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HEVC and Wowza Transcoder: when bandwidth is an issue and quality is a must

October 7, 2014 by Jamie Sherry

Here at Wowza we are constantly watching evolving technologies and looking at ways to innovate in the ever complex streaming video workflow. To help with bandwidth-constraints where the content will be consumed, you can use High Efficiency Video Coding (HEVC), or H.265, which is one of several evolving video compression technology standards. 

To stay on top of this evolving standard, we have:

  • 2013 - introduced "HEVC pass-through", allowing Wowza Streaming Engine 4 to deliver HEVC/H.265 -encoded content.  
  • 2014 - demonstrated the ability for Wowza Streaming Engine 4 and Wowza Transcoder to transcode a single MPEG-TS H.264 720p live source stream in real time into DivX-compatible HEVC/H.265 MPEG-DASH adaptive bit-rate streams.
  • Now – introduced the latest version of Wowza Streaming Engine 4 which supports HEVC/H.265 encode/decode using the Wowza Transcoder AddOn.

Having enough bandwidth at the "first" mile (video source) and the "last" mile (consumption) to deliver the right quality are key to the success of live streaming.  When your live streaming source is bandwidth-constrained, you can send high-quality mezzanine source streaming to be transcoded in a location where you have the proper resources. When bandwidth at the point of consumption is low HEVC/H.265 was designed specifically to provide more "efficient" compression, which results in essentially the same video quality at lower data (bandwidth) rates as content using AVC/.264.

Now you have an opportunity to try this configuration as a special preview feature and let us know what you think. For more information on using this special preview of HEVC/H.265 encode/decode, including how to setup a test and see it in action for yourself, please click here.

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Jamie Sherry

Jamie Sherry has more than 15 years of experience in digital media, telecommunications and networking technologies, having worked with top brands in media and entertainment, enterprise, government and sports across North America and Europe.