New Netflix Video Algorithm Finally Distinguishes Between Avengers And My Little Pony

Pictured: Not the Avengers.
Pictured: Not the Avengers.

Variety has an outstanding article about a four-year effort by the super smart people at Netflix and research institutes to rethink how Netflix video is encoded.  Back in 2011, Netflix’ encoding team realized they had their approach all wrong.  The Netflix approach was to take all video and encode it for three potential bandwidth speeds: super slow, regular, and fast enough to support full 1080p video.  They had good reason for doing so since speeds do differ from customer to customer and even while you’re watching a video (many people have seen the resolution drop or come back up while watching a show).  But the team realized that not all videos are the same–or as they put it My Little Pony is not the Avengers.

Translation: computers can compress simple images and animation much better than high action shots with lots of debris and smoke.  So the encoding team worked to develop a solution that didn’t just create different profiles for types of video but instead analyzes every video and comes up with a profile for that video.  The result is a much lower sized file meaning that if your bandwidth stays the same you should get better resolution consistently.  Netflix experimented with their highest definition content and found they could get up to 20% size reduction without picture degradation.  Netflix has already re-encoded over 1,000 popular videos and expects to complete their entire library by the end of March 2016 before possibly embarking on a next effort to come up with different encoding profiles for scenes within video, reducing file size even more.

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ICYMI-Mystery Geek Box Monthly Subscriptions: The Good, The Bad, and The Geeky

soda-roulette-mystery-box-279058-.-dated-30-03-15-22702-p

Mystery box subscriptions are all the craze these days. You know what I’m talking about, right? Mystery subscription boxes are mail order boxes filled with stuff that you pay for on a monthly basis. The catch is that you have no idea what is going to be in the box month-to-month. You have to go on faith that what is being delivered, will match the value of what you’re paying for the monthly subscription. And depending on what you subscribe to, you can open your mystery box and it may be filled beyond the value of your monthly fee, or you may come up short. It’s a gamble. And with a million different subscription themes out there; boxes for dogs, for foodies, for grooming, for geeks, etc, etc. You have to be sure you know what you’re getting into. Curious? Read on.

Continue reading ICYMI-Mystery Geek Box Monthly Subscriptions: The Good, The Bad, and The Geeky

Batmare: Shadow Of The Pegasus

batmare___shadow_of_the_pegasus_by_theshapelessmold-d7sjhn9

Check out this original art by The Shapeless Mold. It may not be the Pony you deserve, but it’s definitely the Pony you need.

Mystery Geek Box Monthly Subscriptions: The Good, The Bad, and The Geeky

soda-roulette-mystery-box-279058-.-dated-30-03-15-22702-p

Mystery box subscriptions are all the craze these days. You know what I’m talking about, right? Mystery subscription boxes are mail order boxes filled with stuff that you pay for on a monthly basis. The catch is that you have no idea what is going to be in the box month-to-month. You have to go on faith that what is being delivered, will match the value of what you’re paying for the monthly subscription. And depending on what you subscribe to, you can open your mystery box and it may be filled beyond the value of your monthly fee, or you may come up short. It’s a gamble. And with a million different subscription themes out there; boxes for dogs, for foodies, for grooming, for geeks, etc, etc. You have to be sure you know what you’re getting into. Curious? Read on.

Continue reading Mystery Geek Box Monthly Subscriptions: The Good, The Bad, and The Geeky