WHAT IS A CODEC?

A Codec(encoder-decoder) is a device/software that encodes/decodes a signal or data-stream. Particularly for video streaming, there are several codecs available that compress the video for transmission, which is then decompressed on the edge device where the video is to be played.

Encoding is usually a more computationally complex process and thus is usually cloud-based, whereas decoding is a relatively simple process carried out by edge-device hardware. With newer codecs being released every few years, the compression efficiency for video transmission has gone up significantly. This allows for video transmission for streaming at the same visual quality but at lower bitrates, thus saving streaming cost and bandwidth.

In this first part of the Myelin Whitepaper Series on Video Encoding; Codecs and Types, you will learn about the different types of codecs such as Advanced Video Encoding (AVC/ H.264), Highly Efficient Video Encoding (HEVC/H.265), VP9, AOMedia Video 1 (AV1), and the advantages and disadvantages of using each. This paper will compare all available codecs against various performance parameters along with recommendations and best practices for codec selection.

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