AWS Elemental MediaLive FAQs

What is AWS Elemental MediaLive?
AWS Elemental MediaLive is a cloud-based live video encoding service that offers fast, reliable and easy-to-use delivery of high-quality live video streams without the need to manage infrastructure. AWS Elemental MediaLive streamlines live video operations by automating the configuration and management of ingest and encoding components for highly reliable delivery of live streams. The service provides broadcast quality features, configurable capability and support for industry standard formats and technologies. Combining broadcast-grade encoding capabilities with the scale and elasticity of AWS, video providers can efficiently deliver live stream to their audiences and focus on their content and differentiated viewing experiences.

What is real-time live video encoding?
In a video processing workflow, an encoder compresses a video stream—taking high-quality video as an input, and outputting smaller-sized versions—with as little loss as possible to the resulting picture quality. While this is a complicated task when working with pre-recorded video files, for live video it is made even more difficult as the video processing needs to work in real-time: the encoder must be powerful enough to produce exactly one second of video every second it runs without fail so that viewers see an uninterrupted video stream.

Who can use AWS Elemental MediaLive?
AWS Elemental MediaLive is designed to meet the needs of all types of video providers. Video is increasingly important to companies from small businesses to global enterprises, as well as government agencies, nonprofit organizations, and schools, all of which can use AWS Elemental MediaLive to improve the efficiency and effectiveness of their video operations. Companies in the media and entertainment industry, including film and TV studios, broadcast networks, pay TV channels and system operators, programming distributors, internet service providers, online video platforms, and professional sports leagues and teams, can all benefit from AWS Elemental MediaLive as part of their broadcast, streaming, and over-the-top video offerings.

Why should I choose AWS Elemental MediaLive over an on-premises live encoding solution?
AWS Elemental MediaLive provides a secure, flexible and highly available live encoding solution. It enables push button deployment of live channels and handles resource provisioning, service orchestration, scaling, healing, resiliency failover, monitoring, and reporting. AWS Elemental MediaLive enables users to set up a channel in minutes and does all the heavy lifting behind the scenes to provision and start the various resources required.

Why should I choose AWS Elemental MediaLive over other cloud-based live encoding services?
AWS Elemental MediaLive gives you access to a broadcast-grade feature sets, complete control over encoding settings, and is built with industry-leading technology for encoding that supports standard codecs (MPEG-2, AVC, HEVC, etc.), resolutions (SD, HD), and broadcast features (ad insertion using the SCTE35 standard, captioning, audio descriptors, loudness correction, etc.). AWS Elemental MediaLive is easy to use and scales with AWS resources globally.

Does AWS Elemental MediaLive support statistical multiplexing (statmux)?
Yes. Statmux for MediaLive enables broadcasters and content owners to implement flexible and scalable workflows in AWS, generating content for distribution to headends via traditional broadcast methods. Content owners and broadcasters can use MediaLive to support distribution systems that rely on statistical multiplexing. Combined with the advanced video encoding features and built-in resiliency of MediaLive, Statmux extracts more bandwidth capacity from the network, ensures reliable 24/7 operations, and reduces total cost of ownership for linear video delivery when deploying hundreds of channels.
Is AWS Elemental MediaLive a standalone service or is it dependent on other services?
AWS Elemental MediaLive can work as a standalone service or within a larger video workflow that includes other AWS Media Services. AWS Media Services are a family of services that form the foundation of cloud-based video workflows, which offer customers the capabilities they need to create, package, and deliver video, all accessible through the AWS Management Console and APIs. Working together with other AWS services, AWS Media Services offer a complete solution for processing and delivery of live or on-demand video content to consumers around the world, cost efficiently and with high quality.

How does AWS Elemental MediaLive ensure the security of channels in progress?
AWS Elemental MediaLive automatically protects video content as it moves between components by natively employing AWS security capabilities. The service uses customer identity and access management (IAM) roles and security groups within their own AWS environments. You can also add input security groups to whitelist IP addresses for input types that push content to the service.

How does AWS Elemental MediaLive ensure reliability of service?
AWS Elemental MediaLive automates the provisioning, configuration and management of AWS-based resources for ingesting and encoding live video. The service gives customers highly reliable live video encoding without managing infrastructure. When you create a channel in AWS Elemental MediaLive, the service deploys redundant infrastructure in two AWS availability zones (AZs). Each component is monitored for health and the service detects any degraded resources and replaces them with new ones.

How is AWS Elemental MediaLive billed?
Pricing is based on a straightforward per-minute model that simplifies budgeting and allows users to forecast exactly what they will spend on each channel. The pricing scales as more inputs/outputs are selected and is pay-as-you-go based on the codec (MPEG-2, AVC, HEVC); resolution (SD, HD, UHD), bitrate (less than 10Mbps, between 10 and 20Mbps, and over 20Mbps); and frame-rate (less than 30fps, between 30 and 60 fps, and over 60fps) you use. There are no minimum commitments or long-term contracts. In addition to on demand pricing, there is also a monthly option with an annual commitment for 24x7 channels. Visit the AWS Elemental MediaLive Pricing page for more information.

What are the resolutions that correspond to SD, HD, and UHD?
SD is less than 1280x720; HD is equal to, or greater than 1280x720, up to and including 1920x1080, and UHD is greater than 1920x1080; up to 4096x2160.

What options does AWS Elemental MediaLive support for ingesting live video?
AWS Elemental MediaLive will accept video using any of the following standards: RTP with forward error correction (FEC); RTMP (in a push or pull mode); and HLS. The supported codecs are MPEG-2, h.264/AVC, and h.265/HEVC. The service can also be paired with AWS Elemental Live encoding appliances that can be used on-premises at production facilities or remote event venues to ingest content for delivery as an input to your channels. These appliances support a range of compressed and uncompressed live input sources, including SDI, HDMI, ASI, MPEG-TS over IP, and SDI over IP.

What options does AWS Elemental MediaLive support for outputting live video?
AWS Elemental MediaLive supports HLS, RTP, RTMP/S, and Microsoft Smooth Streaming (MSS) streaming outputs. It will also archive to file. AWS Elemental MediaLive can deliver to an origin and just-in-time packaging service like AWS Elemental MediaPackage or a 3rd party packager, and it can deliver to AWS Elemental MediaStore for simple origination.

How do I use AWS Elemental MediaLive with my other workflow vendors?
AWS Elemental MediaLive provides a robust and flexible API that ecosystem partners such as content management systems (CMS) and packagers can integrate with. AWS Elemental MediaLive runs within customers’ AWS accounts, so other services, components or software that runs or interfaces with customer-maintained VPCs are also easily incorporated in video workflows.

How do I use AWS Elemental MediaLive with AWS Elemental MediaPackage?
AWS Elemental MediaLive can work with a range of just-in-time packing products including AWS Elemental MediaPackage. To configure a AWS Elemental MediaLive channel with AWS Elemental Mediapackage, simply create a channel with AWS Elemental MediaPackage to get a destination address, then select HLS WebDAV as the output for your AWS Elemental Media Live channel profile and add the destination address. With AWS Elemental MediaPackage you can create output groups for multiple delivery protocols like HLS and DASH, add DRM and content protection, and a live archive window for DVR-like features.

Which DRM providers does AWS Elemental MediaLive support?
AWS Elemental MediaLive does not support DRM providers on its own. It can be used with AWS Elemental MediaPackage and a published DRM API to work with several DRM providers. This way, a combination of AWS Elemental MediaLive and AWS Elemental MediaPackage can efficiently encrypt and protect multiple channels using multiple DRM standards and multiple DRM providers.