Intel’s Simer Singh on Intel® Media Server Studio


Simer Singh, Intel® Media Server Studio Product Manager talks with Steve Waskul about the libraries and analytical tools needed to develop, debug and deploy enterprise grade solutions on Intel® Xeon® processor and Intel® Core™ processor based platforms.

“Media is all about experience. To have a great experience, you need to have great content; to have great content, you need to have great infrastructure,” Simer begins on the purpose behind the Intel® Media Server Studio, which provides encoding, decoding, and transcoding interfaces (all in one) to assist the content developer. Taking care of the underlying platform acceleration processes both on the hardware side and software side, the Intel® Media Server Studio is essentially middleware, that which sits on an Intel platform. This, as they discuss, is ground-breaking for its convergence factor.

“It’s come a long way from the media SDK,” comments Steve who’s team hosted Intel in the StudioXperience when the media SDK was released two years ago. Simer agrees and notes that the idea of convergence has greatly motivated the advances. For example, with Intel® Media Server Studio, the developer can write the application once and scale up or down as needed without needing a different set of servers and hardware with workload specific platforms because of the way the Intel Media Server Studio takes care of the acceleration process on both the hardware and software side. There’s no need to worry about forward or backward compatibility. Developers automatically get benefits to increase acceleration for future compatibility. Steve summarizes the advantages of this with the understanding that the Intel® Media Server Studio is a tool that empowers content creators in the way that reveals information to them without need of tedious testing. “When encoding, it’s hard to see the noise,” he reflects, and it can be difficult visually on a monitor to know which codec settings are optimal. In the encoding process, the Intel® Media Server Studio provides analytics like signal to noise ratio which help developers gain further insight into how their codec is performing.

Waskul then notes that the studio is available to use on Intel® Core™ i7 processor platforms and Intel® Xeon® E3 processor platforms, and is curious if there is a difference as both have Iris Pro Graphics. “It’s agnostic to what type of [Intel Core or Intel Xeon] platform,” Singh counsels. Waskul asks if there is an “easy to understand rule of thumb” to know when to choose an Intel® Core™ i7 vs. a Xeon® E3 processor platform. Simer points out that while both processor families have integrated graphics on the die, the E3 processor has more reliability due to its ECC memory along with additional capabilities for cloud-based graphics applications. Steve suggests that the best approach is probably to test the different platforms with the specific software applications so customers can optimize their solutions and get the most from their investment. Simer agrees.

For Singh, what remains astounding is the compatibility. The fact that, with the Intel® Media Server Studio, there is not “a box for this, a box for that,” and that it can be leveraged for multiple platforms speaks highly to the future. Looking forward, Waskul asks Simer his thoughts about the timing on delivery of content in H.265 to mobile devices as it may be a while before there is an installed base of H.265 capable devices. Simer responds that the tradeoff between bitrate, image and sound quality and the codecs used to deliver content will continue to depend on each developer’s target consumer and as their capabilities change, developers will continue to deliver content in formats that make sense. The men conclude by agreeing that Intel® Media Server Studio can play a big role as middleware in helping developers create, debug and validate enterprise grade media applications and solutions. To learn more, visit Intel’s Developer Zone here.