On2 Technologies Taps Power of Multi-Core Processors for Encoding

By Carl Lindemann

As multiplatform distribution for sports content
advances, coding content in the many different flavors necessary to feed the
growing audience pushes the limits of computing power. Now, On2 Technologies,
specializing in video compression software and solutions, has come up with a
new strategy to bring more power to bear utilizing servers with multi-core

The recently released TrueCore technology is incorporated into the latest
version of On2’s Flix Engine video encoding software. With it, multiple
processor cores can encode video in parallel, resulting in substantially faster
video transcoding speed with a single Flix Engine. According to the company,
this strategy allows a 720P high-definition video file to be encoded at 1.4
times faster than real-time on a processor with eight cores.

“Faster encoding has been a high customer priority, especially as
VP6-based Flash based video programming is used at higher, even broadcast
quality resolutions,” said Bill Joll, president and CEO of On2. “With
the increasing availability of multi-core processors in affordable
off-the-shelf hardware, our TrueCore technology gives users the ability to
fully leverage the benefits of such processors.”

Flix Engine has two modes for tackling different video encoding
applications. The default mode is targeted at user-generated content (UGC)
sites, and other high-volume applications for smaller video files. For this,
the software package simultaneously encodes multiple videos by automatically
spawning a new encoder process on each available core or processor. An
eight-core processor can therefore encode eight video files simultaneously.

For high-resolution content, the TrueCore technology kicks in to encode different
sections of a video file simultaneously across multiple processor cores. With
this divide and conquer approach, large files, such as high-definition video
(HD), are encoded significantly faster. With enough cores brought to bear,
encoding times can drop below real-time.

In either mode, pronging in additional processor cores ups performance.
Company stats claim that a four-core process can encode a video file
approximately three times faster than single-core implementations. An
eight-core process can encode a video file approximately five times faster.

“Faster encoding with On2’s TrueCore technology further pushes the
boundaries for how Flash based video can be applied to both high volume and
high resolution video applications,” said Chris Hock, group product
manager, Flash Media Server, for Dynamic Media at Adobe.

Given the pace of the advance of processor technology,
encoding speeds will quickly drop to minute fractions of real-time rates. On2’s
leveraging of multicore processors is a step towards achieving that.

removing this workflow bottleneck to prepping content for multiplatform distribution
will help realize the potential for these new venues for sports content.

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