AWS Elemental MediaPackage FAQs

What is AWS Elemental MediaPackage?
AWS Elemental MediaPackage is a highly scalable, video origination and just-in-time packaging service that helps video providers securely, reliably and cost-efficiently package and deliver live video streams. Video providers can improve the viewing experience, easily integrate advanced, broadcast-grade capabilities, increase workflow resiliency, and better protect and monetize their multiscreen content. The service uses just-in-time packaging to cost effectively output multiple standards-based streaming protocols and DRM types in different combinations to support an array of multiscreen devices. It supports consistent quality of service by elastically scaling to meet demand and manage failover within a highly available managed service. AWS Elemental MediaPackage does not limit customers’ choices of video players, CDNs or ad providers, and works seamlessly with other AWS services to build a solution for high-quality, resilient live streaming for 24/7 channels or live events.

What is just-in-time packaging and origination?
In a video processing workflow, a just-in-time packaging and origination product customizes live video streams or VOD assets for delivery in a format compatible with the device making the request. An advanced origin is used to convert incoming content on-the-fly from a single format to multiple delivery formats while applying DRM standards, allowing it to serve streaming video content in response to requests from users to devices such as tablets, smartphones, connected TVs, or set-top boxes.
Who can use AWS Elemental MediaPackage?
AWS Elemental MediaPackage 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 MediaPackage 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 MediaPackage as part of their broadcast, streaming, and over-the-top video offerings.

How does AWS Elemental MediaPackage compare to Cloud Streaming Services?
AWS Elemental MediaPackage is available in multiple regions, while with other cloud services, some options are only available in a subset of all the AWS regions on which their service is deployed. AWS Elemental MediaPackage can record all the renditions in an adaptive bitrate (ABR) stream and supports up to 4K resolution with high frame rate using HEVC, while other cloud services restrict recordings to only the highest bitrate. Competing services may also provide a broad set of limitations on the delivered content, including limiting resolution to 1080p and frame rate to 30 frames per second. AWS Elemental MediaPackage also supports a wide range of OTT ABR standards and provides standards-based subtitles for all OTT formats, which is broader support than other cloud services.

How does AWS Elemental MediaPackage compare to third-party packaging software running on AWS?
AWS Elemental MediaPackage packages and archives in the same workflow using the same formats that are streamed; with other providers, you need a separate workflow. AWS Elemental MediaPackage provides more control over what is exposed to subscribers, helping restrict access. In addition, AWS Elemental MediaPackage offers an embedded redundancy model, removing the complexity of implementing and managing instances from the customer, and separates ingest from egress for even greater scalability and redundancy. It is natively designed as a service, not as software running on a virtual server, and customers don't have to monitor the load on their EC2 instances or manually scale to accommodate more channels and more end-user connections.

How does AWS Elemental MediaPackage compare to packaging services from Content Delivery Networks (CDNs)?
AWS Elemental MediaPackage offers highly customizable packaging options and parameters, providing flexibility for streaming protocols, segment sizes, manifest manipulation, subtitles, and other metadata handling along with broad DRM support. With some CDNs, the options for packaging are limited to a given set of parameters. Unlike CDN-based packaging services that only work with their specific CDN, AWS Elemental MediaPackage is CDN agnostic, offering customers an easy way to implement a multi-CDN strategy and improve audience quality of service using third-party tools.

Can I use a CDN other than Amazon CloudFront with AWS Elemental MediaPackage?
Yes. A customer can connect any CDN that delivers content in pull mode as a CDN output from AWS Elemental MediaPackage. Using Amazon CloudFront provides the benefit of staying in the AWS Cloud, and saves on data transfer rates compared to external 3rd-party CDNs. However, AWS Elemental MediaPackage is designed to work with Amazon CloudFront and non-Amazon CDNs, giving customers the ability to run multi-CDN or hybrid-CDN strategies.

Is AWS Elemental MediaPackage a standalone service or is it dependent on other services?
AWS Elemental MediaPackage 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.

Does AWS Elemental MediaPackage work with AWS Elemental MediaLive?
AWS Elemental MediaLive is deeply integrated with AWS Elemental MediaPackage so customers can easily combine live encoding with content origination, dynamic packaging, and live-to-VOD capabilities. To configure an 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 MediaLive 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.

What is the difference between AWS Elemental MediaPackage and AWS Elemental MediaStore?
AWS Elemental MediaPackage provide just-in-time package and DVR-like features as well as origination for live video streams. If a customer does not require packaging to different or multiple formats, DRM, or DVR-like features, customers can use AWS Elemental MediaStore as a pass-through video origination and storage service that offers the high performance and immediate consistency required for delivering media combined with the security and durability that AWS offers across its services.

Does AWS Elemental MediaPackage work with on-premises AWS Elemental Live encoders?
MediaPackage supports HLS as an input over HTTPS. On-premises AWS Elemental Live customers can benefit from the improved scalability and resiliency of MediaPackage compared to an on-premises origin, even if they run encoding on site. If you use Elemental Live appliances on-premises, you can use the authenticated WebDAV HLS output to feed MediaPackage.

How can I connect AWS Elemental MediaPackage to a DRM Key Management System?
AWS Elemental MediaPackage has a published DRM API based on the Content Protection Information Exchange (CPIX) standard that makes integrating with DRM Key providers easier. Many providers, like Verimatrix, Irdeto, BuyDRM, castLabs EZDRM, and Conax have already implemented the API, with others coming on board soon.