This two-hour on-demand video course teaches you how to produce an encoding ladder with H.264 encoded files and format the files for distribution via HTTP Live Streaming (HLS) or Dynamic Adaptive Streaming over HTTP (DASH). By taking this course, you will learn:

  • How to configure and optimize the quality of your H.264-encoded files

  • How to create an encoding ladder for Adaptive Bitrate (ABR) Delivery

  • How ABR technologies like DASH and HLS work

  • How to choose an ABR technology

Who This Course is For

And What You Will Learn

Hi there, I'm Jan Ozer. Thanks for having a look at this course.

I designed this course for students who have little or no experience with compression, codecs, or streaming production. In this 2-hour course, you will learn what adaptive bitrate (ABR) video is, how to choose an ABR technology, and how to produce H.264-encoded video for ABR delivery via two technologies, HTTP Live Streaming (HLS) and Dynamic Adaptive Streaming over HTTP (DASH). 

I'll list two other courses so you can find the course that matches your current expertise and learning goals. 

Going Further

Once you've mastered the basics in this course, you have two additional options. Encoding and Packaging Multiple Screen Delivery is a 2.5 hour course that builds on the concepts discussed here and adds lessons like how to create manifest files, encoding with HEVC, dynamic packaging for VOD and live distribution, and how to use metrics like VMAF to optimize your encoding ladder. 

Streaming Media 101: Technical Onboarding for Streaming Media Professionals, is a 9-hour course designed for those who need a complete immersion in streaming technology. It covers all the topics included in this and the Multiple Screen Delivery course but also covers a range of distribution and production-related issues, and includes exercises that teach skills like using MediaInfo, Bitrate Viewer, HandBrake, FFmpeg, and the Moscow State University Video Quality Measurement Tool. Students acquire both the technical knowledge and the hands-on skills necessary to apply them. 

What You Will Learn in This Course

Here's an overview of the six sections in the course (see complete curriculum below).

Section 1. Introduction and Greetings.  

Section 2. Mastering Streaming Fundamentals (compression, codecs, distribution alternatives). 

Section 3. Validating File Integrity and Quality with Tools and Metrics (MediaInfo, Bitrate Viewer, introduction to video quality metrics).

Section 4: Optimizing the Configuration of Your Encoded Files (data rate, resolution, frame rate, bitrate control techniques, I, B, and P-frames, reference frames).

Section 5: Optimizing Quality and Compatibility with the H.264 Codec (about H.264, H.264 profiles, levels, and entropy coding, AAC audio compression).

Section 6: Choosing and Using Adaptive Bitrate (ABR) Technologies (HTML5 playback architecture, MSE, EME, DASH, HLS, Choosing an ABR technology, creating encoding ladders). 


  • Jan Ozer


    Jan Ozer

    Jan is a streaming consultant and contributing editor to Streaming Media Magazine, where he teaches courses on Video Quality Metrics, FFmpeg, and other topics at Streaming Media Events in New York City, Los Angeles, and London. Jan is the author of Video Encoding by the Numbers, which uses video quality metrics to direct key encoding configuration decisions and differentiate codecs and encoders, and the author of Learn to Produce Video with FFmpeg in 30 Minutes or Less which is available on Amazon and other online sites.

Course curriculum

  • 1
    Section 1: Introduction and Greetings
    • Thank You and Greetings
  • 2
    Section 2: Mastering Streaming Fundamentals
  • 3
    Section 3. Validating File Integrity and Quality with Tools and Metrics
    • Lesson: Essential Tools
    • Lesson: Introduction to Video Quality Metrics
  • 4
    Section 4: Optimizing the Configuration of Your Encoded Files
  • 5
    Section 5: Optimizing Quality and Compatibility with the H.264 Codec
    • Lesson: Introduction to H.264
    • Lesson: H.264 Profiles, Levels, and Entropy Coding
    • Lesson: Choosing an x264 Preset
    • Lesson: Encoding Audio: Codecs and Configuration Options
  • 6
    Section 6: Choosing and Using Adaptive Bitrate (ABR) Technologies