Sara Mason

Hardware Encoding: The Best Choice for Broadcasting and Streaming
By Sara Mason

As John mentioned at the end of his article a couple of months ago the way in which video is encoded can have profound effects on quality and the overall effectiveness of broadcast workflows. This is absolutely true, but for anyone regularly managing a channel or operating live streams, the platform of encoding is especially important. The question of whether to use a software or hardware-based encoder is a common one, and I’d like to spend some time explaining why LEIGHTRONIX prefers one over the other.

Hardware Encoding

Ever since the digital storage based TCD R/P came out in 2003, LEIGHTRONIX has been committed to hardware encoding. Our customers range from government agencies, to private corporations, to full-blown PEG access stations. Despite differences in purpose and scope, all of these customers desire the same kind of thing in LEIGHTRONIX products: something with great quality that is going to work for the long haul.

LEIGHTRONIX has famously been known for reliable, high-quality broadcast equipment, so it only makes sense that the type of encoding used in our products follows suit with that theme. For customers with needs like ours, hardware encoding is quite simply the best possible option for broadcasting or live streaming.


One of the largest selling points for hardware encoders over software-based encoding is their overall reliability. Since the hardware used to encode is built specifically for that purpose, it can run for significant periods of time without human interaction.

Incodex Family of Hardware Encoders

The IncodeX family of hardware encoders

LEIGHTRONIX encoders are built for 24/7 unattended operation, allowing customers to set up a live stream, live broadcast, or scheduled playback without needing someone to monitor the process at all hours. This is a design choice made in response to the need of our customers and the industry as a whole.

Less Resource Intensive

Hardware encoders are built for the sole purpose of encoding. A software encoder will typically be running on a computer that either has a number of other processes running, or is intended to fulfill many other needs beyond encoding. Not only will this slow down any workflows going on in the background, but operating on a device not made for 24/7 encoding further encourages the possibility of failure.

LEIGHTRONIX customers know they’re getting the best, most reliable equipment for their broadcast and streaming workflows. Our quality hardware encoders, such as the IncodeX Vier or IncodeX Stream, offer reliable broadcasts and streams that don’t take up additional computing resources to get the job done. For more information on encoding, consider checking out Aaron’s article on H.264 profiles or John’s post describing the finer points of bandwidth.

Sara, a vital member of the LEIGHTRONIX sales team for over 13 years, manages the inside sales team and works on key accounts. She has also provided the invaluable service of regular webinars, teaching both customers and dealers how to best utilize LEIGHTRONIX products and services.

Want regular LEIGHTRONIX updates sent directly to your inbox? Sign up and never miss out on new blog posts, videos, and special announcements!