The Green Guide to transccoding

When it comes to digital goods, we tend to forget too easily that they have an ecological impact, as well as any physical good. Because we don’t really see that the bigger our digital files are, the bigger the storing devices have to be, that these devices need power to run, that the internet consumes a lot of electricity to connect us, and that all of this is made of materials which have a very big negative impact during the extractions. And these are just examples, one could write a near infinite list of what the digital world consumes and burns.

Here is a guide to help all of use keep in mind we can try to reduce our ecological impact, especially when working with media files and DuME. In future versions, DuME will help you improve your transcoding process and motion pictures production workflow to reduce your ecological impact.

What we need to take care of

Here is a short list of what we can work on to reduce our impact on the environment with our media files.

  • File size.

One media file may be small. We could even consider that all our media files are not so big after all, compared to all the data stored in the world. But let’s not forget video is the biggest part of the traffic on the internet, and even a very small decrease in the average video file size could save a lot both in storage and bandwidth.

  • Decoding performance

A media file is meant to be played. And most of the time, the goal is for it to be played by as many people as possible. If the format is easier to decode, in terms of performance and bandwidth, that means less energy consumption to play it, and could save a lot of energy worldwide.

  • Encoding performance

This is much less important compared to the two previous points, as it happens just a few times in the lifetime of a media file, but it consumes much more power than decoding, so whenever possible, it would be good to reduce encoding times and consumption. One of the easiest way is to be able to re-render only part of the video when making changes.

  • What the file will be used for

The needs for editing a media file, streaming it or screening it are different. When choosing the best format and adjusting decoding performance, we have to take the target and use into account.


Of course, the following recommendations are just guidelines. You may need to improve quality depending on your specific needs durint the production; the goal of this document is to show you which parameter you could tweak to try to reduce your impact on the environment.