2016 Archive - AWS Elemental Blog

Video Processing Perspectives

2016 Archive - AWS Elemental Blog
2016 Archive - AWS Elemental Blog
Submitted by Lisa on October 2, 2016

Today, Elemental announces the expansion of its cloud video services in India to support a growing customer base in the region that includes tier one pay TV operators, broadcasters and content providers. Elemental provides broadcast-grade video processing and delivery solutions for live and video-on-demand (VOD) viewing, and Elemental Cloud is a platform as a service (PaaS) that automatically provisions and dynamically scales any combination of Elemental solutions on AWS.

Demand for cloud-based video solutions is growing rapidly in India as leading providers increase their service offerings both for in-country viewers and those living abroad. In such a large media market, the need for scalability is clear: if a service takes off, then it is likely to reach audiences in the multi-millions, calling for a rapid increase in capacity. However, media companies deal with bandwidth consuming video data, so transferring premium video to the cloud for processing, storage and distribution can be a challenge when the nearest data center is thousands of miles away.

With the expansion of Elemental Cloud to India, media companies and other video providers have better access to cloud-based video services while minimizing the cost and latency of data transfer. Indian content owners, broadcasters and other service providers now have a complete solution to build, deploy and run their media services from the cloud in their own region.

Amazon Web Services (AWS) recently launched its newest region in Mumbai, bringing the number of AWS regions in Asia Pacific to six and to 35 availability zones globally. The new region provides local access to cloud-based resources and services for 75,000 AWS customers in India, as well as a diverse set of industries in the country. The new region also includes the Amazon Elastic Transcoder service, which provides an easy to use and cost effective way to convert short-form media files from their source format into versions that will playback on devices like smartphones, tablets and PCs.

To learn more, join us at the AWS Media Summit India, which takes place in Mumbai, Delhi and Chennai October 4 - 7. The Media Summit is a focused platform for supporting innovation, agility and transformation through the application of cloud computing technologies. The event will showcase immersive content including industry expert sessions as well as customer experience sharing. To learn more and register, click here.

Submitted by Heidi on September 16, 2016

Just one week before the Red Hot Chili Peppers took to the stage at Kraftwerk Berlin for their “Getaway” World Tour as part of the Deutsche Telekom’s Street Gigs concert series, producers determined they were not equipped to deliver Germany’s first-ever 360˚ virtual reality live streaming concert. The event was staged and the VR capture was set. But there were concerns that the solution in place could not encode the output to get a reliable, solid stream at a reasonable bit budget. Producers called in Elemental for its proven VR encoding to ensure that fans at the venue and beyond in Germany, Austria and Switzerland would enjoy an unprecedented look at this iconic group of rock stars.

The September 6 concert went off without a hitch. It was captured by four Nokia OZO 360˚ virtual reality cameras placed on stage with the band, in the first row, and above the audience to provide panoramic concert views. Each of the cameras included eight 2K x 2K video sensors to produce full spherical output. An Elemental Live encoder produced the live stream for delivery to YouTube. Viewers could access the 360˚ stream on an array of devices including the Samsung Gear VR or iOS and Android phones using Google Cardboard and the YouTube app. Chrome, Firefox, Opera, and Edge browsers all supported viewing in 360˚.

Thousands of fans beyond the concert hall tuned into the VR experience as the band premiered new songs from their Getaway album and played long-time favorites, including Snow, Californication and Under the Bridge. An interview with lead singer Anthony Kiedis in 360˚ ahead of the show gives insight into his thoughts about performing in VR and the full concert is available on demand in HD on YouTube.

To learn more about how Elemental and Nokia work together to enable real-time VR experiences, register for the webcast, Virtual Reality Goes Live: Moving Beyond the Hype on September 21 at 8am PDT. 

Submitted by Sam on September 7, 2016

Last year, Elemental was among 23 Portland technology companies to sign a pledge to improve diversity in our industry. Underlying the TechTown Diversity Pledge is the belief that collective action and accountability are needed to address the underrepresentation of women and people of color in the local technology workplace and to foster a more inclusive community. One key component of the pledge is, together with our peer companies, sharing data about our demographic representation as a way to measure progress against our goal. The longer term vision is that a more diverse and inclusive workforce will provide a competitive advantage that will help establish our region as a leading technology center. 

The Portland Development Commission recently released the first year of data on the demographics of the pledge-signing companies. The data shows that the employee bases are still heavily young (25-34 years of age), white and male, especially in technical roles. Among the collective new hires in the participating companies, 43 percent have been female, 13 percent LGBTQ, 18 percent people of color and two percent veterans. Elemental’s updated demographic data is available for your review here.

As the data demonstrates, it will take some time to substantially move the diversity needle. The roots of gender and race underrepresentation in technology go deep into our education system and society. Nevertheless, the efforts of rising tech companies in Portland to bring these issues to the surface and quantify progress are important. They are also the start of a sustainable process to follow through on our commitment to change.

I wanted to share with you the specific actions that Elemental has taken to date, which I consider our “stake in the ground” as we move towards achieving more profound diversity changes both within our workforce and the broader technology employee base across the city.

  • We have hired a dedicated Community and Diversity Program Manager, Nancy Garcia, who will report directly to me and oversee our efforts in this area.
  • We have incorporated a diversity and inclusion session in our New Hire Orientation so that all new employees are aware of our efforts and feel a sense of ownership.
  • Thanks to the generous policies of our parent company, Amazon, we are now offering up to 20 paid weeks of leave for new parents who have been at the company for more than a year. This consists of 4 weeks of paid pre-partum medical leave for pregnant employees, followed by 10 weeks of paid maternity leave and 6 weeks of paid parental leave.
  • We offer a series of workshops for employees on unconscious bias and cultural agility.
  • In partnership with SummerWorks, we offered, for the second year in a row, high school internships for students from underrepresented populations, which provides a rotational learning experience.
  • We continue to set an example for our industry in hosting the 4K 4Charity Fun Run three times a year to support charitable giving. We are proud that the series has raised, to date, more than a quarter of a million dollars for global and local charities, including Rosemary Anderson High School here in Portland. Please join many of the other Diversity Pledge companies and sign up to run with us on October 12!

Bottom line: we recognize that world-class innovation stems from inclusion, equality and transparency. While we’ve got a long way to go, our goal is to create a workplace with a diverse, inclusive culture that attracts, develops and retains talents of all backgrounds.