AWS Elemental MediaConvert FAQs

What is AWS Elemental MediaConvert?
AWS Elemental MediaConvert is a file-based video processing service that formats and compresses offline content for delivery to televisions or connected devices. With AWS Elemental MediaConvert's high-quality video transcoding, you can create on-demand video assets for playback on virtually any device. The service combines advanced video and audio capabilities with a simple web services interface and pay-as-you-go pricing. With AWS Elemental MediaConvert, you can focus on delivering compelling media experiences without having to worry about the complexity of building and operating your own video processing infrastructure.

What is file-based video processing?
In a video processing workflow, a file-based video transcoding solution processes video files, creating compressed versions of the original content to reduce its size, change its format, or increase playback device compatibility. A file-based video transcoding solution can convert any video input source, ranging from high-quality studio masters to videos captured on a mobile device, and produce content ready for distribution to viewers. File-based transcoding processes media as fast as the underlying infrastructure allows, which may be faster or slower than real-time depending on the input type, output format(s), and transcoder settings. File-based transcoding solutions are also expected to handle packaging and protection of content by preparing assets for on-demand delivery to multiple device types with integrated digital rights management (DRM).
Who can use AWS Elemental MediaConvert?
AWS Elemental MediaConvert 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 MediaConvert 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 MediaConvert as part of their broadcast, streaming, and over-the-top video offerings.
Why should I choose AWS Elemental MediaConvert over an on-premises file-based encoding solution?
On-premises solutions have long lead times to become production-ready, have limited agility, and lack the scale to meet demand as workloads change over time. These solutions require customers to own, host, and manage all of the required infrastructure, which equates to significant capital investment up front, and may require interfacing with multiple vendors for billing and support, which is prohibitive for individuals and small companies. Long term, the total cost of ownership only increases when factoring in ongoing expense to update, patch, and maintain on-premises systems. AWS Elemental MediaConvert, on the other hand, is a pay-as-you-go service with predictable costs that offers a high degree of availability, reliability, and scalability without the burden of infrastructure management. Because AWS Elemental MediaConvert is an AWS service, it’s simple for video providers to build end-to-end workflows using other AWS services, and benefit from integrated billing, monitoring, and support.
Why should I choose AWS Elemental MediaConvert over other file-based cloud encoding services?
AWS Elemental MediaConvert gives you access to a full broadcast-grade feature set. Other cloud-based video processing services often do not provide the premium capabilities that content owners and distributors require. With AWS Elemental MediaConvert you can take advantage of features to create broadcast-quality video including static graphic overlays, audio loudness normalization, ad insertion via SCTE-35 support, manifest decoration, DRM integration, and broadcast and OTT closed captioning. AWS Elemental MediaConvert leverages video processing technology built from the ground up by AWS Elemental and used by video providers of all kinds today. It includes ingest and output support for the highest quality codecs (MPEG-2, AVC, AV1, and HEVC including support for 10-bit 4:2:2 color sampling), extensive adaptive bitrate packaging formats (CMAF, HLS, DASH, and MSS), and processing and conversion of HDR content (Dolby Vision, HDR 10, and HLG BT.2020). With AWS Elemental MediaConvert, you can get started with simple jobs while gaining access to a deep set of configurable parameters to precisely control video output quality as required. AWS Elemental MediaConvert charges jobs based on the duration and the characteristics of the outputs generated, which means that you always only pay for what you use. Finally, AWS Elemental MediaConvert scales elastically with the rate of incoming jobs so you benefit from short turnaround times even when your incoming load varies.

Is AWS Elemental MediaConvert a standalone service or is it dependent on other services?
AWS Elemental MediaConvert can function 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.

Why should I choose AWS Elemental MediaConvert over Amazon Elastic Transcoder?
AWS Elemental MediaConvert should be the first option you consider for file-based video processing. MediaConvert provides a comprehensive suite of transcoding features that addresses the needs of the majority of use cases. It is optimized to reduce turnaround time and improve scalability which allows you to process more files in parallel. And you benefit from a flexible pricing structure where you only pay for functionality that you use. You can also choose to use reserved pricing, to get a discount with daily encode jobs, or to use Accelerated Transcoding, to complete jobs up to 25 times faster than normal transcodes. Finally, MediaConvert continues to add new capabilities including video quality improvements, codecs, and add-on features that won't be available in Elastic Transcoder.

Can I use AWS Elemental MediaConvert for live video?
AWS Elemental MediaConvert is a file-based transcoding service and does not support live video. For encoding live video for broadcast and streaming to any device, you should use AWS Elemental MediaLive.