Eyevinn and TV 2 Danmark completed a joint project where the video quality for TV 2 Danmark’s streaming service was significantly improved while saving 20% of bandwidth utilization, by optimizing the transcoding settings using VMAF method and an iterative process.
In the eyes of the viewers and from a green environmental perspective, sustainable streaming will be even more important going forward.
In the early days of streaming services, the highest bitrate was used as a measure of video quality. The higher bitrate, the better quality, was the perception by many consumers. Today we in the industry know that this is not a sustainable approach. Higher bitrate takes more bandwidth of the Internet network resources and to just continue to add more network resources is not the right way to go.
In a joint project, Eyevinn and TV 2 Danmark, set the aim to improve the video quality for their consumers without any unnecessary increase of bitrate. We used an approach based on a method called VMAF (Video Multimethod Assessment Fusion). A method that seeks to reflect the viewer’s perception of quality. VMAF gives you a score for how close to the original the down-transcoded copy is. A score above 93 means that a human cannot visually see any difference. What we did was to first measure and calculate the VMAF score for the current service quality. TV 2 also wanted that their viewers would see a significant improvement and we aimed to increase the VMAF score with at least 6 points. Based on this we iterated to obtain the optimal transcoding settings where we got most “bang for the bucks” in terms of perceived video quality. An iteration process that was partly automated as otherwise it would have been too time consuming if it was to be done fully manually.
“Video quality is part of TV 2 Danmark’s strategy “Strategy 2025 – TV 2 PLAY for everybody”. As a big Danish broadcaster, but very small broadcaster in a global market (Denmark has a population of about 5.500.000 people), we are competing with both national and global streaming vendors but with very little resources. It is important for us that we get the most value out of our bits and bytes, both from an economical perspective, but also from a green environmental perspective. TV 2 Denmark is doing this with a relatively small team competing in a global market. In order to achieve this it is important for us to find good partners that can help us succeed and elevate the user experience to current and next-gen standards. Eyevinn is a key partner in our effort to meet these expectations on video quality in a very short timeframe.”
Alexander Björneheim, CEO of Eyevinn comments the result of this joint project:
“Today, it is equally important not to only improve the end-user experience but also in a responsible and sustainable way. We have seen a clear shift in the trend where having the highest streaming bitrates is no longer a competitive edge in the eyes of the viewers. Eyevinn believes that sustainable streaming will be even more important going forward.”
The VMAF method is built on research by Netflix and Prof. C.-C. J. Kuo and his group at the University of Southern California. Scripts for automating this process is based on the VMAF Development Kit and will be made available as open source. The automation process is scalable in the cloud and we were using AWS Elastic Container Services in this project.
Eyevinn Technology is the world leading independent expert in sustainable video streaming technology. TV 2 Danmark A/S is the company behind Denmark’s most-watched channel, TV 2, and behind the country’s most-watched channel family.