Towards Efficient Multi-Codec Streaming


Sunday, April 24 | 10:35 AM - 10:55 AM


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One of the biggest challenges in the design of modern era media delivery systems is the need to reach a population of user devices with different codec and stream switching capabilities. For example, it is well known that modern Apple devices (iPhones, iPads, MacBooks, etc.) are capable of decoding and seamlessly switching between H.264/AVC and HEVC streams. Most SmartTVs and modern generation set-top boxes can also decode HEVC, but they cannot switch between HEVC and H.264/AVC streams in the same streaming session. And there are still plenty of devices/streaming clients in deployment (e.g. old PCs, mobiles, set-top boxes, etc.) that can only receive and decode H.264/AVC streams. With the arrival of next-generation codecs - such as AV1 and VVC, the fragmentation of codec support across devices will be even more complex. 

This brings a question - how to serve such a population of devices most efficiently, by using codecs delivering the best performance in all cases, and yet producing the minimum possible number of streams, and such that the overall cost of media delivery is minimal?

In this talk, we will explain how this problem can be formalized and solved at the stage of dynamic generation of encoding profiles for ABR streaming. The proposed solution is effectively a generalization of the per-title or context-aware encoding (CAE) class-of techniques, considering multiple sets of renditions generated using each codec, as well as codec usage distributions by the population of the receiving devices. We will demonstrate the effectiveness of the proposed technique by comparing streaming statistics collected in recent trials of this method vs alternative solutions (single-codec systems, systems with ABR profiles generated separately for each codec, etc.).  

The talk will also include a review of relevant background information, including an overview of per-title and CAE-type techniques, multi-codec features of MPEG DASH and HLS streaming standards, their elements such as “SCORE” and “quality ranking” attributes, “qr-equivalence” and “adaptation-set-switching” properties, etc. 

A Sub-Session Under:

OTT 1: Emerging Developments


Yuriy Reznik
Technology Fellow and Vice President of Research at Brightcove

Hot Topics:
Streaming & OTT
Session Type:
Paper Presentation