AWS for M&E Blog

2020 AWS Media Services recap: a year of innovation

2020 was the year everything went virtual. AWS responded to the changes in our world, addressing the needs of media customers during unprecedented times. AWS Media Services continued to enable customer innovation by adding features to existing services and released new ones. Let’s reflect:

In April, AWS introduced the AWS Elemental Link device. Link is a small device that you simply connect to internet and power, then plug in a video source, and it sends video directly to AWS Elemental MediaLive as the source for a live channel. Not only does l Link allow companies large and small to adapt to the new remote way of creating and consuming content, it is also a reliable addition to broadcast workflows. A plug-and-play option to streamline production can be good for independent streamers and networks alike. It sounds too simple to be true, but AWS Elemental Link really does offer a configuration-free, cost-efficient way to securely and reliably transfer video. Check out Jeff Barr’s blog post to learn more about how Link works, and these unboxing videos to see how easy setup is. Link is already helping companies change the way they work: iOiO speaks about the future of streaming in a virtual world and how Link is a great addition to a MediaLive workflow in this blog post.

The new normal of working from home presented many challenges, but that didn’t stop AWS engineers from releasing the much-anticipated Amazon Interactive Video Service (Amazon IVS) last July. With Amazon IVS, all you need to do is send a live video stream from an encoder or encoding software to the provided endpoint, then Amazon IVS manages everything needed to get your live stream to your viewers. This end-to-end managed service provides a low-latency live streaming solution to reach audiences on different devices, allowing for an engaging and interactive experience. Learn how you can enhance your apps and websites with live video using Amazon IVS in this blog post. The demand to deliver content live in order to connect to audiences is increasing, and so is the demand to take that content mobile: This blog post provides a step-by-step guide to set up your Android and iOS app with Amazon IVS. 

AWS Elemental Link and Amazon IVS are great services independently, but they can also be combined. Read how in this blog post: Delivering a reliable live video stream using AWS Elemental Link and Amazon IVS.

Innovation didn’t stop there. In September, AWS introduced Cloud Digital Interface (CDI) along with input support in AWS Elemental MediaLive. AWS CDI is a network technology for transporting uncompressed live video between applications with latency as low as 8 milliseconds (less than one frame of video). This allows broadcasters to originate, produce, and switch their live video in the cloud. Traditionally, broadcasters were limited to on-premises workflows that relied on physical connectivity standards (like SDI) to achieve proper data-rate, latency, and reliability to transport uncompressed live video. Read what AWS CDI means for the future of content production and delivery to learn about how this leap in technology changes broadcast television. Other AWS CDI use cases include TV channel playout, live video production switching, motion graphic insertion, multi-viewer applications, and video frame rate and color space conversion. See the full list of capabilities here.

In 2020, AWS also added features to its existing products. For example, it was a big year for AWS Elemental MediaConvert, which allows you to easily create video-on-demand (VOD) content for broadcast and multiscreen delivery at scale. MediaConvert features include InSync FrameFormer frame rate conversionNexGuard forensic watermarking, and Nielsen non-linear audio watermarking. MediaConvert also added to the formats and codecs it supports with releases including WebM with VP8 and VP9 video, WebM Dash outputs, AV1 Encoding, and MP3 audio outputs.

AWS Media Services also expanded region availability in 2020, announcing support for AWS Elemental MediaPackage in Europe and AWS Elemental MediaConnect in Hong Kong, allowing you to reach more people around the globe.

To see the complete list of 2020 innovations, check out the What’s New page for AWS Media Services. We look forward to sharing what we have in store for 2021. Follow AWS Elemental on LinkedIn and Twitter, to stay up to date on releases, updates, how-two guides, partner announcements, customer stories, and more.

And in case you missed them, the following are the must read blogs of 2020: