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What is video decoding and why is it important 

If you are a business leader or a manager looking for ways to profit by creating streaming content, you need to have a clear understanding of what video encoding is and what processes go into it.

We wrote about what video encoding is in the article : What is video encoding? 

Now we are going to focus on how to decode the encoded video.

What is video decoding

A video decoder is a tool for decompressing audio, video, and subtitles that are streamed to devices that play video (such as televisions or smartphones).

There are several types of video encoders:

  • autonomous;

  • blade servers;

  • as part of a TV set-top box;

  • like a microchip.

During video decompression, the encrypted stream is decoded to HDMI. This allows the video to be displayed on the screen. To send video through a broadcast system, SDI is used.

Encryption and decryption

Encoding allows information to be transmitted only to authorized users. So if someone tries to eavesdrop, they will only get gibberish and contextless data.

There are several encoding algorithms.

Symmetric encryption with one key for both encryption and decryption.

This is a method of data encryption in which the same key is used both for encoding and for information recovery. The sender of the data transfers the secret key to the recipient so that they can get access to the information.

This type of encryption is called Advanced Encryption Standard (AES) and uses a block cipher in addition to the key. AES requires little computing power, so it works quickly.

The National Security Agency (NSA) uses AES in various areas (for example, in banking).

A public key cryptosystem has different encryption and decryption keys.

Any user can access the encryption key, but only the recipient has the decryption key.

Decryption is the process of decoding files to their original state. Keys are used to decrypt the original data. That is, you remove the encoding, and the contents of the file become available. 

Why you need video encoding

Live encoding compresses heavy raw media files in a way that minimizes network load. If you send an uncompressed video, the process will not work correctly.

Compression allows video streaming files to be transferred over the public Internet in live mode quickly.

If you are working with recorded video, you can reduce its file size by up to 1000 times. To do this, use the H.264/AVC and H.265/HEVC codecs.

Hardware video encoders

A hardware encoder is capable of encrypting video broadcasts while ensuring a minimum delay. They are used by major broadcasters in various fields, such as Eurovision Sport and SNY.

They are popular because of their high-quality video and fast streaming. Which is made possible by using dedicated computing power.

Hardware encoders are often used for data transmission, remote live interviews, getting feedback and remote production. These encoders are usually designed to last a long time and can support 24/7 video streaming without a hitch.

As with cameras, there is a wide pricing range for hardware encoders, from inexpensive to really expensive professional grade devices. The best choice depends on what kind of broadcast you want to organize, and how many video stream sources you use.

Importance of the Internet connection

In order to fulfill your streaming goals, you must have a reliable internet connection with sufficient upload speed. Generally, your upload speed should be twice as fast as your stream's bitrate.

We recommend an upload speed of approximately 20 Mbps for reliable Full HD streaming at 10 Mbps. If you are streaming multiple streams at once, you will need even higher upload speed.

A wired internet connection is preferred for most streaming purposes, but in some cases Wi-Fi or cellular may be sufficient. A good option for outdoor streaming is to use a smartphone with a mobile hotspot. If you need more bandwidth, you can use a cellular bonding solution.

Streaming platforms

A streaming platform is a service that hosts your video, delivers it to viewers, and makes it easy to embed live streams on your website.

This allows you to stream live video to an audience and then save the stream in case others want to watch it later. There are many paid and free streaming services that reach different audiences. The most popular free ones are YouTube and Twitch. 

We wrote in detail about what platforms there are in the article: Most popular Streaming Engines in 2023.

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