Part 1: Building a scalable 'shot-based' serverless AV1 video encoder in Azure

This is a 3-part blog covering how to build a scalable shot-based serverless video encoder in Azure. In Part 1, I explain what AV1 is and where we are in the video encoding space. In part 2, we create a logic app to upload and index the video. In part 3, we’ll need to split the video into its scenes and encode individual scenes. For reference, here are the links to all the parts:...

 · 8 min · Kay Singh

AV1 Ecosystem Update: May 2019

May was another amazing month for the AV1 codec! We saw great progress in the SVT-AV1 encoder, Android update news and some surprising news out of China! SVT-AV1 is making strides! Let’s start with SVT-AV1 encoder, the current encoder of choice for Netflix, being developed by the folks at Intel. In May, version 0.5.0 was released with the following features: 8 bit / 10 bit 4:2:0 up to 4K60p resolutions Presets 0-8 New API, FFmpeg, GStreamer plugins Rate control support (VBR, CVBR) Block sizes from 4x4 to 128x128 Non-square blocks Tiles Deblocking / CDEF / Restoration filters Film Grain Warped motion estimation Intra block copy Trellis quantized coefficient optimization Support for 4 and 5 layers prediction structures Chroma search in MD Multi-reference picture support Other notable updates May also saw the most number of commits to the SVT-AV1 Github repo as shown by the graph below....

 · 4 min · Kay Singh

AV1 Resource Central: Videos, Tools, Presentations, Comparisons, Research Papers, Encoders, Decoders

Bitstream spec https://aomediacodec.github.io/av1-spec/ Encoder Implementations SVT-AV1 Homepage https://01.org/svt Source repo https://github.com/OpenVisualCloud/SVT-AV1 User-Guide https://github.com/OpenVisualCloud/SVT-AV1/blob/master/Docs/svt-av1_encoder_user_guide.md Roadmap Trello page Microsoft Azure whitepaper https://01.org/sites/default/files/documentation/svt_azure_wp.pdf Amazon Web Services (AWS) Whitepaper http://01.org/sites/default/files/documentation/svt_aws_wp.pdf Mailing List http://lists.01.org/mailman/listinfo/svt-av1 aomenc Homepage and Source repo https://aomedia.googlesource.com/aom/ rav1e Homepage, Source repo https://github.com/xiph/rav1e Decoder Implementations dav1d Homepage, Source repo https://code.videolan.org/videolan/dav1d Presentations Mozilla @ NAB 2019 [April 2019 by Nathan Egge]...

 · 1 min · Kay Singh

AV1 Ecosystem Update: April 2019

It’s been an exciting time following the progress of the royalty free video codec AV1 over the past year and April might just be the most exciting active month in the amount of news we got about AV1! It’s not every day that media industry giants such as Netflix, Google, Mozilla, Microsoft, Apple, Amazon, ARM, Facebook, Nvidia, Intel, Cisco and many others agree on the same technology stack! Samsung joins the party The month started with Samsung announcing they were joining the Alliance of Open Media Board at the highest level....

 · 3 min · Kay Singh

How to identify boot, temp and data disks in Azure Linux VMs

In Azure, every VM has a persistent OS Disk that is used for booting the VM and contains the operating system. In addition to an OS disk, each VM also has a temporary disk that is present on the compute cluster hosting your VM. Why is my OS disk not @ /dev/sda? In most cases the OS disk is /dev/sda but in some odd cases it is not. This is not an Azure specific issue but a default Linux behavior....

 · 3 min · Kay Singh

It's time to replace GIFs with AV1 video!

It is 2019 and we need to make a decision about GIFs (no, not that one! We’re never going to be able to decide that one!). GIFs take up a massive amount of space (often multiple megabytes!) and if you’re a web developer, then that’s completely against your ethos! As a web developer, you want to minimize the bits your users need to download so that your website loads fast. That’s why you minify javascript, optimize PNGs, JPEGs and sometimes turn JPEGs to WebPs as well....

 · 9 min · Kay Singh

Detect Rolling Credits with Azure Video Indexer

Azure Video Indexer is one of my favorite services! It provides some amazing features such as: Identify faces and celebrities Extract text and objects (e.g. cat, table, car etc.) Detect scenes and shots Emotion and sentiment detection Audio effects such as clapping, silence & speech The full list of features can be viewed at https://vi.microsoft.com/en-us/ Get the credits rolling! Recently, Video Indexer announced they’ve added the capability to detect rolling credits in the videos....

 · 2 min · Kay Singh

The "Other Chromes": A Chromium-based browser market analysis

We’re living in a golden age of web browser choice. But before I begin this story, I need to take you back to 2006. You see back in 2006 as a young technologist, my choices of a web browser were limited. It was either Internet Explorer or Mozilla Firefox. But then one day while browsing through PC World magazine, I discovered an alternate option – Opera. Opera had many differentiated features such as a customizable streamlined user interface as well as being more memory efficient and faster than Firefox....

 · 8 min · Kay Singh

Microsoft Ignite 2018: VM Scale Sets + Shared Image Gallery = Infrastructure at scale - BRK3339

When you need to create a lot of instances from a custom VM image, VM Scale Sets and Shared Image Gallery are the services you need to use. In this session we walk through how to combine the power of VM Scale Sets & Shared Image Gallery to build infrastructure at scale. medianet_width = "600"; medianet_height = "250"; medianet_crid = "228792741"; medianet_versionId = "3111299"; ...

 · 1 min · Kay Singh

Microsoft Ignite 2018: What's new in Managed Disks - THR2263

Managed Disks make the managedment of disks a breeze in Azure. In this session I talk about the updates we’ve introduced to Managed Disks since Ignite 2017. medianet_width = "600"; medianet_height = "250"; medianet_crid = "228792741"; medianet_versionId = "3111299"; ...

 · 1 min · Kay Singh

Microsoft Ignite 2018: Migrating your IaaS infrastructure from ASM to ARM without downtime - THR2265

Azure Resource Manager stack has been released for almost three years now. In those three years many features have been added that are exclusive to Azure Resource Manager. In this session, I demonstrate the process of migrating your existing infrastructure to Azure Resource Manager without downtime. See a list of all the benefits here: https://azure.microsoft.com/en-us/blog/migrate-iaas-to-azure-resource-manager. medianet_width = "600"; medianet_height = "250"; medianet_crid = "228792741"; medianet_versionId = "3111299"; ...

 · 1 min · Kay Singh

Microsoft Ignite 2018: Share custom VM images with Shared Image Gallery - THR2264

Sharing custom images within an organization to different subscriptions globally has been a long standing ask from Azure customers. With Shared Image Gallery we’re making this dream a reality! Read more about Shared Image Gallery https://azure.microsoft.com/en-us/blog/shared-image-gallery-now-in-limited-public-preview/ In this session, I present how customers can get started with Shared Image Gallery. medianet_width = "600"; medianet_height = "250"; medianet_crid = "228792741"; medianet_versionId = "3111299"; ...

 · 1 min · Kay Singh

Testing x265 encoder scaling on a 128 core Azure VM for 4K HDR

Video encoding has always been a fairly compute intensive task. With every new generation of video encoders, more computational power has been required to achieve the compression benefits. HEVC/H.265 is the latest state of the art video compression standard with x265 being the most popular open-source encoder used for encoding into the HEVC/H.265 format. In comparison to AVC/H.264 (the previous state of the art encoding format), HEVC offers about double the data compression ratio at the same level of video quality, or substantially improved video quality at the same bit rate....

 · 6 min · Kay Singh

How do I discard unstaged changes in Git?

Often when I’m working on this blog, I work over multiple days and end up working on multiple devices. The blog is written in markdown and tracked in a Git repo on Azure Devops. The other day a scenario arose where I was customizing the theme of the blog but not getting anywhere. I decided to have another go at the customization few days later but this time on another device....

 · 2 min · Kay Singh

Vertical Scale Runbooks Updated with the latest Azure VM Sizes

In the world of cloud, horizontal scaling is well understood these days. It is easy to use applications like Kubernetes to automate the scale out your containerized applications based on workload demand. For applications running on VMs, we have cloud native services like VM Scale Sets that make scaling in and out a breeze. However, for an on-prem application going through a lift & shift to the cloud, vertical scaling of the VM is still the king....

 · 1 min · Kay Singh