TV1.EU Uses AWS to Reliably Stream Live Events to Hundreds of Thousands of Viewers


TV1.EU is a German provider of streaming media to customers worldwide. The company supports content owners, media companies, ecommerce companies, and broadcasters to deliver live video streaming and recorded content to all devices. TV1.EU has delivered 3,700 live productions and streaming media projects since its founding in 1999.

For years, TV1 used its own internal content delivery network (CDN) solution, hosted in collocated data centers, to stream events. However, the company struggled to scale its platform to meet traffic growth, particularly large traffic spikes during live events such as European Central Bank (ECB) sessions and press conferences. “We couldn’t handle the demand because of bandwidth limitations,” says Michael Westphal, founder and chief executive officer of TV1. “During one key ECB event, we couldn’t scale to cover the hundreds of thousands of concurrent users streaming the event, which was not good for our company’s reputation.”

TV1 also wanted to differentiate its business by improving performance and ensuring the highest availability. “There is much more competition in the streaming space today,” says Westphal. “We needed to develop new services, but we are a small company with only 25 employees, and we can’t manage a lot of the infrastructure ourselves.”

A tv and video control room intended for student use at university.

Amazon CloudFront gives us improved latency and performance, so we can send content through the fastest possible networks to give our users the best possible experience when they use our services."

Michael Westphal 
Founder and Chief Executive Officer, TV1.EU

Moving a Global Streaming Service to AWS

TV1 decided to move its streaming application environment to the Amazon Web Services (AWS) Cloud to gain the scalability and flexibility it needed. “AWS offered the most reliability and global availability,” says Westphal.

The company chose Amazon CloudFront as its CDN solution for live video streaming and video on demand. It also uses Amazon CloudFront to securely stream live and recorded video content every day to thousands of customers worldwide on televisions and mobile devices, with low latency and high transfer speeds. In addition, TV1 relies on Amazon Aurora as its primary database engine.

Using Amazon CloudFront, TV1 has the continuous availability it requires for daily live streaming and on-demand events, such as ECB press conferences and sessions of the German parliament. “We can sleep well at night knowing that AWS enables us to stream video reliably to our customers,” says Westphal. “Amazon CloudFront gives us improved latency and performance, so we can send content through the fastest possible networks to give our users the best possible experience when they use our services.”

On-Demand Scaling to Support Hundreds of Thousands of Users

Now built on AWS, TV1 can easily expand its video streaming service on demand to accommodate spikes in traffic during press conferences and other events. “We can add more capacity for our streaming service in seconds if we need to and shut it down immediately following the event,” says Westphal. “Previously, scaling up meant that one of our employees had to fly to a collocated facility, install new hardware, and manage it for several days. We are saving time and money by avoiding that scenario.”

TV1 also saves time previously spent creating captions manually and syncing them with recorded video. “We created software on AWS that automates captioning for German parliamentary sessions, which saves us at least 10 hours per week,” Westphal says. “Now, we can quickly add timecodes and subtitles to those broadcasts in less than 24 hours because of the automation we can achieve on AWS.”

Differentiating Through New Services

With the agility offered by the AWS Cloud, TV1 is also better able to differentiate its business. “With the powerful technology of AWS behind us, it is much easier to create and deploy new services for our customers,” says Westphal. For example, the company recently launched Video.Taxi, a new live and on-demand streaming platform that is almost 95 percent powered by AWS services. Video.Taxi users can subtitle and translate their event streams live, and TV1 will soon enable a text-to-speech service based on Amazon Polly. “Video.Taxi is the first solution we have built almost entirely on AWS,” says Westphal. “AWS manages our backend technology, so we are free to test solutions like this without spending a fortune.” TV1 plans to test new, disruptive business models that take advantage of AWS where appropriate. “Using AWS, we look forward to bringing more differentiating services like Video.Taxi to the market.”

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About TV1.EU

Based in Germany, TV1.EU supports content owners, media companies, ecommerce companies, and traditional broadcasters in delivering their video content and live signals to all devices. The company has delivered 3,700 live productions and streaming media projects since it was founded in 1999.

Benefits of AWS

  • Reliably streams video content to users throughout Germany and across the globe
  • Creates new environments in seconds instead of days
  • Scales to support hundreds of thousands of users
  • Saves 10 hours per week of caption creation time

AWS Services Used

Amazon CloudFront

Amazon CloudFront is a fast content delivery network (CDN) service that securely delivers data, videos, applications, and APIs to customers globally with low latency, high transfer speeds, all within a developer-friendly environment.

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Amazon Aurora

MySQL and PostgreSQL-compatible relational database built for the cloud. Performance and availability of commercial-grade databases at 1/10th the cost.

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Amazon Polly

Amazon Polly is a service that turns text into lifelike speech, allowing you to create applications that talk, and build entirely new categories of speech-enabled products. Polly's Text-to-Speech (TTS) service uses advanced deep learning technologies to synthesize natural sounding human speech.

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