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4b40c7d070cdc82cd26c578af347a5a0The Harmonic ProMedia Carbon Encoder server uses CPU cores heavily to perform video/audio encoding. The encoder takes in a wide variety of raw file formats (i.e. AVI, MOV, WMV, etc.) and produces a streamable MP4 file (or files).

The encoder can support a limited number of file conversions at any given time (see table below). For example, if you had 16 cores, then that server would be able to process about 7 simultaneous encoding jobs at one time. Keep in mind these are estimates and depending on the encoding recipes you choose you may get more or less simultaneous transcoding.

View the Encoder Server Requirements PDF

Encoder Hardware


Concurrent Transcodes



HD Setup





200 GB





300 GB


9 to 14



500 GB

Due to the high CPU demands of this software the vendor, Harmonic, only supports running the Encoder on a dedicated physical machine. Below are some specs and outlines for the encoder server.

Size: Represents the scale of the encoder. For small implementations the absolute minimum hardware for transcoding would be 4 cores, 4GB RAM and 100GB drive.

Scale: The concurrent transcodes are based on an average single file transcode (~900Kbps, 640×360 MP4). If you plan to use Adaptive Bit Rate extensively, this will require more CPU cores as each uploaded file will spawn 3-5 conversions.

Cores: As a rough guide the encoder will use two (2) cores for each simultaneous transcode job.

RAM: The RAM requirements for the server do not increase in relationship to the number of cores. The encoder software really doesn’t benefit from RAM beyond 16GB, which is why the large size doesn’t increase the RAM when the cores increase from 24 to 32 cores.

HD Setup: The hard drive on the encoding server provides the temporary storage to perform the encoding work. The original file, as well as the finished product is all stored on the local hard drive until it is transferred back to Ensemble for streaming. Because the hard drives provide the working space, the encoder will benefit from faster/higher performance drives. While 7500 RPM drives are fully supported, faster 10K or 15K drives would provide faster throughput for transcoding jobs. The space can be one single partition or split between the System and the encoder software. If splitting the HD space, give the system 60-100GB and the remainder put into a separate partition.