packaged as appropriate. What about creating
multiple bitrate MP4 files for VOD?
Though the gap is closing, on-premise encoders still tend to be the least expensive alternative. As an example, in Figure 5, TourGigs
deployed an “offline encoding cluster,” which
is its own homegrown encoder developed precisely for this reason. In my own experience, in
early 2016, I compared cloud and on-premise
encoders for a client implementing dynamic
packaging. I verified my estimates with all the
various providers, who will go unnamed. Prices for producing MP4 files in the cloud ranged
from $82,000 to $178,000 for 2016–2019. Alternatively, the client could buy a single appliance
for a 4-year cost of just under $32,000 to handle
the same load.
While certainly there are some storage and
operating costs associated with an appliance,
these seem less than the $50K difference be-
tween the appliance and the cheapest cloud
solution. However, as cloud prices drop, the gap
will obviously narrow. Still, if you’re searching
for the cheapest way to produce your MP4 files
for VOD, start with an appliance.
When pricing cloud options, try to find alternatives to per-gigabyte or per-minute pricing,
like the reserved cloud instances that you can
rent from Encoding.com, or Elemental’s platform as a service approach, which is priced
similarly. Also consider new service provider
Hybrik, which charges a flat fee based upon the
number of cloud machines you can run simultaneously with its software. (Full disclosure: I have
done some consulting projects with Hybrik.)
Jan Ozer ( firstname.lastname@example.org) is a streaming media producer
and consultant, a frequent contributor to industry magazines
and websites on streaming-related topics, and the author of
Producing Streaming Video for Multiple Screen Delivery.
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