Amazon Interactive Video Service FAQs

What is Amazon Interactive Video Service?

Amazon Interactive Video Service (Amazon IVS) is a managed live streaming solution, built on the same technology that powers Twitch, that makes low-latency or real-time live video available to viewers around the world. Simply send your live streams to Amazon IVS, and the service does everything you need to make them available to your viewers, letting you focus on building engaging and interactive experiences alongside live video. You can customize and enhance the audience experience through the player and broadcast SDKs, the Chat APIs, and timed metadata APIs, giving you the tools to build a more valuable relationship with your viewers on your own websites and applications.

Who can use Amazon IVS?

Amazon IVS is designed for developers who want to add low-latency or real-time live video and enable interactivity with video in their app or site without investing in streaming infrastructure.

What’s the key difference between Amazon IVS and Twitch, and other live streaming platforms?

Amazon IVS is a managed live streaming solution, which lets you build your own interactive live video applications or websites to develop a valuable relationship with your audiences with increased engagement without sending viewers to another website. Twitch and other live streaming platforms enable users to host and stream their content, so you send your audiences to them and the platform manages the viewer for you.

What’s the difference between Amazon IVS and AWS Elemental Media Services or Amazon CloudFront?

Amazon IVS lets you focus on building your own engaging application and audience experience on top of a low-latency or real-time live stream with no need to manage infrastructure or develop and configure components of video workflows to be reliable and cost effective. Amazon IVS is built on the same technology that powers Twitch and provides a simple-to-use managed service that takes care of ingest to playback and everything in between. AWS Elemental Media Services and Amazon CloudFront are building blocks for customers with more granular video requirements looking to set up a feature rich live TV, video-on-demand (VOD), or OTT service. They let you create high-quality video streams, up to 4K/UHD resolution with HDR, for delivery to broadcast televisions and internet-connected devices, like connected TVs, tablets, smartphones, and set-top boxes. With AWS Elemental Media Services, you have a high level of control over all workflow components: transcoding and packaging configurations; levels of resilience; personalized ad insertion; and features like content protection for digital rights management (DRM). You also get to choose which video players and content distribution network (CDN) to use.

What’s the difference between Amazon IVS and Kinesis Video Streams?

Amazon IVS is a simple-to-use managed service that takes care of ingest, playback, and everything in between. Amazon Kinesis Video makes it easy to securely stream videos from connected devices to AWS for real-time and batch-driven machine learning, video playback, analytics, and other processing. It enables customers to build machine vision-based applications that power smart homes, smart cities, industrial automation, security monitoring, and more.

How much does it cost to use Amazon IVS?

Amazon IVS Low-latency Streaming pricing is based on the duration of live video sent to Amazon IVS (hours of video input) and the duration of video delivered to viewers (hours of video output). Amazon IVS Real-Time Streaming pricing is based on the duration a participant—either host or viewer, is connected to a stage resource. Amazon IVS Stream Chat pricing is based on the number of chat messages sent and delivered. For more details, visit the pricing page.

Can I use Amazon IVS for video-on-demand (VOD) content?

Amazon IVS creates live streams. You can save your Amazon IVS Low-Latency Streaming content to an Amazon Simple Storage Service (Amazon S3) bucket. Saved video files are available for editing or streaming as video-on-demand (VOD) content. Recordings saved in Amazon S3 incur standard costs for storage and requests. There is no additional cost for enabling the feature on Amazon IVS Low-Latency channel.

You cannot record Amazon IVS Real-Time Streaming content to Amazon S3. You can use a Real-Time Streaming stage resources as the input for a channel and save the resulting Low-Latency Streaming content to Amazon S3.

What AWS regions is Amazon IVS available in?

The Amazon IVS console and APIs for control and creation of streams are available in the US East (N. Virginia), US West (Oregon), Asia Pacific (Tokyo), Asia Pacific (Seoul), Asia Pacific (Mumbai), Europe (Ireland), and Europe (Frankfurt) regions. Video ingestion and delivery are available around the world over a separate, live video optimized, managed network of infrastructure.

What is the end-to-end latency for Amazon IVS Low-Latency Streaming?

The Amazon IVS Low-Latency Streaming capability uses the same technology that powers Twitch and is designed to provide low latency for live video streaming. All components from stream ingest and transcode to delivery and playback with the Amazon IVS player SDK are optimized to reduce latency. Actual latency for viewers is usually less than five seconds and can be less than three seconds. A combination of factors determine which result your viewers experience. Some factors that can have an impact are the location of the streamer sending the live stream to an Amazon IVS channel, the location of the viewer watching the stream, and the Internet Service Provider (ISP) that both the streamer and viewer are using. Settings on streaming software used to send video to an Amazon IVS channel should also be optimized. For information on the best practice for streaming software like Open Broadcaster Software (OBS),visit the Amazon IVS documentation pages. You must use the Amazon IVS player SDK to get the best low-latency performance across different platforms and devices.

What is the end-to-end latency for Amazon IVS Real-Time Streaming?

To use the Amazon IVS Real-Time Streaming capability you must build an application using the Amazon IVS Broadcast SDK. Use iOS and Android applications to publish and subscribe to live video with the mobile broadcast SDK and from a browser use the web broadcast SDK. Streams published from devices will use optimized encoder settings and network congestion handling. Actual latency can be under 300 milliseconds from host to viewer.

What kind of interactive features does Amazon IVS support?

Amazon IVS Low-Latency Streaming uses tags in video and a simple timed metadata API lets customers synchronize their interactive experiences with video streams. By providing tags and an API to sync metadata with video as the first step, customers can then focus on developing the interactive experience. The API format is familiar to most developers and does not require special video hardware, access to video libraries, custom broadcasting tools, or an understanding of video protocols to enable.

Amazon IVS attaches structured text data to video streams that are delivered alongside the video stream. This allows customers to create polls, live surveys, leaderboards, and other real-time elements that are automatically synchronized to the video content. Amazon IVS provides customers a simple REST API to inject metadata into a stream, and an event-based interface within the Amazon IVS player SDK to retrieve the metadata for clients.

Amazon IVS also has a stream chat feature designed to accompany live streaming video. With this feature, streamers and viewers can build community relationships by asking questions and taking part in discussions. Amazon IVS Chat provides chat room resource management and a messaging API for sending, receiving, and moderating chat messages.

Can I use the Amazon IVS Chat feature without a using a video capability?

Yes. The Amazon IVS Chat feature can be used on its own, or alongside an Amazon IVS Low-Latency or Real-Time Stream.

Can I restrict access to Amazon IVS streams?

Amazon IVS Low-Latency Streaming capability lets you create private channels which enable playback authorization on video playlists. You can use playback authorization to restrict your streams by channel and viewer. When playback authorization is enabled for a channel, only playback requests with valid authorization tokens will be served the video playlist. Visit the Documentation for more informtion. Playback authorization is not available for Amazon IVS Real-Time Streaming.

For instructions on configuring playback authorization for your live channels, visit the documentation pages.

Amazon IVS does not support stream content encryption and Digital Rights Management (DRM) features.

What output streams does Amazon IVS produce?

Amazon IVS Low-Latency Streaming will produce different adaptive bitrate (ABR) sets of transcode output or renditions, based on the channel type selected and the quality and resolution of the ingested RTMPS stream. Available renditions are capped at input quality, as Amazon IVS does no up-scaling or up-conversion.

Channel type Preset Max input quality Max input bitrate ABR details
Standard Standard 1080p60 8.5 Mbps 1) 1080p at source bitrate
2) 720p at 3.4Mbps (60fps) or 2.4Mbps (30fps)
3) 480p at 1.4 Mbps
4) 360p at 0.63 Mbps
5) 160p at 0.23 Mbps
Advanced HD Higher bandwidth delivery 1080p60 8.5 Mbps 1) 720p at 3 Mbps (60fps) or 2.3 Mbps (30fps)
2) 480p at 1.3 Mbps
3) 360p at 0.7 Mbps
4) 160p at 0.27 Mbps
5) Audio-only at 0.08 Mbps
Advanced HD Constrained bandwidth delivery 1080p60 8.5 Mbps 1) 720p at 2.3 Mbps (60fps) or 1.9 Mbps (30fps)
2) 480p at 0.8 Mbps
3) 360p at 0.4 Mbps
4) 160p at 0.22 Mbps
5) Audio-only at 0.08 Mbps
Advanced SD Higher bandwidth delivery 1080p60 8.5 Mbps 1) 480p at 1.3 Mbps
2) 360p at 0.7 Mbps
3) 160p at 0.27 Mbps
4) Audio-only at 0.08 Mbps
Advanced SD Constrained bandwidth delivery 1080p60 8.5 Mbps 1) 480p at 0.8 Mbps
2) 360p at 0.4 Mbps
3) 160p at 0.22 Mbps
4) Audio-only at 0.08 Mbps
Basic No transcoding
Transmux only


Single rendition
Source encoding parameters