Difference Between Encoding & Transcoding Complete Information With Diagram

encoding transcoding difference


If you are in Streaming Media Industry then regularly you gets in touch with terms Encoding and Transcoding. Somewhere somehow people gets confuse between these two terms.

Because these two codings works very similar, then what is the Technical Difference Between Encoding and Transcoding ?

To remove this kind of little bit confusion today we will understand what is the basic difference between them with the help you diagrams.

So lets get started,

What Is Encoding ?

encoding working

When a Raw or Uncompressed data like Analog Audio Video is compressed and converted into digital format then it is called the encoding. So it is conversion of Raw Data into digital data.

Encoding can also be defined as conversion of Lossless data into Lossy data. Where lossless data is uncompressed data and lossy data is compressed or encoded data.

Here a encoded data will always be lossy because various encoding algorithms have performed on raw data to reduce bandwidth consumption in streaming media industry.

As shown above in the diagram a LIVE Recording Camera is giving feed directly to the encoder. Where this data feed can be SDI format (Uncompressed Data).

Know More About : SDI Format

Now encoder encode this data feed and provides encoded data which can be in .MP4 format.

Simultaneously we are seeing second feed which is coming from decoder that is Audio Video signal or can be a HDMI signal. Which is uncompressed data.

Then goes into the encoder for compression and conversion to provide required output. Which in our case is .MP4

What Is Transcoding ?

Transcoding is the process where Digital or compressed data is converted into the required format of data. The device which perform this action is called Transcoder.

See, here data is already compressed and available digitally, which now have transcoded into the required format of data. Like conversion of .FLV file into the .MP4 file.

Now as we have seen here codec of our video file have changed from FLV to MP4. This is called the transcoding.


Now is that enough to understand about transcoding that it is conversion of codecs only ?

NO, a little bit tricky thing starts from here about transcoding explaining below,

Keep in mind the Transcoded File can be in same format but with different Bitrate and Resolution. Like conversion of HD video into SD video.

Know More About : Resolution

Thus a transcoder is designed to provide multiple output streams at different bitrate and resolutions for a single input file for streaming media industry. So that user end device can select which stream need to watch according his internet bandwidth connection.

transcoding working

As shown above in the diagram Transcoder is having .FLV input source. Now transcoder translate this Source Format into RAW Intermediate Format.

Where again a Re-Translation is done to produce file in Adaptive Format. This adaptive format is the required format for user. This is how a transcoding works.

Know More About : What Is Transcoding in brief ?


Encoding And Transcoding are the two different things where one have uncompressed data input and other one have compressed data input respectively.

If we understand it simply then, Encoding converts Analog Content into Digital Format Content. While Transcoding converts this Digital Format Content into the Required Digital Format Content.

It is just like we have flash video content as input and it provides us HTTP LIVE Streaming for Streaming the content on internet.

Know More About : HLS Streaming

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