AWS Media Blog

Meet the key players in the live streaming game

Like any armchair coach will tell you, getting ready for the next big game requires preparation. Athletes watch films of recent games to see what went right—and what went wrong. They examine their upcoming opponents’ strengths and weaknesses to anticipate what’s coming. They strategize based on what-if scenarios.

You can take a similar approach with your live video streaming architecture—running through hypothetical scenarios and “plays” to test your infrastructure, measure response times, and see if anything might run afoul during the live broadcast.

In Behind the Stream Session 3, we’ll do just that.

First, we identify the key players of a live sports streaming architecture. Just like a sports team, a live sports architecture comprises players with key responsibilities for the game. The ultimate win is to move content from the field to the fan—in high quality.

Let’s meet the players:

Player 1: The Ingester
This player brings the live event from the source/field and into the cloud, then processes it to start the play into action, much like a quarterback gets the action going on the field.

Player 2: The Encoder
Once content is in the cloud, this player ensures it is bundled in the highest quality. This player is the only one on the team that impacts the video quality.

Player 3: The Origin Server
This player pushes content downstream to content delivery networks (CDN) or end viewers.

Player 4: The CDN
This player caches content and scales out delivery to improve performance for viewers. The CDN takes the content and brings it closer to the viewer, much like a wide receiver catches the ball and brings it closer to the end zone.

Player 5: The Device
This is the player that enables the viewer to actually see the stream. The Device may wear different “uniforms” (i.e. a smart phone, tablet, smart TV, or gaming console).

Player 6: The Analytics
This player keeps track of content while the device is playing it, and sends telemetry/performant information back to the broadcaster. Utilizing this player, you can make decisions about streaming architecture on the fly and call audibles.

There are also special teams players, like Infrastructure Event Management (IEM), AWS Service Quotas, and the AWS Well-Architected Tool. These players can help you review your architecture, make adjustments, and provide support in prep for your events.

Next, it’s time to architect your live sports streaming architecture, again taking cues from sports coaches who whiteboard the key players into scenarios and plays. But we’re not going to give away all the tricks here—you’re going to have to study the film to get the insights.

Tune in to BTS Session 3 as we step through how each of these roles contribute to the overall game, plus outline strategies for success. We’ll give you ideas on how to set up your infrastructure and what AWS services may be your best bets. And, we’ll go behind the stream with PAC-12 Networks to hear how the organization is improving fan experiences using operational telemetry and analytics.

See it all on November 14th at 10:00AM PT in our 3-part webcast series Behind the Stream. Tune in to see how AWS is changing the live sports streaming game.

Lace up and let’s go.


Shawn Przybilla

Shawn Przybilla

Shawn Przybilla, Media & Entertainment Solutions Architect at Amazon Web Services, has spent the last decade building media supply chain and streaming media systems for content providers around the world. Through his work, content destined for both mainstream television and independent theaters is streamed live and on-demand to any connected device. He daydreams of using artificial intelligence and extended reality technologies to propel mankind into the future of storytelling.

Bryan Samis

Bryan Samis

Bryan Samis is a Sr. Specialized Solutions Architect focusing on AWS Elemental Media Services.