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Definition of Transcoding

what is transcoding graphic

At base, we’re all about making complex technical language easy and approachable. Transcoding? It’s the unsung hero in the digital content world. Think of it as a magical translator that turns video, audio, and other media files from one format to another. Why do we need it? Simple. Our devices and favorite platforms all speak different digital ‘languages,’ and transcoding helps them all understand one another. Whether you’re streaming your latest creation, optimizing for phones, or making sure it plays on all types of services, transcoding means your work shows up great everywhere with no compromises on quality or accessibility.

Transcoding is taking encoded video or other digital content, decompressing it, and altering or re-compressing it. This could be taking a high-resolution video and transcoding it into a lower resolution for editing. Another way of transcoding could be taking a video for live broadcast and transcoding it into a range of formats to stream to viewers on different devices. Transcoding is a digital-to-digital conversion of one type of encoded data to another.

Types of Transcoding

types of file transfer infographicTranscoding is more of an umbrella term and there are three tasks that may fall under the umbrella of transcoding video content.

“Standard” transcoding is the most general sense of transcoding a video or a live stream – making changes to the video or audio itself.

Transrating is a more specific type of transcoding that is intended to specifically change bitrate. It would be the same video content/format/codec, only the bitrate would be altered, making it possible for the media to fit into less storage space or be broadcast over a lower bandwidth connection.

Transsizing is a specific type of transcoding that is used to resize a video frame, for example bringing 4K down to 1080p.

Video Transcoding

When it comes to videos, transcoding is your go-to for making sure your content fits perfectly, no matter where it’s being watched. With the boom in online video, services that handle video transcoding are essential. They configure your videos to match the viewer’s device, internet speed, and even regional needs. The result? Smoother streaming, lower costs on bandwidth, and a way better viewing experience.

Media Transcoding

It’s not all about video. Media transcoding covers the whole spectrum—audio, images, and more. It’s a big deal in managing your media assets, readying them for everything from broadcast to archive or on-demand enjoyment. As more of our workflows shift to the cloud, media transcoding steps up as a scalable, efficient, and automated solution, making sure your content flows smoothly across various platforms and channels.

Why Transcoding Matters

Transcoding is not just a technical term—it’s a pivotal piece in today’s media puzzle. From making videos run without a glitch online to ensuring all forms of content are just a click away, transcoding keeps everything streamlined. It’s how we make sure no matter where your content goes, it’s always looking its best.

Example of Transcoding in a Workflow

Think of transcoding like the ultimate backstage crew on the digital stage. With our file transfer solution, you can send all sorts of files—whether they’re .mkv, .mov, or .avi—into one transcoder platform. It’s like giving your content a universal passport, letting it jet-set to any corner of the digital globe. After the magic of transcoding, files are cloud-ready and waiting at your fingertips, making “Where did I save that file?” a question of the past.

Benefits of Transcoding

Tired of the manual labour that comes with transcoding? With transcoding through the cloud, you’ll be able to take away some stress from your postproduction. Here are some benefits of cloud-based transcoding:

Adaptive: Adaptive bitrate streaming, allows viewers to switch between video sources depending on the internet connection and device. Custom transcodes can be made for different destinations. Instead of reducing resolution for all streams, you can transcode the original video source down to a separate lower-resolution stream. Overall, less bandwidth is required and therefore there is less stress on your encoder.

Timesaving: In most cases, local video transcoding is a bit slower. This results in multiple files that you must manually transcode, upload and manage separately. With moving encoding/transcoding to the cloud, content creators free up time from having to maintain a server farm. Transcoding on the cloud allows teams to produce a range of content to transcode via one platform.

Scalable service: Transcoding using the cloud is scalable. You only pay for what you use, as a subscription or by month. Simplicity, security, and a reduction in management time are what complete transcoding over the cloud.