Intel has a multitude of awesome software development tools, including ones for innovating and optimizing media applications, immersive video including 360° and virtual reality, graphics, integrating visual understanding, and more. But sometimes, it’s hard to figure out just which development tool or tools are best for your particular needs and usages.

Below you’ll find a few insights to help you get to the right Intel software tool faster for media and video solutions, so you can focus on the really fun stuff – like building new competitive products and solutions, improving media application performance or video streaming quality for devices from edge to cloud, or even transitioning to more efficient formats like HEVC.

Accelerating Media & Video Processing, Computer Vision Solutions – Which Tool Do I Use?


Intel® Media SDK – FREE

Developing for:

  • Intel® Core™ or Intel® Core™ M processors
  • Select SKUs of Intel® Celeron™, Intel® Pentium® and Intel® Atom® processors with Intel® HD Graphics supporting Intel® Quick Sync Video
  • Client, mobile and embedded devices – desktop or mobile media applications
  • OS – Windows* and Embedded Linux*
  • An Open Source version is also available at Github under the MIT license

Uses & Needs

  • Fast video playback, encode, processing, media formats conversion or video conferencing
  • Accelerated processing of RAW video or images
  • Screen capture
  • Audio decode & encode support
  • Used with smart cameras across drones, phones, editors/players, network video recorders, and connected cars
  • Supports HEVC, AVC, MPEG-2 and audio codecs

Intel® Media Server Studio

Three editions are available:

  • FREE Community
  • Essentials
  • Professional

Developing for:

Format Support – HEVC, AVC, MPEG-2 and MPEG-Audio

Uses & Needs

  • High-density and fast video decode, encode, transcode
  • Optimize performance of Media/GPU pipeline
  • Enhanced graphics programmability or visual analytics (for use with OpenCL™ applications)
  • Low-level control over encode quality
  • Debug, analysis and performance/quality optimization tools
  • Speed ransition to real-time 4K HEVC
  • Need to measure visual quality (Video Quality Caliper)
  • Looking for an enterprise-grade telecine interlace reverser (Premium Telecine Interlace Reverser)
  • Audio codecs
  • Screen capture

Intel® SDK for OpenCL™ Applications – FREE

Developing for:

General purpose GPU acceleration on select Intel® processors (see technical specifications). OpenCL primarily targets execution units. An increasing number of extensions are being added to Intel processors to make the benefits of Intel’s fixed function hardware blocks  accessible to OpenCL applications.


Intel® Computer Vision SDK – FREE

Accelerate computer vision solutions:

  • Easily harness the performance of computer vision accelerators from Intel
  • Add your own custom kernels into your workload pipeline
  • Quickly deploy computer vision algorithms with deep-learning support using the included Deep Learning Deployment Toolkit Beta
  • Create OpenVX* workload graphs with the intuitive and easy-to-use Vision Algorithm Designer

Altera® Software (now part of Intel) 

Video & Image Processing Suite MegaCore Functions (part of Intel® Quartus® Prime Software Suite IP Catalog)

Developing for:

  • All Altera FPGA families
  • Video and image processing applications, such as video surveillance, broadcast, video conferencing, medical and military imaging and automotive displays

Uses & Needs

  • For design, simulation, verification of hardware bit streams for FPGA devices
  • optimized building blocks for deinterlacing, color space conversion, alpha blending, scaling and more

Intel® Video Pro Analyzer

Format Support – HEVC, VP9, AVC and MPEG-2

Uses & Needs

  • Develop for HEVC, AVC, MPEG-2 or VP9 decoder or encoder, analyze streams
  • Interested in saving time and resources
  • Fine-tune coding pipeline
  • Inspect full decode and encode process, debug & optimize encoders
  • Measure and improve visual quality (Video Quality Caliper)
  • Access to detailed video stream statistics
  • Innovate for UHD with HDR color support

Intel® Stress Bitstreams and Encoder

Format/Profile Support – HEVC, VP9, AVS 2.0

Uses & Needs

  • Perform extensive, enterprise-grade, production-scale media validation and debug for HEVC/VP9 decoders, transcoders, players, and streaming solutions
  • Develop HEVC or VP9 decoders, inspect decoding results
  • Significantly accelerate validation cycles, reduce costs and speed time-to-market
  • Create custom bitstreams for testing and optimize stream base for coverage and usage efficiency
  • Ensure decoder is compliant to standard, runs with top performance, is robust and resilient to errors

OpenCL and the OpenCL logo are trademarks of Apple Inc. used by permission by Khronos.

By Brenda C. (Intel), Updated May 3, 2017

This story originally appeared on Software.intel.com. Copyright 2017

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