Colin Harrington

KulaByte

by on Jan.21, 2008, under Streaming, Video

In researching Flash Media encoders, I came across a company called KulaByte.

I was impressed with their solution — A live two pass Variable Bit Rate (2 pass VBR) encoder!!  They have definitely accomplished an incredible feat.  The two pass encoder basically splits the video into segments and utilizes multi-core systems to execute a 2 pass encoding before bringing them all back together.  I can imagine the complexity of doing this with a GOP based codec.  All in all, they told me that it introduced around 15-25 seconds of lag time on the encoder.   Realistically that is Acceptable in the Broadcast market.

They gave me a demo of their Xstream solution (not to market yet).  The Video quality was excellent.  It was what I expected from a 2 pass VP6 encode.  It was hard to see the artifacts at 900kbps, although I did occasionally see some non-traditional artifacts.  I am a videophile and am super picky about video quality.  I’ve seen artifacts like these using Windows Media Encoder’s live preview.  To best describe them, its like a set of pixels (box, group, etc) can’t decide whether to be up 1 pixel or down 1 pixel so it just flops back and forth a few times.  I’m not too concerned with the artifacts, but I’d like to learn what to call them.  Maybe it was just the source video, I don’t know.

The Video Quality was second to none in terms of a Live broadcast.  I was thouroughly impressed.  Because of the multi-pass situation, their software requires some awesome Multi-core hardware.  They even have a portable package that includes a 4 core laptop!!!

All in all, I am very impressed by their work!!  I might utilize their systems in the future.  Keep up the good work KulaByte!!

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