April 13, 2024

In the fast-paced world of streaming media, adopting new video codecs is both a necessity and a challenge for companies with extensive content libraries and live linear services. The decision to migrate to a new codec involves complex considerations, including technological capabilities, user experience, and operational efficiency. To shed light on this intricate process, industry leaders from Netflix, Meta, United Cloud, and Help Me Stream recently convened at Streaming Media Connect to discuss the drivers, challenges, and trade-offs associated with codec migration.

Andrey Norkin from Netflix, Hassene Tmar from Meta, Boban Kasalovic from United Cloud, and Tim Siglin from Help Me Stream engaged in a candid conversation, sharing their insights and experiences with codec migration. The discussion delved into the motivations behind changing codecs, the complexities of catering to legacy users, and the implications for content delivery platforms.

“For us at Netflix, the decision to migrate to a new codec is driven by our commitment to delivering high-quality content and enhancing the viewing experience for our members. Technological advancements in codecs enable us to achieve better compression and improved visual quality, which are crucial for meeting the evolving demands of our global audience,” stated Andrey Norkin, representing Netflix.

Hassene Tmar, speaking on behalf of Meta, highlighted the role of new codecs in driving innovation and user engagement. “At Meta, we see new codecs as enablers of immersive experiences and innovative features. By leveraging advanced codec technologies, we aim to enhance user engagement and retention, ultimately delivering value to our community of users,” Tmar remarked.

However, transitioning to a new codec presents various challenges, particularly managing legacy infrastructure and ensuring compatibility with existing devices and platforms. Boban Kasalovic, representing United Cloud, emphasized the importance of strategic planning and testing in minimizing disruptions for end users. “Managing legacy infrastructure and ensuring seamless compatibility with existing devices are critical challenges in codec migration. At United Cloud, we prioritize careful planning and testing to mitigate potential disruptions for our users,” Kasalovic explained.

Tim Siglin from Help Me Stream echoed these sentiments, emphasizing the need to balance quality and efficiency in codec migration. “While new codecs offer improved compression and visual quality, they may require more computational resources. Striking a balance between maximizing quality and optimizing bandwidth usage is essential to accommodating users with varying internet connections,” Siglin stated.

In conclusion, the discussion underscored the complexities and considerations involved in codec migration for streaming platforms. While new codecs offer opportunities for innovation and improvement, they also pose challenges regarding compatibility, resource allocation, and user experience. By leveraging their collective expertise and adopting strategic approaches, companies can navigate these challenges and effectively deliver high-quality content to their audiences.