AWS Elemental Blog
AWS Elemental Blog
Submitted by Alyssa on April 9, 2019

Sports and other live video content attracts viewers, creates revenue opportunities, and can play an important part in building loyal audiences. For content providers, getting the most out of investments in live streaming video means establishing workflows and processes that ensure an uninterrupted, high-quality experience for viewers on their preferred screen. 

To keep you up to date on the latest solutions for reliable live video, AWS produced a three-part webcast series that dives deep into technologies and best practices that simplify the work of building and maintaining resilient live streaming workflows. Click here to register and watch any of the following webcasts on demand:

The Fundamentals of Building a Resilient Live Channel explores the details of real-world video workflows with a focus on issues that impact reliability, plus strategies for redundancy and monitoring to achieve broadcast-grade resilience. AWS experts discuss solutions for resilient content contribution, transcoding, packaging, and content delivery;

Advanced Workflows for Resilient Live Video Streaming addresses strategies for deploying AWS Media Services in different regions, and setting up failover that can span across AWS Regions. This session also covers other approaches to achieving resilience, such as content contribution with AWS Elemental MediaConnect and input switching for disaster recovery with AWS Elemental MediaLive;

Operationalize & Monitor Your Live Video Workflow illustrates how users can set up an end-to-end monitoring system using the Media Services Application Mapper (MSAM) solution, which automatically provisions the services necessary to visualize cloud media services, their relationships, and the real-time status of linear video services.

For more presentations from AWS media experts, you can search our full library of webcasts and online conferences.

Submitted by Alyssa on April 8, 2019

AWS Elemental congratulates EPIX, the premium TV service owned by MGM, for its recent Media Excellence Award, presented by the Interactive Television Alliance in recognition of its TV Everywhere 4K Ultra HD streaming feature. Built on Amazon Web Services (AWS), 4K Ultra HD streaming is now also available on the EPIX NOW streaming service.

To make 4K Ultra HD content available through its TV Everywhere app and the EPIX NOW streaming service, EPIX became an early adopter of the newly announced Accelerated Transcoding feature within AWS Elemental MediaConvert. With Accelerated Transcoding, EPIX was able to more quickly transcode large volumes of film and television content into 4K Ultra HD format for on-demand streaming to customers.

When preparing files for the new 4K Ultra HD streaming feature, a traditional approach to video processing was not practical due to lengthy transcode times. Transcode of a two-hour feature for streaming could take up to 16 hours. VOD providers need to turn content around much more quickly to meet the demands of viewers. In addition to greater video processing speed, EPIX was looking for a solution that would offer adaptive bitrate (ABR) outputs for multiple deliverables from a single encoded asset, with more efficient encoded file sizes.

Enter Accelerated Transcoding from AWS, which leverages significant engineering advancements that account for data rates, various GOP structures, video player compatibility, and more, as well as the vast cloud computing resources of AWS to reduce turnaround times. Through Accelerated Transcoding, EPIX dramatically lowered transcode times even at 4K resolution, completing conversion of a standard two-hour film in just 45 minutes. Such significant time savings is very valuable to EPIX as it adds additional 4K content and expands into new platforms. 

“Before launching our 4K streaming feature, we looked for a transcoding solution with the highest-quality codecs and built-in resiliency. We also added multiple new resolutions in order to continue to provide adaptive stream optimization for the end viewer; taking into account different device models, bandwidth variances, and covering the spectrum of mobile to set top.” said Sacha Stanton, Chief Technology Officer, EPIX. “AWS Elemental MediaConvert gives us all of this and more; it’s a flexible cloud solution so we don’t need any on-premises hardware, it supports full API control which is a must for us, and Accelerated Transcoding expedites delivery of the best 4K streaming experience to multiple devices.”

“We’re continuing to expand our offerings and see AWS Elemental as an important partner to help us improve our viewer experience. High quality 4K transcodes take 4X the number of pixels of HD, and the fact that what used to take hours can now be done in minutes is incredibly efficient for a team as small and fast-paced as ours, where flexibility is key,” added Jon Dakss, Chief Digital Officer, EPIX.

Submitted by Alyssa on April 3, 2019

Every year, NAB Show curates a rich, forward-looking conference agenda that brings to light ideas and technologies that will propel the media industry forward. For next week’s conference, Amazon Web Services will produce two groundbreaking gatherings of industry experts to explore the future of media creation and distribution, and what it means for broadcasters and other content providers:

Beyond the Field: How Sports Pioneers are Powering the 360 Audience Experience in the Cloud
Led by NFL.com analytics expert Cynthia Frelund, this Main Stage Keynote panel reveals how next-generation media workflows can create enhanced, customized experiences for sports fans using cloud services and artificial intelligence. Sharing their insights are sports media leaders Stephanie Lone, Senior Vice President, Engineering, CBS Sports Digital; Rafael Soltanovich, Vice President, Software Development, Hulu; Scott Sonnenberg, Chief Global Partnerships Officer, LA Clippers; and Mark Kramer, Vice President, Engineering and Technology, Pac-12 Networks. The session takes place Monday, April 8 at 2:30 p.m. on the Main Stage (N4) of the Las Vegas Convention Center. The event is also available to view on demand at https://www.nabshow.com/video/beyond-field

Video Storytelling as a Service: How Cloud Helps Broadcasters Streamline and Become Go-to Digital Destinations
This panel session explores the use of cloud services to streamline newsroom workflows, accelerate real-time news delivery and distribution, and help attract bigger audiences. Moderator John Clark, Executive Director, NAB PILOT is joined by panelists Catherine Badalamente, Vice President, Digital Media, Graham Media Group; Matt Monahan, Director of Product, Arc Publishing at Arc Publishing/Washington Post; and Alex Dunlap, Amazon Web Services, Inc., General Manager for AWS Elemental. The panel takes place Tuesday, April 9 at 11:20 a.m. in room N260 of the Las Vegas Convention Center.

Follow AWS Elemental on Twitter for NAB Show news and live updates from our panel sessions.

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