AWS Elemental launches new cloud-based live video service

HGC has achieved Advanced Technology Partner status in the AWS Partner Network program (Image cybrain / iStockPhoto)
MediaConnect is AWS Elemental's sixth cloud-based media service. (cybrain/iStockPhoto)

Amazon’s AWS Elemental has launched a new cloud-based live video service, MediaConnect, approximately one year after launching its initial media services suite.

MediaConnect, the sixth media service launched by AWS Elemental, is built for ingesting, transmitting and replicating live video feeds. The service is intended to provide a less-expensive, more-flexible alternative to satellite and fiber connections for transmitting live video content. Broadcasters and content owners will be able to ingest live video from a remote event site, share video with a partner and replicate a live video stream for processing an OTT video service.

Aslam Khader, chief product officer at AWS Elemental, described the service as directing live video into, around and out of the cloud. He said MediaConnect currently supports protocols including RTP, RTP with FEC and ZIXI, which creates and deploys ARQ-based protocol for live video. He said support for RIST and SRT (which is currently going through a standardization process) protocols could be added soon.

“The intent is to provide choices so our customers can choose the protocol that makes the most sense for them,” Khader said.

The primary functions of MediaConnect are contribution, distribution and sharing. When video originates on the ground, MediaConnect allows devices on the ground to connect to the service securely and send live content to the cloud. Once it’s in the cloud, different AWS Elemental media services can be used for things like DRM.

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MediaConnect also allows customers to distribute content on a B2B basis after processing in the cloud.

Finally, the service allows for sharing—or what AWS refers to as entitlements. Entitlements allow content owners or rights holders with content in the cloud to give access to that live video content to other AWS customers. When that partner goes into their AWS workflow they see all the entitlements allowed to them. Khader described entitlements as a publish and subscriber solution and not a collaboration solution since video at this point of the pipeline is in distribution mode.

AWS customers including Arqiva, Discovery and the Pac-12 Conference are already using MediaConnect for acquisition and distribution of live and linear video channels. Pac-12 intends to use the service to standardize content encoding and contribution across all Pac-12 universities.

MediaConnect is available in the U.S., Europe and Asia. Customers can pay by the hour or by the gigabyte within a pay-as-you-go model, or use a reserved model with a 12-month commitment that provides cost reduction.