcoding in production and distribution of video content in multiple formats.
In a nutshell, cloud video encoding is so flexible that you only pay for the encoding volume you want. No need to invest in expensive infrastructure anymore. No need to hire IT people to run and monitor heavy video encoding processes. No need to update your software with the latest video codec and video formats. That's the magic of cloud video transcoding: everything is accessible online.
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