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mkammes
Level 7

HLS quality and bitrates. Are these still recommended?

Hello all:

I'm refreshing my HLS streams on my Roku channel.  I was only using 4 levels:
640x360  600mbits
854x480  1000mbits
1280x720 2000mbits
18920x1080 3500mbits

Apple, however, recommends 9, thusly:
https://developer.apple.com/library/con ... ments.html

FWIW, I did a size comparison, and my above settings vs the Apple recommended sizes and data equates to a 3.5x size increase in total size of the HLS files.

I'm wondering what other folks are doing currently?

Thanks for the input!
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5 Replies
Zelkowo
Level 7

Re: HLS quality and bitrates. Are these still recommended?

Those look like good targets, mine come in just under that when I encode.

Keep in mind that a lot goes into the bitrate of a video file.  i.e if it's a still camera with a person sitting in front of it, compression will be a lot higher vs, say someone wearing a go pro video camera doing some mountain biking.    I think that's how it works.  
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mkammes
Level 7

Re: HLS quality and bitrates. Are these still recommended?

Thanks.  Are you referring to my targets or Apples recommended targets?

What Apple is essentially doing tis making sure there is no gaps to the end users quality.  By having data rates at smaller increments, you can get as much quality as possible at that single moment without dumping down and taking a radical hit in visual quality.

The flips side is that this means 1) more computing power to generate the files 2) more on prem storage and 3) more cloud storage.

I was curious how many folks stuck the the Apple recommendations vs a more abridged version like me.  I'm debating moving to Apple's recommendations.
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mitchstein
Level 7

Re: HLS quality and bitrates. Are these still recommended?

I use 4 sizes although it is through IIS smooth streaming (similar to HLS but microsofts version). Basically I encode for HD at 1080,720,480,360.. Anything less and it's wasted space. I've had no complaints in 8+ years and millions of videos being displayed both on roku and the website. Also Roku 1s which there are tons still in use, have a problem with 1080, they bog down. The processor is just too slow for it. keeping this in mind I experiemented and through in lower quality and lowered bitrates in between the standards, what I found them to dfo is jump back and forth, whereas if you just have 1080/720, they most likely will just sit at 720...

Also I know Roku and the TV manufacturers are pushing for 4k, but the end users simply do not seem to care by and large. The majority are just as happy at 720 as they are at 4k except for football games and modern feature movies..
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mkammes
Level 7

Re: HLS quality and bitrates. Are these still recommended?

Thanks for the input, so you've been rocking 4 values as opposed to the 8 or 9 that Apple recommend with no issues?  Good to know.  I'm still on the fence; after all, it's just drive space, right?  And Amazon will certainly offer that up!
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mitchstein
Level 7

Re: HLS quality and bitrates. Are these still recommended?

I have no issues with just the four.. I run my own server farm so drive space is not an issue for me, but the amount of video 6 more copies of ever video I currently have would be. There is over 3,800 videos on my servers.. lol
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