Encoding VOD clips in the cloud has transitioned from leading edge to mainstream. If you’re con- sidering a move to the cloud, or perhaps changing vendors, this buyers’ guide will help you identify
the best category of service provider for you, and how
to differentiate between services within that category.
In this guide, I’ll only discuss companies that offer
their products as a Software as a Service (SaaS) or
Platform as a Service (PaaS), as opposed to companies that license their software for installation in a
public or private cloud, or for other internal computing infrastructure. Below, there’s a list of questions
and features to help guide your analysis.
Who Are You and What Do You Want?
Several years ago, cloud encoding companies were
relatively homogenous regarding their product of-
ferings. Codecs and formats were limited, and band-
width restrictions limited most high-volume usage
to uploading a fairly compact mezzanine file for en-
coding to Flash and maybe HLS format. Over the past
few years, things have changed, and now there are
roughly four types of vendors offering cloud encod-
ing, though things may get blurry around the edges.
These are shown in Figure 1 on the next page.
Primarily encoding—Services like Amazon Elastic
Transcoder, Coconut, and Qencode primarily encode
mezzanine files uploaded to their platforms as efficiently as possible, and assume the computing requirements and expertise required to produce high-quality,
compatible video files.
Workflows, packaging, QC, and more—Beyond simple encoding, companies in this class want to assume
the workflow activities that typically precede mezzanine file creation. This can include dynamic assembly,
broadcast and OTT packaging, closed-caption creation
By Jan Ozer