Requirements before you begin:
- MediaCoder Free or Premium
- Article applies to all Media Players
Our Support Team is often asked by customers about the best practices of video encoding and what the best file type, resolution and bitrate settings should be when using Signagelive across our different Media Players. The following article will show you how to correctly encode your video files to ensure the best level of overall performance whilst retaining video quality.
This article contains the following sections:
- Why encode your video files?
- How do you install MediaCoder?
- How do you encode your files?
- How can you rotate your media with MediaCoder?
- What are the recommended encoding settings for each Player?
- Encoding Presets for you to use
Please NoteThe maximum file size you can upload to Signagelive is 3GB. So as per the instructions in this article if your files are on the larger side, it may also be necessary to encode your files.
Why encode your video files?
There are several good reasons why you should consider encoding your videos:
- Resizing - Allows you to reduce the size of your files.
- Player performance - Correctly encoded files will optimise player performance and allow for a better content result.
- Upload speed - Smaller video sizes will mean they are quicker to upload to your Signagelive network.
- Download speed - Schedules with encoded files will not take as long to download.
- Reduced bandwidth consumption - Schedules with encoded files will not take as much player bandwidth usage.
If you are noticing playback issues with your content, such as flickering / stuttering / freezing, black screen, skipped or poor transitions between assets, then it is possible that one or several of your media assets could benefit from being encoded. This will ensure your published content is more inline with your player/s performance capability, and potentially rule out sub-optimal encoding as a cause for the playback issues being experienced. More often than not file encoding is one of the earliest troubleshooting steps taken by our Support Team when attempting to address playback issues for our Customers.
How do you install MediaCoder?
To install the recommended Mediacoder software, please carry out the following steps:
- To begin, please open up a browser of your choice and go to the Mediacoder website.
- When on the MediaCoder website, please navigate to the Download section.
- Please select the MediaCoder 64bit Windows O/S Version - Download Here
- When you have downloaded the software, please now install this on your computer. The software will guide you through the necessary process.
- When finished, please run the MediaCoder application.
- You will now see the MediaCoder application and logo appear. If you need to remove the logo, just click on it with your mouse.
You have now downloaded and installed the required MediaCoder software. You can now follow our next instructions.
How do you encode your files?
Work through Mediacoder to apply your settings
To encode your media assets within MediaCoder, please carry out the following steps:
- Please start by ensuring that you have the MediaCoder application running.
- Now when ready drag and drop the video files you wish to encode into the top pane of the Media Coder software. Alternatively, click the top left tab labelled 'Add' > ‘Add file’ and locate the desired file(s).
You will need to run through the following tabs in the Mediacoder Software to configure your settings:
On the Video Tab to configure video quality performance:
- Set the Rate Mode to: Variable Bitrate
- Set the Video Quality option to: 23 CRF.
- Set Format to: H.264
On the Audio Tab to configure audio performance:
- Set Format to: MP3
On the Container Tab to configure the video codec
- Set the Container drop down menu to: MP4
On the Picture Tab to configure the video size and frame rate
- Set ‘Resize’ to the desired resolution using either the drop down menu or a keyboard. You can alternatively untick the adjacent Resize box to simply use the current file resolution for your encode.
- Set ‘Frame rate’ to the desired value. You can alternatively untick the adjacent Frame Rate box to simply use the current file frames per second setting for your encode.
- Ensure ‘Color Space’ is set to I420
To begin the encode, please click 'Start’ at the top of MediaCoder. This will begin the encoding process based on the settings set above and the files will begin encoding. Once complete a notification will appear to confirm the overall encoding size difference regarding your chosen files.
Congratulations, you have just encoded your file successfully. You can now upload the encoded video file(s) to your Signagelive network.
Please NoteIf you are unsure about what Video Quality CRF (Constant Rate Factor) to use, begin with 23 and change it according to your subjective impression of the output. Is the quality good enough? No? Then set a lower CRF. Is the file size too high? Choose a higher CRF. A change of ±6 should result in about half/double the file size, although your results might vary.
How can you rotate your media with MediaCoder?
If your display does not support the Native Portrait feature (see supported features and media types article here for further information), you will need to rotate your content before using it in a Playlist or on your Player.
Here's what you need to do:
- On the Picture tab set the Aspect Ratio option to Keep Pixel AR.
- On the Effects tab on the right, select either 90 degrees CW (ClockWise) or 90 degrees CCW (CounterClockWise). This would depend on the physical orientation of the screen.
When working through your encoding settings, if you wish to rotate the video then just apply the settings above in accordance with the other settings you have made.
What are the recommended encoding settings for each Player?
Samsung Tizen and Smart Signage Platform (Full HD)
There are no specific encoding settings for Samsung devices, however please note that Tizen models will not support videos with Frames per Second (FPS) over 30. If your videos are using even 30.01 frames per second then this video will fail to play. Our recommendation is that you always keep your frames per second below 30 and use a rounded number with no decimal places. This is recommended good encoding practice directly from Samsung.
Samsung Tizen (4K)
This is the official support table for 4K video on Tizen from Samsung:
|Codec||Frame Rate||Bit Rate|
|H.264 BP/MP/HP||24 fps||40 mbps|
|HEVC (H.265)||60 fps||80 mbps|
We have seen playback issues with certain content files for 4K playback with Samsung Tizen, and so our encoding recommendation is as follows:
- Video Bitrate: 8000kbps
- Rate Mode: Average Bitrate
- Video format: H.264
- Resolution: 3840x2160 or 2160x3840
- Audio format: LC-AAC with Target Quality: 25
- Picture: Frame Rate: 24 (24.000)
- Picture: Color Space: I420
Please NoteIt is strongly recommended that you use videos encoded with the same resolution and FPS for seamless video transitions. This is a recommendation directly from Samsung.
When publishing content to the LG webOS Media Players, LG recommends that all of your video encoding is exactly the same across all video files for best performance.
IAdea 4K Players
If you are encoding for an IAdea 4K Player then we have found the following encoding settings to work best when deploying full screen landscape content, if you are encoding for a portrait or different resolution screen, you can amend the resolution accordingly:
- Video format: H.265 / HEVC
- Video Bitrate: 10M
- Resolution: 3840x2160 (UHD-1) NOT 4096*2160 as this is for cinematic purposes
- Audio format: AAC
- Audio Bitrate: 192k
Encoding Presets for you to use
To save you time we've created a series of preset files which can be loaded in to MediaCoder will automatically the set the relevant settings. You can use these by downloading them from the bottom of this article, loading MediaCoder and the using the File Menu to select Load Preset.
Here are the presets we've added to this article for you:
- Samsung Tizen 4K - [8000kbps, H.264, 3840x2160, LC-AAC, 24 FPS]
- IAdea 4K - [10000kbps, H.265, 3840x2160, AAC]