Amazon EC2 VT1 Instances

Low cost transcoding for live video streams

As global demand for video content increases, broadcasters want to reduce their transcoding and networking costs without sacrificing reliability and are looking to the cloud to efficiently scale.

Amazon EC2 VT1 instances are designed to accelerate real time video transcoding and deliver low cost transcoding for live video streams. They can deliver up to 30% lower cost per stream compared to Amazon EC2 G4dn GPU-based instances and up to 60% lower cost per stream compared to Amazon EC2 C5 CPU-based instances for transcoding live video streams.

VT1 instances can support streams up to 4K UHD resolution at 60 frames per second (fps) and can transcode up to 64 simultaneous 1080p60 streams in real time. They are powered by up to 8 Xilinx® Alveo™ U30 media accelerator cards and support up to 96 vCPUs, 192GB of memory, 25 Gbps of enhanced networking, and 19 Gbps of EBS bandwidth. They are optimized for workloads such as live broadcast, video conferencing, and just-in-time transcoding.

VT1 instances will also be available on AWS Outposts soon. Live event broadcasters will be able to use VT1 instances in AWS Outposts racks to integrate with their broadcast video feeds for transcoding at edge locations.


Lower costs for video transcoding

VT1 instances can deliver up to 30% lower cost per stream compared to Amazon EC2 G4dn GPU-based instances and up to 60% lower cost per stream compared to Amazon EC2 C5 CPU-based instances for live video encoding. Using VT1 instances you can lower transcoding costs for live streaming applications such as live broadcast and video conferencing. You can also lower costs for just-in-time transcoding of file-based content for use cases where real-time experience is important.

Ultra-low video transcoding latencies

VT1 instances support ultra-low latencies for real time transcoding. Low encoding latencies reduce the time it takes to transcode the first frame and helps support natural human interactions and experience. This makes VT1 instances well suited for applications like video conferencing where they can also support video stream compositing, background blurring, and noise reduction.

AWS Services for an end-to-end solution

You can use VT1 instances with AWS services to manage, scale, package, and prepare your transcoding workloads. You can efficiently manage and scale your transcoding workloads via Amazon Elastic Container Service (ECS) and Amazon Elastic Kubernetes Service (EKS), and deliver the final content globally using Amazon CloudFront. VT1 instances can also be complemented with AWS Elemental MediaConnect for secure live video transport.


Xilinx® Alveo™ U30 media accelerator cards

The accelerated H.264/AVC and H.265/HEVC codecs in the Xilinx® Alveo™ U30 cards support SDR (8-bit) and HDR (10-bit) profiles that can be efficiently decoded by a broad range of end user devices, from earlier generation mobile handsets, to the latest generation handsets with ultra-high-resolution displays. VT1 instances support FFmpeg  and GStreamer frameworks enabling developers to get started quickly using pre-compiled libraries.

High speed networking and storage

VT1 instances support up to 25 Gbps of networking that can ingest multiple video streams over IP with low latency and low jitter. This helps support 4K UHD video streams at 60 frames per second and 3 bytes per pixel or an 8-bit color depth. VT1 instances come with dedicated EBS bandwidth of up to 19 Gbps and support for Amazon FSx for Lustre.

Built on Nitro System

VT1 instances are built on the AWS Nitro System, which is a rich collection of building blocks that offloads many of the traditional virtualization functions to dedicated hardware and software to deliver high performance, high availability, and high security while also reducing virtualization overhead.

Product details

Instance Size

U30 Accelerators


Memory (GiB)

Network Bandwidth (Gbps)

EBS Bandwidth

1080p60 Streams

4Kp60 Streams

On-demand (Price/hr) 1-yr Reserved Instance Effective Hourly 3-yr Reserved Instance Effective Hourly






Up to 4.75




























Customer testimonials

Twitch Interactive

Twitch is a live video streaming service that enables millions of people to interact and make their own entertainment every day. It offers video game live streaming, music broadcasts, creative content, and real life video streams. 

“We are adopting Amazon EC2 VT1 instances to cost-efficiently transcode millions of live streams to deliver high streaming quality for viewers all over the world. We chose EC2 VT1 instances because they deliver the stream density and low latency we need without compromising on video compression or visual quality."

Martin Hess, GM, Interactive Video Service, Amazon, and VP, Video Platform - Twitch Interactive

Twitch Interactive

THEOlive is the first HTTP-based real-time video streaming service that makes it easy to reach audiences of any size with sub-second latency. It powers high-quality interactive use cases such as live sports & betting, online auctions, and virtual events.

“Our customers expect both ultra-low latency and high-quality video, and all components of our service are optimized to achieve this. We chose EC2 VT1 instances to cost-efficiently transcode video without sacrificing quality so we can deliver real-time streaming to viewers worldwide.”

Steven Tielemans, CEO - THEO Technologies

Blog posts & articles

Xilinx® Video SDK

Visit documentation »

Linux accelerated computing instances

Visit documentation »

GStreamer, FFmpeg 4.4, and HDR now supported

Visit What’s New blog  »

Deep Dive on Amazon EC2 VT1 Instances

Visit blog »

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