Leveraging the latest adaptive bit rate encoding techniques, Sorenson Media (www.sorensonmedia.com) has released a new version of its Squeeze software (version 8), that it says helps broadcasters and content providers target the variety of mobile devices on the market with a high-quality video experience regardless of the available bandwidth.
Squeeze 8 accommodates several different compression methods, such as the Adobe Flash Dynamic Streaming, Apple HTTP and Microsoft Smooth online streaming format. All can be employed simultaneously or separately, depending upon the application.
The software automatically transcodes each individual video file into multiple, chunked segments in different bit rates (for different devices), organizes these segments into a folder, and delivers them to the specified destinations for playback on any device.
There's also new codec support for a professional version of x264, for streaming of HD content using MPEG-4 (wavelet) compression. This provides better quality and faster encoding than H.264, according to Randon Morford, Squeeze product manager for Sorenson Media. There's also an interface that allows adjustments to 48 encoding parameters — including key frame rates, encoding modes and performance — to complement all types of file-based work environments that use the H.264 format as part of their workflow.
Morford said Sorenson Media was the first company to put native H.264 support into a desktop (software-based) encoding tool, Squeeze. It now includes several different codecs — such as Sorenson Spark, QuickTime, Windows Media and others, into a single Squeeze 8 package. Squeeze 8 also offers a series of presets and filters that improve the workflow experience.
"We don't create the codecs, we just optimize other companies' products and make them perform better," he said.
Squeeze 8 also allows users to offload jobs from the desktop and into Sorenson's Squeeze server software. With its Server software, the company has taken its core encoding engine and made it useful for high-volume, multichannel encoding. And the software can be loaded virtually anywhere, including a cloud-based service.
The company has also improved GPU performance by using the NVIDIA CUDA card, which makes creating .mp4 proxy files fast. Sorenson said that CUDA's advanced processing results in faster encoding and video quality equal to video content encoded without GPU acceleration (including true-to-source black levels).
Sorenson Squeeze 8 is available in two versions: the full version ($599) and a Lite version ($199).
Sorenson Squeeze 8 Lite enables those focused on online publishing to cost-effectively encode and transcode content to Flash FLV, Flash SWF, MPEG-4, QuickTime, Windows Media, WMA and WebM. This streamlined version of the software enables single file encoding while still having access to all of the settings and filters in Sorenson Squeeze.