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What Is an Ultra Low Latency Encoder Board and Why Do You Need One?

If you want to stream high-quality video content with minimal delay (ultra-low latency), you should think about using our low-latency encoder board.
Our Vcan1746 low latency encoder board converts analog video signals (composite CVBS AV or HDMI video source) into digital data and compresses it using H264 or H265 for internet transmission (IP RJ45 ethernet output).
A low latency encoder board’s main advantage is that it reduces the time between capturing the video and displaying it on the viewer’s screen, also known as glass-to-glass latency.
Meanwhile, our ultra-low latency encoder board passed the industrial temperature test, which was performed at 40 degrees below zero and 80 degrees above zero.

What Exactly Is Glass-to-Glass Latency?

The total time it takes for a video frame to travel from the camera lens (the first glass) to the viewer’s display is referred to as glass-to-glass latency (the second glass). It consists of several elements, including:
– Video capture and processing by the camera
– Video encoding and compression by the encoder (Vcan1746)
– Video transmission and buffering over the network
– The decoder’s decoding and decompression of the video
– The player’s rendering and display of the video
The lower the glass-to-glass latency, the better the user experience, particularly for applications requiring real-time interaction or feedback such as live events, gaming, telemedicine, education, and so on.

What Is Low Latency?

Because different applications have different requirements and expectations, there is no definitive answer to what constitutes low-latency streaming. However, some general guidelines are as follows:
– Extremely low latency: less than one second (our Vcan1746 is almost 0.12 seconds)
– Fast response time: 1 to 5 seconds
– Typical latency range: 5 to 30 seconds
– Excessive latency: greater than 30 seconds
Military wireless video transmission, online gaming, live auctions, sports betting, and other applications that require near-instantaneous communication or synchronization between multiple parties benefit from ultra-low latency streaming.
Low-latency streaming is appropriate for applications that require immediate feedback or interaction among participants, such as live events, webinars, online education, telemedicine, and so on.

How Do You Get Low-Latency Streaming?

The encoding process is one of the most important factors influencing glass-to-glass latency. Encoding is the process of converting raw video data into a format that can be efficiently transmitted over networks. The encoding consists of two major steps: sampling and compression.
The process of dividing a continuous video signal into discrete units called frames is known as sampling. Each frame is a snapshot of an image at a specific point in time. The frame rate (FPS) of a video determines how smooth and realistic it appears. Higher FPS means better quality, but it also means more bandwidth consumed.
The process of reducing the size of each frame by removing redundant or irrelevant information is known as compression. Lossless or lossy compression can be used. Lossless compression preserves all of the original data without sacrificing quality but achieves only a minor size reduction. Lossy compression discards some data that is deemed less important for human perception but achieves a significant size reduction at the expense of some quality loss.
One of the most difficult challenges in encoding is balancing quality and size. A high-quality video takes up more bandwidth and storage space than a low-quality video, but it also provides a better viewing experience. A low-quality video requires less bandwidth and storage space than a high-quality video, but it also has artifacts like blurriness, blockiness, or pixelation.
A low-latency encoder board attempts to balance this trade-off by employing advanced algorithms and hardware acceleration to perform high-speed sampling and compression without sacrificing too much quality. A low-latency encoder board can encode HD or even 4K video at up to 60 frames per second with minimal delay (one second) and good visual fidelity.

What Are Some Low Latency Encoder Board Examples?

There are many different types and models of low-latency encoder boards on the market today, each with its own set of features and specifications based on its intended use case.
Here are some examples:
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