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What is video encoding?

Video encoding refers to the process of reducing the size of video files as well as converting them into another digital format. This is used both for standard videos and live streaming. It is often used interchangeably with the term transcoding. But, they are not necessarily the same, which we will delve deeper into and explain further down in this article. 

In this article about what video encoding is we’ll cover the following topics:

  • Is there a difference between video encoding and transcoding?
  • What’s the purpose of video encoding?
  • How does video encoding work?
  • Does a video encoder for live streaming work differently?

Is there a difference between video encoding and transcoding?

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.

Does a video encoder for live streaming work differently?

No. An encoder for live streaming works in the same exact way reducing the size of the video, but in real time. 

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The compression is especially important for live streaming as without it, uncompressed video content would exclude many from being able to stream it due to inadequate internet connection speeds. The keyword here is: bit rate, the amount of data per second in the video. The bit rate dictates if they will be able to easily watch the live stream, or if the watcher will be stuck buffering.

Do note that Vidspine’s encoding solutions are specialized on video encoding and do not as of this moment support live stream encoding.

Try out VidiNet today

Contact us to learn more. Through our cloud-based media solution VidiNet you get access to some of the best video encoders video on the market including:

Contact us directly if you have any further questions about what video encoding is, or need help in getting started with video encoding through VidiNet.

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Your Contacts for Video Encoding

Rasmus Bergander (1)
Rasmus Bergander
Rest of the world
Elina Dimitrova - image
Elina Dimitrova
North America
Regina Lisa Schneider - image
Regina Lisa Schneider