Ten years ago, a live or video-on-demand (VOD) encoder an on a standalone computer located in a server oom or in a corner of your studio, connected to ther encoders or controllers via a local area network. Today, as computing resources are consolidated into clusters of virtual machines,
or private or public clouds, encoding customers are seeking
new deployment options to match their changing computing
architectures, and encoding companies are responding.
To understand the specifics of this trend, I reached out to about
20 encoding companies worldwide and spoke to twelve vendors
These discussions led to the following conclusions.
Markets Are Changing, But at Different Speeds
Not all companies are virtualizing their computing infrastructures, of course, and not all that are virtualizing are transitioning away from traditional encoding schemas at the same pace.
For example, Elecard sells multiple encoding products, including live encoder Codec Works (which was used to stream the FIFA
Confederations Cup in 2017) and VOD encoder Converter Studio Pro.
According to product manager Vadim Blinov, most CodecWorks
users install the software in a single on-prem computer because they care
more about performance, while scalability is achieved with more blades for
high-density hardware configurations. In contrast, with Converter Studio
Pro, Elecard is seeing demand for a cloud version, which is now under
development. Explaining the difference, Blinov comments, “Many cus-
tomers want access to the cloud to manage spikes to their VOD demand.
We’re not seeing the same level of demand volatility in live encoding.”
Similarly, Comprimato’s Live transcoder runs on any standard x64
server device with GPUs, or it can be virtualized in a data center via
The Changing Face of
Demand for on-prem encoding is waning, and vendors
are responding with innovative hybrid approaches
that offer the best of on-prem and the cloud.