Stronk Upgrade 💪

Stronk Upgrade 💪

The media industry is moving forward. Livepeer is evolving. The most common video codec (H264) has been around for 20 years and platforms are slowly transitioning to modern formats. AV1 is now the promised child to save our souls from visual artefacts caused by rigid macroblocks, while also addressing some of the patent and licensing issues associated with other video compression standards.

To adapt to this shifting landscape, we are future-proofing our EU setup by switching out our 1080Ti's with RTX 4060Ti cards. These cards give us access to the latest generation of Nvidia encoders, providing a higher quality per bit as well as unlocking additional codecs and pixel formats.

Out with the old, in with the new.

Is Nvidia still king?

Upcoming upgrades to `go-livepeer` and it's dependencies unlock the potential to transcode on alternative hardware. Recent versions of `FFMPEG` now support VPU's like NetInt or other GPU's like Intel Arc's. With new VPU's like AMD's MA35D on the horizon, the market is becoming more competitive.

Each hardware encoder is different. Especially for a relatively new codec like AV1 the quality per bit and speed of a transcode is going to differ greatly per card used. Intel ARC has already proven itself to be at least on par with Nvidia at a lower price point.

We're closely monitoring the progress of `go-livepeer` and the efforts of other contributors as they work towards enabling AV1 encoding. As soon as these foundations have been made, we've got an Intel Arc GPU ready to integrate and to start making some apples-to-apples comparisons. Can we actually see a noticeable difference in output quality? How many streams can we transcode at the same time?

Stay tuned as we continue to push the boundaries of what's possible in the world of live video streaming.