Audio/Video Encoding Update

This post comes straight from the Funimation Development Team which works on improving all aspects of FunimationNow!


Earlier this year, a newly redesigned FunimationNow was launched.  This was a complete overhaul of our entire platform, not just a new visual design.

As part of this overhaul, we also carefully reviewed the quality of audio and video we were delivering to our fans, and decided to make some changes, changes which should only improve the viewing experience.

For those of you that want to geek out on the specifics, we’ll include charts down below.  For everyone else, the short version is:

  • To enhance the video, we broadened the range of bit rates and significantly increased the maximum bit rate
  • To improve the audio quality, we switched to a newer codec, and lowered the bit rate

If you’re paying attention, then about now you’re thinking higher video bit rate = good! and lower audio bit rate = bad?  The newer audio codec was supposed to produce the same quality sound at a lower bit rate, and initial testing seemed to support that conclusion.

Then we heard from some of our great fans that had a different opinion and were happy to help us figure out what was going on.  Our library is massive and reencoding it is a process measured in months, not days, so we needed to be sure we had the right solution before we made any changes.  The amazing and extremely helpful feedback we received from our fans was instrumental in finding that right solution.  Together, we worked our way to a new encoding that brings the audio quality up to the highest level we’ve ever delivered, while maintaining the huge improvements we had made in video quality.

We have now begun the process of reencoding our entire library.  Anything released in the past couple of weeks is already done, and the rest of the library will be released in batches over the coming weeks, resulting in an improvement in sound quality for our fans.

We cannot adequately express how truly thankful we at Funimation are for the unique relationship we enjoy with our fans and for everyone’s continued support. Together, we really can create an extraordinary place to watch anime!

And now…


The promised charts

Note: All video is delivered using HLS and provides up to 10 layers, allowing the player to minimize buffering while matching the best possible quality to your available bandwidth (or video quality settings).  Audio is consistent across all layers due to the significantly lower bandwidth requirements.


Prior to our relaunch:

Dimensions Video Bit Rate (kbps) Audio Bit Rate (kbps) Video Codec Audio Codec
852×480 750 128 H.264 AAC-LC
852×480 1000 128 H.264 AAC-LC
852×480 1500 128 H.264 AAC-LC
852×480 2000 128 H.264 AAC-LC
1280×720 1500 128 H.264 AAC-LC
1280×720 2500 128 H.264 AAC-LC
1280×720 3500 128 H.264 AAC-LC
1920×1080 4000 128 H.264 AAC-LC


Following our relaunch:

Dimensions Video Bit Rate (kbps) Audio Bit Rate (kbps) Video Codec Audio Codec
416×234 200 64 H.264 HE-AAC (v2)
480×270 400 64 H.264 HE-AAC (v2)
640×360 600 64 H.264 HE-AAC (v2)
640×360 1200 64 H.264 HE-AAC (v2)
960×540 3500 64 H.264 HE-AAC (v2)
1280×720 5000 64 H.264 HE-AAC (v2)
1280×720 6500 64 H.264 HE-AAC (v2)
1920×1080 8500 64 H.264 HE-AAC (v2)
1920×1080 10000 64 H.264 HE-AAC (v2)


The new and improved encoding:

Dimensions Video Bit Rate (kbps) Audio Bit Rate (kbps) Video Codec Audio Codec
416×234 200 256 H.264 AAC-LC
480×270 400 256 H.264 AAC-LC
640×360 600 256 H.264 AAC-LC
640×360 1200 256 H.264 AAC-LC
960×540 1800 256 H.264 AAC-LC
960×540 2350 256 H.264 AAC-LC
1280×720 3500 256 H.264 AAC-LC
1440×810 5000 256 H.264 AAC-LC
1920×1080 6500 256 H.264 AAC-LC
1920×1080 8000 256 H.264 AAC-LC