AWS for M&E Blog

AWS Elemental Link features for building flexible and cost-efficient live streaming platforms


Media & Entertainment (M&E) workloads are rapidly evolving to take advantage of hybrid and native cloud architectures. With the increased reliability of public IP-based networks, and the adoption of efficient video codecs like HEVC, the transport of broadcast-grade live event contribution over public IP-based networks is fast replacing rigid and expensive distribution methods of the past. AWS Elemental Link supports this transition as a simple to use, configuration-free, and cost-efficient way to securely and reliably transport high quality live streams to AWS Elemental MediaLive.

AWS Elemental Link and AWS Elemental MediaLive recently added three new features:

  1. Self-serve device transfer capability for MediaLive:
    a. Transfer Link to another AWS account
    b. Transfer Link to a new AWS Region
  2. Link-based MediaLive inputs support two Links as redundant sources on a standard MediaLive input.
  3. One Link can be associated with up to four MediaLive inputs.

This post elaborates these features and provides comprehensive how-to guides.

Device transfer

MediaLive provides the ability for customers to transfer the Link between AWS accounts and AWS Regions.

AWS Elemental Link transfer to another AWS account

The ability to transfer Links enables the reuse of the devices between AWS accounts. This feature expands the portability and remote management capabilities of Link, while still creating the silos necessary to meet privacy and administrative requirements. To transfer the device, you simply make the transfer initiation from the current account, and accept the transfer in the receiving account.


 Image depicting transfer of Link from one account to another

Figure: Transfer of Link between AWS accounts

The self-serve account transfer can be completed via AWS Management Console, AWS Command Line Interface (AWS CLI) or AWS SDKs. Instructions for transferring Link between AWS accounts can be found here.

AWS Elemental Link transfer to another AWS Region

This feature improves the latency and reliability of live stream contribution by creating the channel and Link input in an AWS Region close to the physical location of the Link. With self-serve capability, the AWS Region can be easily transferred with a few simple steps. Customers can travel with their Link devices and set them up in the AWS Region closest to the live streaming location.


Image depicting transfer of Link from one Region to another

Figure: Transfer of Link device between AWS Regions


The self-serve Region transfer can be completed via AWS Management Console, AWS SDKs, or AWS CLI. Instructions for transferring Link between AWS Regions can be found here.

One AWS Elemental Link as a source for multiple MediaLive inputs

Customers can create multiple MediaLive inputs using the same Link as the source. MediaLive replicates the Link source internally for up to four MediaLive inputs. The portable nature of the Link device, and its ability to create ad-hoc events-based live streaming, requires the flexibility in daily operations. The ability to route the input from one Link device to multiple (up to four) MediaLive inputs reduces the frequency of mundane operational tasks required to change Link and MediaLive channel associations. This feature can also be used for the localization and customization of the live event streams using multiple MediaLive channels, each with specific output formats and destinations.

To learn how to build multiple MediaLive inputs with the same Elemental Link device click here.

Two AWS Elemental Links as redundant sources for standard MediaLive input

A standard MediaLive channel runs two independent encoding pipelines deployed across two Availability Zones (AZs) for a resilient architecture. MediaLive standard inputs follow a similar concept by creating endpoints in two Availability Zones, each delivering the input to the respective MediaLive channel pipeline. This new feature supports two independent Links as redundant sources for a standard MediaLive input. If the input to the two Links has the same source with embedded timecode, MediaLive can be set up in output locking mode to create a non-interrupted output with automatic switching if there is a failure on either pipeline.


Holistic architecture showing two Elemental Links contributing live stream to a redundant Media Services workflow

Figure: Resilient live streaming with redundant Links


To learn how to build a standard MediaLive input with two Link devices click here.

In this post, we walked through the three new features for AWS Elemental Link and AWS Elemental MediaLive. These updates support deploying resilient and flexible live streaming workloads, with reduced operational overhead and improved ease of resource management. For step-by-step guides to implement the features discussed in this post, please refer to the following:

Part 1 How-To: Transfer AWS Elemental Link Between AWS Accounts

Part 2 How-To: Transfer AWS Elemental Link Between AWS Regions

Part 3 How-To: Create Multiple MediaLive Inputs Using Same Elemental Link



If you have questions, feedback, or would like to get involved in discussions with other community members, visit the AWS Developer Forums: Media Services.