Why is Transcoding Essential for OTT Platforms?

Why do successful OTT platforms use Transcoding? Because it’s essential for delivering a quality viewing experience to consumers. Transcoding is converting video from one format to another, a crucial part of any OTT workflow.

Here’s a closer look at why Transcoding is essential for OTT platforms.

What is Transcoding?

In a nutshell, Transcoding is converting digital data from one format to another.

This can be anything from converting an audio file from WAV to MP3 format or a video file from MPEG2 to H.264.

In simplest terms, Transcoding converts video files from one format to another.

This is necessary because different devices have different requirements for video playback.

For example, a video file that plays back smoothly on a desktop computer might not play around as well on a mobile device.

Transcoding comes in here; converting the video file into a format better suited for mobile playback can ensure viewers have a positive experience regardless of their device.

At its core, transcoding converts digital video files from one format to another.

This is important because different devices support different video formats.

For example, a video file that plays smoothly on a desktop computer might not playback on a mobile device.

That’s where Transcoding comes in.

You can ensure that your video files can play on any device by converting them into multiple formats.

In a nutshell, Transcoding is converting digital media files from one format to another.

This is usually done to reduce the file size while maintaining an acceptable quality level.

For example, a video file encoded in 4K resolution will be much larger than one encoded in 1080p.

Many OTT providers will transcode their 4K videos to 1080p or lower to save on storage costs and bandwidth usage.

Why is Transcoding Important for OTT Services?

Transcoding is necessary for OTT services because it allows you to reach a larger audience.

By offering your content in multiple formats, you can ensure that as many people can view it as possible.

And since Transcoding is relatively automated, you can easily support multiple formats without much extra work.

There are two main reasons why Transcoding is so crucial for OTT platforms.

It allows content providers to offer services to a broader range of devices.

With so many different types of smartphones, tablets, and smart TVs on the market, it’s unrealistic to expect all viewers to have access to a 4K-capable device.

However, content providers can reach a much larger audience by transcoding their videos to 1080p or lower.

Transcoding can improve the viewing experience for users with slower internet speeds.

When videos are not adequately transcoded, users with slower internet connections may experience buffering issues or long load times.

By transcoding their videos to a lower bitrate, content providers can ensure that all viewers have a smooth and enjoyable viewing experience regardless of internet speed.

How does Transcoding Work?

To understand why transcoding is so essential, knowing how it works is helpful.

At its most basic, Transcoding takes a video file and converts it into a different format.

This is usually done to make the file compatible with a different device or platform.

For example, you have a video file you want to watch on your smartphone.

However, the file is in a format that’s incompatible with your phone.

To watch the video, you’ll need to convert it into a format your phone can handle. That’s where Transcoding comes in.

OTT platforms are all about giving viewers the best possible experience.

And to do that, they need to be able to provide high-quality video streams to all kinds of different devices.

That’s where Transcoding comes in. By transcoding their video files into multiple formats, OTT platforms can ensure that all their viewers can watch their favorite shows and movies without issues.

Why is Transcoding Essential for OTT Platforms?

There are two main reasons why transcoding is essential for OTT platforms:

To ensure compatibility with different devices and browsers. There are various devices and browsers that OTT platforms need to support, ranging from smart TVs to set-top boxes, game consoles, and mobile phones.

And each device has its unique capabilities and requirements.

Transcoding allows OTT platforms to take a single piece of content and encode it into multiple versions that can play on any device or browser.

To optimize video quality. Video quality is paramount for delivering an enjoyable viewing experience, especially live content.

By leveraging the power of Transcoding, OTT platforms can automatically adjust the bitrate and resolution of a video stream in real time based on the network conditions at that moment.

This ensures viewers get the best possible video quality, even if their internet connection isn’t perfect.

How to Use Transcoding Effectively

Now that we know what Transcoding is and why it’s so crucial for OTT platforms, let’s take a look at how to use it effectively:

Use multiple bitrates

But this doesn’t consider viewers having different internet speeds and watching habits.

One common mistake many OTT platform operators make is only using a single bitrate for their entire content library.

Some viewers may have fast connections and prefer to watch videos at high resolutions, while others may have slower connections and be more satisfied with lower solutions.

By offering multiple bitrates for each piece of content, you can ensure that every viewer has a great experience, regardless of connection speed or viewing preference.

Use adaptive bitrate streaming.

Adaptive bitrate streaming (ABS) is a technique where the player automatically switches between different bitrates based on the viewer’s connection speed.

This ensures that viewers always get the best possible video quality without having to manually select a specific bitrate or resolution as there are several ABS protocols available today (e.,g, HTTP Live Streaming (HLS), Dynamic Adaptive Streaming over HTTP (DASH)), but HLS is by far the most widely used thanks to its compatibility with a wide range of devices and browsers.

The Benefits of Transcoding for OTT Video Platforms

There are several reasons why Transcoding is essential for OTT video platforms, including:

Increased reach

You can reach a larger audience when you offer transcoded videos because your videos can play on more devices.

Improved quality

Thanks to technological advances, today’s transcoding tools can produce videos of higher quality than ever before.

Reduced costs

If you only offer one video format, you’ll likely need to purchase multiple versions of the same content (e.g., one for TV and one for mobile). Transcoding can help you avoid these additional costs.

Faster delivery

With Transcoding, you can deliver your content faster because it doesn’t need to be converted on the fly when a user attempts to play it back.

Lower bandwidth usage

If you offer multiple bitrate versions of your videos, users will only download the version they need based on their internet connection speed. This can save you money on bandwidth costs.

Simplified workflows

Transcoding can simplify your content processing workflows by eliminating the need for manual conversions.

Better Video Quality

Transcoding can improve the video quality for your viewers.

By creating multiple versions of your videos, you can ensure that each one is optimized for the specific device or format it will view.

This results in a better viewing experience for your viewers and fewer issues with playback.

Reduced Bandwidth Costs

Another significant benefit of Transcoding is that it can help to reduce your bandwidth costs.

Only one video version has to be served at the highest possible quality to avoid buffering issues on lower-end devices.

However, Transcoding allows you to create multiple versions of your videos and serve them at lower bitrates to save on bandwidth costs.

Improved User Experience

Having an excellent transcoding solution in place can also improve the overall user experience for your viewers.

Transcoding allows you to offer adaptive streaming, automatically switching between video qualities based on the viewer’s internet connection speed.

So, if their connection lags, the video quality will automatically adjust accordingly, so they don’t have to deal with buffering issues.

Increased Flexibility

Finally, Transcoding also provides great flexibility when it comes time to edit or update your videos.

Rather than going back and re-encoding an entire video from scratch, you can change the original file and then use your transcoder to create new versions as needed.

This saves time and effort while allowing you to make changes or updates without affecting existing viewers.

Transcoding For OTT Success

Ensures Quality Across Devices

One of the great things about Transcoding is that it ensures quality across devices.

No matter what device your viewers use – whether a smart TV, a laptop, a tablet, or a smartphone – they’ll be able to view your content in high quality.

Transcoding allows you to create multiple renditions of your video content, each optimized for a different screen size and resolution.

It ensures that your viewers will have a great experience no matter how they watch.

Saves Bandwidth and Storage Costs

Transcoding can also save you money on bandwidth and storage costs.

That’s because you can encode your video at multiple bitrates, meaning you’ll only serve the data necessary for each viewer.

This is particularly important if viewers watch on mobile devices with limited data plans.

By transcoding your videos, you can avoid those costly overage charges.

Improves Viewer Engagement

Transcoding can help improve viewer engagement by ensuring that videos start playing quickly and without buffering.

We’ve all had the experience of trying to watch a video that takes forever to load or constantly stops to buffer.

It’s incredibly frustrating and often leads us to abandon the video altogether.

By transcoding your videos, you can avoid those issues and keep viewers engaged from start to finish.


As you can see, many good reasons exist to use Transcoding for your OTT platform.

We encourage you to try it if you still need to start using Transcoding.

You may be surprised at how much it improves your viewer experience – and your bottom line!

As the market for streaming services becomes more saturated, offering a top-quality product is increasingly important.

Part of that quality is providing content in multiple formats so viewers can watch on any device.

That’s where Transcoding comes in. Transcoding is the process of converting video files from one format to another, and it’s an essential part of operating a successful OTT platform.

If you’re unsure whether your OTT platform could benefit from transcoding or how to get started, contact us for a consultation.

Our team of experts will help you determine whether Transcoding is right for you and guide you through setting it up.

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