Leading in-flight broadband internet provider Gogo recently committed to moving its entire infrastructure to Amazon Web Services (AWS), going all-in on the world’s leading cloud. Gogo is improving in-flight internet and entertainment experiences for millions of passengers around the world, leveraging a range of AWS services, including analytics, serverless, database, and storage. AWS services help the company to develop and deploy applications in hours instead of days, double the number of airlines it supports with its current workforce, and take an idea from concept to production much faster.
The company also uses AWS Elemental Live video processing and delivery to provide the consistency and low latency required for live and on-demand video at 30,000 feet. Gogo’s transition to AWS comes at a time when the demand for content is intensifying, with 60 percent of global airline passengers citing in-flight Wi-Fi availability as a necessity when choosing an airline and booking a flight. That number is considerable given that the equivalent of more than half the world’s population (4.1 billion) took off in airplanes in 2017.
A pioneer of in-flight entertainment experiences, Gogo was the first to enable commercial airlines to stream video to passengers’ smart tablets, to stream pre-theatrical and first-run movie titles to devices, and to install FTE wireless systems aboard thousands of aircraft. To help airlines maintain high-quality viewing experiences and scale with passenger demand for more varieties of in-flight entertainment, the company is using AWS Elemental Live to process and deliver live and on-demand video services on board more than 2,500 commercial aircraft.
GogoTV, Gogo’s live TV service, relies extensively on AWS Elemental solutions to power transcoding for 24 live TV channels across five airlines. Distributed from a centralized headend in the US, GogoTV captures content from international providers. That content is backhauled via fiber to the Gogo IPTV headend, where it is transcoded to High Efficiency Video Coding (HEVC) using AWS Elemental Live. In addition to HEVC, AWS Elemental also provides support for statistical channel multiplexing. As a result, Gogo is able to deliver consistently broadcast-quality viewing experiences with low latency to passengers. AWS Elemental solutions also enable Gogo to use significantly less satellite communications bandwidth.
To find out more about how Gogo is using AWS services, please visit https://press.aboutamazon.com/news-releases/news-release-details/gogo-goes-all-aws.
More than 29 million viewers tuned into the Academy Awards® telecast in February, and while the ceremony itself is a major draw, ancillary programming featuring live interviews and commentary throughout the event has become increasingly popular in recent years. Capitalizing on this trend, IMDb brought back its live Oscars®-themed viewing party this year, tapping Broadcast Management Group (BMG) for the third year to produce and stream the show to Twitter, Twitch, Amazon.com, and IMDb.com. The five-hour live program featured celebrity interviews including Elton John, with encoding and captioning for each live stream powered by AWS Elemental Live. Programming included a pre-show event, second-screen show with winner updates, social highlights and more, as well as a post-show party.
BMG used AWS Elemental Live to encode 1080p streams of IMDb’s live Oscars viewing party to each viewing platform with real-time closed captioning. Using Quality-Defined Variable Bitrate (QVBR) encoding available via AWS Elemental Live, BMG was able to ensure a consistent, high-quality experience for audiences across viewing platforms while minimizing bits used. IMDb covered the event live from the Elton John AIDS Foundation Academy Awards Viewing Party, with actor/director Aisha Tyler and IMDb correspondent Dave Karger hosting. BMG also tapped AWS Elemental encoders this year to produce a two-hour live show covering the Vanity Fair Oscars party.
Commenting on the productions, BMG CEO Todd Mason said, “There's no margin for error when producing live streams for Hollywood’s biggest night and with celebrities waiting in the wings for interviews. Delivering to multiple platforms can pose a number of encoding challenges, but with AWS Elemental Live we were able to rest easy knowing that we could depend on it to power a compelling experience for audiences across the globe while also streamlining our process.”
In addition to the IMDb and Vanity Fair party streams, AWS was also excited to see “Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse” win the Oscar for Best Animated Film. Congratulations to our friends at Sony Pictures Entertainment, whose Spider-Verse AR experience was built with Amazon Sumerian and continues to delight fans. To enjoy this experience, visit intothespiderverse-ar.com from your mobile device.
It’s hard to overstate the global popularity of live sports programming, and the Australian market, with its thriving slate of homegrown and international leagues, is a shining example. With its recently launched multi-sport streaming service, Kayo Sports offers Australia’s sports fans a massive selection of more than 50 live sports powered by FOX SPORTS Australia, ESPN, and beIN SPORTS.
Subscribers can stream Kayo’s library of live and on-demand sports on iOS and Android mobile devices, laptops and PCs, and on TVs with Telstra TV, Apple TV, and Chromecast Ultra apps. Events are available in 1080p HD and users can stream to as many as three events or games at the same time. SplitView functionality means viewers can watch up to four events or camera angles on one screen on selected devices. Kayo also offers a feature that lets viewers hide stats and scores so they can catch up on completed events without stumbling upon the final result.
Enabling Kayo’s dynamic audience experience is video infrastructure from AWS. Kayo uses AWS Elemental Live encoding on-premises to prepare live streams for the AWS Cloud, where AWS Elemental Media Services process, package, and deliver HLS and MPEG-DASH streams for distribution through the Amazon CloudFront content delivery network (CDN). The Kayo sports service lets users control the action with pause, rewind, and replay functionality delivered by AWS Elemental MediaPackage, and the workflow supports Kayo Key Moments, which lets viewers skip straight to highlights during on-demand viewing.
Performance, scale, and resiliency were key priorities for Kayo’s video infrastructure. AWS Elemental Media Services and Amazon Elastic Compute Cloud (Amazon EC2) scale automatically with demand, and MediaPackage manages resources across multiple AWS Availability Zones as it prepares and originates content for delivery to CloudFront. A data lake built on Amazon EC2 and Amazon Simple Storage Service (Amazon S3) enables analysis of live performance data to support continuous optimization, while on the front end of the service, AWS Lambda and AWS Step Functions support serverless execution of sign-ups and user validation.
“Kayo provides a new way for Australians to experience sport,” said Thomas Kaurin, Director of Technology at Kayo Sports. “With over 30,000 hours of content and game-changing features, it’s critical we deliver the best possible experience to sports-loving Aussies. AWS helps Kayo do this through its fast pace of innovation, with constantly evolving tools that help us deliver a world class experience.”