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!!