Using Cloud Transcoding To Provide a Smoother Viewer Experience on Twitch

Being the most popular worldwide streaming platform, Twitch provides real-time communication. Twitch receives live stream uploads in the so-called RTMP (real-time messaging protocol) from its streamers. Then, it uses its own transcoder to convert an original stream into the HLS format with multiple resolution options: 1080p, 720p, etc. Transcoding is needed in order to provide all viewers with the best possible quality of the video regardless of the download bandwidth and the type of device. This allows a Twitch streamer to use a higher bitrate without limiting his/her viewers. However, there is a little detail: to use a full set of transcoding options, a Twitch streamer should be partnered. Besides Twitch built-in encoding options, streamers can use cloud transcoding to provide viewers with a smoother playback quality.

What Is Cloud Transcoding?

Cloud transcoding features a duplication of video into multiple resolutions saved in the cloud. You can do transcoding with the help of your own on-premise encoder, however, this variant will require a powerful computer and excellent Internet connection. With the cloud encoding, you conserve the usage of your computer processor and network while providing a smooth playback for viewers.

Why Using Cloud Encoding on Twitch?

  • Less computer power and network bandwidth are required
  • Smoother viewer playback is obtained as a result
  • Your content will reach more viewers
  • From the financial point, if count the costs of on-premise equipment and hardware, the cloud transcoding is cheaper
  • Access, view and manage your recordings at any time and from any place

Top Cloud Encoding Services used by Twitch Streamers:

There are huge amounts of cloud encoding services that can be used by streamers. Below, we mention only some of them. In their majority, quality cloud services are paid, some of them provide extensive free trial periods.

  • Wowza allows you to download software onto both an on-premise or a cloud server. 
  • Qencode will help you encode the streaming video, efficiently reduce its size while keeping the highest quality possible.
  • Zencoder features one of the fastest cloud encoding (HD video is encoded faster than realtime), supporting outputs for almost every device.
  • Anglecam offers cloud-based software for streamers with quality data protection.
  • Kkstream reduces cost by saving bandwidth, while still delivers extraordinary viewing experiences with Per-Title Encoding and Perceptual Streaming Engine.
  • Corecloud brings your stream video to the cloud with Core’s suite of professional management and live production tools, supports multi-platform distribution. 

With Cloud Encoding and Storage, Data Security Becomes a Serious Concern 

Data stored in the cloud is encrypted, so in order to use it, one should crack the encryption. The key is needed to have access to the information.  It seems secure, however, the problem is in “who owns the key?” Most cloud encoding services keep the keys by themselves. It’s comfortable for users, but less secure. We never know if the company pays adequate attention to security issues.

A few companies, such as SpiderOak, ask users to download encryption keys via special client applications and keep by themselves. However, this system is not always perfect as well: there is a chance that somebody steals data before it's encrypted and transferred to the end-user.

In Order to Increase Your Cloud Security:

  • Before uploading data to the cloud, encrypt it first 
  • Use authenticated encryption: it provides the highest level of security. Along with an encrypted file, you store additional metadata that help you understand if the file has been changed (decrypted) since it was created
  • Choose only trustworthy cloud services

Takeaways

Cloud encoding and data storage have become the “go-to” solutions for many content creators. Cloud services provide a cost-effective and convenient way of encoding while keeping an excellent viewer experience. However, it’s important to not delude yourself and pay more attention to the security of encoded data.

7/26/2019