AWS for M&E Blog

Control quality of service and costs with Amazon IVS advanced channel types

Amazon Web Services (AWS) announced today that Amazon Interactive Video Service (Amazon IVS) customers can now better control viewing quality of service (QoS) and distribution costs using new “Advanced” channel types. Advanced SD and HD channel types are available with Amazon IVS, in addition to the original Basic and Standard channel types.

The Basic channel type delivers a single stream at the same bitrate and quality as the input. The Standard channel type offers a fixed transcoded adaptive bitrate (ABR) ladder. It provides Full HD, HD, and SD quality video for a higher quality of service on varying network speeds. However, with a “one size fits all” transcode ladder, the Standard channel type may deliver a less optimal viewing experience in some regions and incur unpredictable costs if streamers configure source encoding differently than recommended.

The new Advanced channel types offer Amazon IVS customers different transcode ladders called “transcode presets” for adaptive bitrate streaming. Transcode presets guarantee a maximum available quality (SD or HD) to avoid unpredictable costs if streamers use settings different than recommended source encoding guidelines, or if Amazon IVS customers want to set different quality levels for their streamers and content partners.

“Amazon IVS customers seek that optimal balance between ease of use, which the managed service provides and control, and today we have provided more control and flexibility on the input side of Amazon IVS.” said Martin Hess, General Manager of Amazon IVS, “The Advanced channel types add these controls while keeping operations simple to run with pre-configured complete transcode presets.”

To help customers choose the right channel type, the AWS Console includes a “Help Me Choose” tool with a short questionnaire and recommendations based on use cases.

Following is an example of the Help Me Choose flow:

Step 1: “Does your use case require transcoding?”

"Help me choose" dialog box with Step 1 question "Does your use case require transcoding" and defining transcoding with a Choose an option dropdown list

Step 2: “Do you want to cap the output quality to SD (480p) or HD (720p)?”

"Help me choose" dialog box with Step 2 question "Do you want to cap the output quality to SD (480p) or HD (720p)?" and defining capping the output quality.

Step 3: “Are the majority of your viewers bandwidth-constrained?”

"Help me choose" dialog box with Step 3 question "Are the majority of your viewers bandwidth-constrained?" and highlighting smoother playback and video quality tradeoff.

Step 4: See recommended channel type and sample download data usage results

"Help me choose" dialog box with Step 4 channel type recommendation and estimated playback data usage calculations.

Advanced channels can be configured through the AWS Console or API, using a variety of tools including AWS Command Line Interface (AWS CLI). The full set of features available to Amazon IVS channels is available to Advanced channels, including Auto-record to Amazon S3 for live-to-VOD applications, use of the broadcast SDK or third party encoders, and global distribution optimized for live, low-latency streaming.

Advanced channel types have dedicated input pricing, which is detailed on the Amazon IVS pricing page. Existing AWS account holders can select an Advanced channel type and follow a familiar workflow. Newcomers can start with the Free Tier, and use the Basic channel type.

Nabil Kanaan

Nabil Kanaan

Nabil is a principal product manager at AWS.