In the theoretical sense, yes, in the practical, no.
The definition of video encoding and transcoding varies greatly depending on who you ask. Some claim they are the exact same thing, synonyms to each other. Others, that transcoding is simply a process within encoding. The definition has become increasingly blurred throughout the years. If you’re unsure what the person or company you’re interacting with: ask.
The original definition of the two is as follows:
- Encoding converts from “raw” video into an encoded format
- Transcoding converts from one encoded format to another
Other times they are distinguished by what type of file they are turning:
- Encoding - Turn an uncompressed file and turn it into another type of file format
- Transcoding - Turn an compressed file and turn it into another type of file format
Does this matter in any significant way? Not really. If you keep treating them as synonyms to each other, you will do fine, and you can be sure they will continue to be used interchangeably with each other moving forward.