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How Is Video Transcoding Done?


As a video publisher or streamer, you must have faced the issue of improper video content delivery from the end-viewer. The problems may be the bandwidth of the viewer, slow-internet connection speeds, lagging and buffering, or device supportability issues with the video file format. Here is, how Is Video Transcoding Done?

Usually, the original video files are encoded into a suitable format, which supports most devices or browsers for downloading and playing the video in its best streaming quality. But, with the wide network of viewers to reach, video streamers need to step ahead by providing video content delivery supporting maximum devices and browsers around the world.

The best way to reach maximum people in the least possible time is through online video streaming platforms, which have become a daily need for most people around the world. To do so, video streamers have found the best solution to deliver online video content in the widest possible format supportability, and adaptive bandwidth streaming quality – video transcoding.

What Is Video Transcoding?

The video transcoding process involves decoding, modifying, and recompressing an encoded video file into a suitable format or codec.

The original video file is first encoded into a particular file size and format, only then transcoding can be applied to that file for changing the format type. For example, a surveillance camera records the video files in a single format and it doesn’t need transcoding as the viewership is limited. But, live streaming video content delivered online needs to be transcoded into multiple-format streams to deliver the largest possible viewers with different device types and browsers.

Why Do You Need Video Transcoding?

It is clear by now that video transcoding is needed to deliver the content in multiple formats for reaching more end-users.

From the technical point of view, here are some reasons to do video transcoding:

Adaptive Streaming Purposes

The encoded video files are packaged into adaptive streaming formats such as HLS, which allows the viewers’ video players to automatically switch between the video sources according to their internet bandwidth and device. For instance, a low internet bandwidth will switch to 480p streaming quality, while a high internet bandwidth will provide 1080p video quality.

Also, you can use other streaming formats such as MPEG-DASH, which provide multiple-device support for streaming effectively.

Customised Transcoding For Respective Platforms

For streaming video content to a large audience, you need multiple streaming platforms with their respective video input requirements like file size, frame rate, video quality, bitrate, etc. For example, a streaming platform requires 480p of input resolution, which need not be downsized for all the streams. The transcoding process creates a separate, lower-resolution stream for that platform.

What Are Different Types Of Video Transcoding?

Video transcoding can be done in three major types:

Standard Transcoding

This type of transcoding changes the audio or video content into a suitable transcoded format. For example, when you’re streaming an online conference and the IP cameras use Real Time Streaming Protocol (RTSP), they cannot convert the video content into suitable playback formats. Here you can use the streaming platform which automatically converts the stream into an adaptive bitrate stream by transcoding the same.


The trans sizing or image scaling type changes the size of the video frames according to the requirements, for example, 4K frame resolution lowering to 1080p.


The transmuxing process changes the delivery format and container of the video and audio files without transcoding or encoding the original video content.


Here the bitrate of the video file is modified without affecting the video format, content, or codec. For example, reduction of video streaming broadcast size from 10-Mbps bitrate to 3-Mbps, to fit the storage space of the viewers. Now, transrating can be done in three types:

Lossy to Lossless

This process maintains the video quality during the compression process, without regaining the quality and data lost through previous compressions.

Lossless to Lossy

This process yields faster and smaller file size for reducing the video quality, which improves the compatibility with various platforms, players or browsers.

Lossless to Lossless

Such a process maintains the video quality across multiple formats and sizes, with the advantage of effective compression algorithms or hardware.

How Is Video Transcoding Done?

You can perform a video transcoding process via software or a laptop or any PC, through a dedicated SaaS media server or platform. Moreover, there are other important components required for proper transcoding such as huge system RAM, high-performance processor, graphics acceleration, etc.

Even though the process of video-transcoding changes from case to case, there is a proper step-by-step procedure to do it.

Step 1 – Input Requirements of Platform

Here you require two kinds of inputs:

  • Technical specifications of the input video file or format can be determined by the analysis of the transcoded media.
  • Output parameters are set, which can be accessed from the rules of the media’s system.

After you collect and feed all the data required, the next step begins.

Step 2 – Transcoding Process

This step processes all the components fed, such as ANC, video and audio, into the transcoded file. The metadata of the media is split into various components as per the requirements. Then the transcoder performs its analysis of the file instructions for configuring the process into the desired output.

You can understand this with an example of the transcoding pipeline of a video file:

  • Demuxing: This involves extracting the compressed data from the wrapper, package, or both.
  • Decoding: This step decompresses the video file similar to the original uncompressed frames.
  • Video Processing: This step improves the encoding result by changing the picture elements through advanced image processing steps such as scaling, interlacing, and deinterlacing.
  • Video Transcoding: Change the video format into the required destination codec.
  • Video Muxing: Wrap the video with other components required for the desired output.

This complete process is simplified with Gumlet’s transcoding, which automatically applies the transcoding profiles for every new upload, with a user-friendly option to choose the suitable transcoding parameters – codecs, DRM, resolutions, overlays, all through one single CRM system.

Gumlet’s transcoder provides decoding inputs support to all the major video formats like MPEG-4, H.264 (AVC), H.263, H.265(HEVC), VP9, VP8, WMV3, and audio formats like MP3, AC-3, WMA, Opus, AAC-LC, Vorbis, AAC.

Final Thoughts

This article provides complete details of video transcoding – types, working, and when to use the process in the video content delivery system. The process provides the largest viewership visibility by removing the technical barriers of buffering, internet speed issues, and format incompatibility. For a simple and convenient transcoding process, Gumlet offers automated and highly optimised video transcoding.

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