AWS Media Blog

Sony Virtual Production and Amazon Interactive Video Service

Co-authored by Andy Etherington, a lead software engineer and software project manager in Sony European Professional Engineering. 

Introduction

Sony Virtual Production is an on-demand video production service powered by Amazon Web Services (AWS) for delivering live events to global audiences. It allows you to switch cameras, add captions, and control comments, all from your laptop or device.

Amazon Interactive Video Service (Amazon IVS) is a managed live streaming solution that is quick and easy to set up and does everything you need to make low-latency live video available to any viewer around the world.

In this post, we show you how simple it is to set up and configure the Sony Virtual Production service to mix between cameras, smartphones, and other sources and then stream the output to Amazon IVS.

Prerequisites

Before you set up your stream, follow the steps in Getting Started with Amazon IVS in the Amazon IVS User Guide to:

  1. Create an AWS account.
  2. Set up an AWS Identity and Access Management (IAM) user and policy.
  3. Create an Amazon IVS channel to feed your video into. We recommend doing this with the Amazon IVS console.

When you create an Amazon IVS channel, you get an Ingest server and Stream key. Use these to set up streaming. (You also get a Playback URL, to use later to play back your stream).

Screenshot showing how to obtain stream key from Amazon IVS console.

Setup and configure Sony Virtual Production

In this section, we register for a Sony Virtual Production Free Trial and connect our smart phone as a source.

Use these steps to quickly get up and running with Sony Virtual Production:

  1. Sign up for an account at https://eu.virtualproduction.studio/
  2. Log in to the Sony Virtual Production service at https://eu.virtualproduction.studio/
    1. Accept the Privacy Notice
    2. Select the Standard User when prompted
  3. A Free Trial Event will automatically be created for you. It is pre-configured with a smart-phone input. The start-up screen should show you a Destination URL and a Passphrase. Please make a note of both settings as these are required later.
  4. Click on the Play button to launch your Virtual Production Cloud Switcher in AWS.

Screenshot showing welcome screen for the free trial version of Sony Virtual Production.

5. It takes up to 5 minutes to provision your Virtual Production Cloud Switcher. Click on the Download User Guide or access it here (Virtual Production Quick Start Guide) and follow the instructions to connect your smart phone to the Sony Virtual Production Cloud Switcher.

Connect to Amazon IVS

In this section, we configure one of the Virtual Production outputs to stream to Amazon IVS.

Use these steps to connect the output of Virtual Production to Amazon IVS:

  1. Log in to the Virtual Production service and select the Event Settings option.
  2. Click on the Outputs tab and click on the Amazon IVS icon to enable this as one of the outputs. The Destination URL will populate with a default URL.

Screenshot showing Outputs tab of Sony Virtual Production with field to enter destination URL

  1. 3. Replace the Destination URL with your specific Amazon IVS Ingest server URL from the Amazon IVS Stream Configuration.
  2. 4. In the Stream Key field, enter the Stream Key from the Amazon IVS Stream Configuration.
  3. 5. The bitrate is automatically set based on the chosen resolution. The resolution can be switched between full HD (1920×1080) or non-full HD (1280×720). The bitrates are automatically set as:
    1. a. 1920×1080 – 8.5Mbps (only available for IVS Standard)
    2. b. 1280×720 – 4.5Mbps
  4. 6. Once set, you are prompted to save the output.

Screenshot showing Outputs tab with button enabled to save the output configuration.

  1. 7. If your switcher is already running, click on the Update button to use the new configuration. If the switcher is not running, click on the Start button. In both cases, wait for the switcher to restart/start before continuing.

Screenshot showing button to go to Event Switcher and green icon indicating the event is running.

  1. 8. When the event is running, access the switcher through the Event Switcher button and confirm the event is streaming. Click on either the Go-Live button or the Stream button to begin streaming. The Live window show a green bar at the top to indicate streaming.

Partial screenshot showing green bar at the top of the interface with the text: stream, live.

  1. 9. Next, access the Amazon IVS Live stream to confirm the output from Virtual Production reaches the IVS Ingest Server.

Screenshot showing the video preview in the Amazon IVS console.

Cleaning up

To prevent Amazon IVS from incurring any additional charges in your account, navigate to the Amazon IVS Console and delete the channel you created in the prerequisites of this how-to.

To avoid using additional Virtual Production allowance, click on the stop button. You can restart the switcher at any point by clicking on the play button.

Partial screenshot showing button to start and stop the event switcher in Sony Virtual Production.

Next steps

Have a look at additional Amazon IVS examples on the ivs.rocks site to find inspiration for your next project and how you can combine the live video production capabilities of Sony Virtual Production with interactive elements of Amazon IVS.

To learn more about how to connect cameras, encoders, and smartphones as inputs to your virtual switcher, have a look at the Virtual Production Help pages in the user interface. Select the HELP button from within the service and then the User Guides tab.

Screenshot showing the help documentation available directly in the Sony Virtual Production user interface.

A range of useful guides can help you get the most from your production.

Peter Henebäck

Peter Henebäck

Peter is a Solutions Architect working with Global customers across Media & Entertainment and Games. He has worked with customers on multiple continents designing and implemented innovative solutions across entertainment, sports, news, and games.