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AWS Elemental Blog

Video Processing Perspectives

AWS Elemental Blog
AWS Elemental Blog
Submitted by Marc on April 30, 2018

Quality-defined variable bitrate (QVBR) control is a new rate control mode designed to deliver consistently high-quality video viewing experiences that keep your audiences coming back for more, and your budget under control – saving you up to 50% on storage and delivery costs in the process.

If you’re interested in learning how QBVR works, watch our on-demand webcast for a detailed explanation of the technological and business benefits. You can watch the QVBR webcast here.

In the meantime, this short, visual summary illustrates how QVBR improves video quality when compared to constant bitrate and variable bitrate modes:

Figure 1: How constant bitrate affects video quality

  • Using bits when not needed, because you've already met video quality requirements
  • Not having enough bits when needed, resulting in lower video quality
  • Different types of content require different bitrate choices
  • Operator must take a best-guess approach when selecting the bitrate

Figure 2: How variable bitrate affects video quality

  • Encoder uses as many bits as required to hit average bitrate, even if not needed for video quality
  • Operator needs to pick the average bitrate per asset
  • Selecting average to peak ratio is not straightforward
  • Different settings needed for different content types
  • Can’t get to optimal bit savings unless you encode multiple times and iterate to get lowest bitrate required by asset

Figure 3: How quality-defined variable bitrate control benefits video quality

  • Bitrate control that automatically adjusts to different kinds of content and scenes
  • Encoder automatically adjusts actual quantization
  • Built on statistics developed for perceptual encoding such as AQ, MD, and RC
  • Save bits when quality level is reached (don't use what you don't need)
  • Use more bits to maintain quality level for complex scenes get

At the 2018 NAB Show, NewBay Media’s Video Edge magazine honored QVBR with a best in show award. AWS Elemental is pleased to be recognized, but what’s most gratifying is knowing our customers are using QVBR to address complex but very common operational problems in ways that save them time and money. You can get more info about the specific video quality problems QVBR solves, its advantages, and its simple set up and operation here: What is Quality-Defined Variable Bitrate (QVBR)?

Submitted by James on April 13, 2018

TVNZ is New Zealand’s leading free-to-air TV provider, bringing news and entertainment coverage to more than two million New Zealanders every day through TVNZ 1, TVNZ 2, TVNZ DUKE, online entertainment destination TVNZ OnDemand, and 1 NEWS NOW. Throughout April, TVNZ will bring New Zealanders official coverage of the XXI Commonwealth Games, commonly known as Gold Coast 2018, an international multi-sport event featuring world-class athletes from 70 territories and nations.

TVNZ will offer viewers unprecedented coverage and viewing choice across TV, mobile, and connected devices. TVNZ 1’s Commonwealth Games coverage gets underway at 6:00 a.m. with Breakfast each weekday and from 9:00 a.m on weekends. Coverage continues until 1:00 a.m. TVNZ DUKE will offer live and delayed coverage on air 24/7, while pop-up channel TVNZ Games Extra will show live and delayed coverage on air 7:00 a.m. to 1:00 a.m. The TVNZ Games Online channel will stream live and delayed event sessions from 7:00 a.m. to 1:00 a.m. daily.

TVNZ OnDemand, TVNZ’s online Commonwealth Games hub, will bring together all channels and coverage in one place, allowing viewers access to live streams and to replay key moments.

TVNZ OnDemand’s live streaming of the games will be powered by Amazon Web Services, Inc. (AWS) suite of AWS Media Services and Amazon Content Distribution Network services, for live event streaming to mass audiences, including:

  • AWS Elemental MediaLive – a broadcast-grade live video encoding service that is designed to generate high-quality adaptive bit rate live video streams;
  • AWS Elemental MediaPackage – an advanced live streaming origin service providing comprehensive control over live stream packaging and digital rights management that supports enhanced user experiences with features such as catch-up and start-over viewing of live events in progress;
  • Amazon CloudFront – a global content delivery network (CDN) service that securely delivers data, videos, applications, and APIs to viewers with low latency and high transfer speeds.

“The AWS team, were able to work with us to demonstrate a robust solution for delivering high quality live video streams to our audiences at scale using the AWS Elemental Media Services and the Amazon CloudFront CDN,” said Andrew Blakey, TVNZ Development Manager. 

“Using other AWS services, such as Amazon CloudWatch, will provide us with detailed monitoring, reporting, and streaming analytics throughout the duration of the Games. The AWS Elemental MediaLive video encoding service will also allow us to deliver each live streaming channel in multiple different bit rates and resolutions, to serve mobile devices, connected TV’s and even the connected shopping mall displays throughout New Zealand. This partnership is vital in helping us realise our ambition to bring New Zealanders the biggest free-to-air sporting event ever.”

Submitted by James on April 5, 2018

Are you planning to attend the NAB Show in Las Vegas next week? We hope you’ll join one of our daily Tech Talks, “Increase the Value of Video with Deep Learning & Media Services,” from 5:00 to 6:00pm Monday, Tuesday, and Wednesday in AWS booth #SU2202. Video and machine learning solutions experts will help participants learn how to:

  • Generate metadata from your media and make videos searchable by objects, people, activities, dialogue and more using Amazon Machine Learning tools;
  • Make your videos more valuable and enable a wide range of use cases, including searching and indexing your video library;
  • Use AWS Elemental MediaConvert to create video highlight clips from keywords, automatically or on demand, for content like sports videos and from sources such as nature cameras or security feeds;
  • Use Amazon Transcribe and Amazon Translate with AWS Media Services to produce captions and translations that expand audience reach for corporate videos, marketing and sales material, and training videos.

AWS Elemental Tech Talks fill up every year, so  if you’d like to attend, please reserve your seat right away at

In addition to our Tech Talks, we’ll share information and insights on intelligent video workflows throughout the show in booth SU2202 and as part of the following sessions:

  • April 10, 9-9:25am: Usman Shakeel, Worldwide Technology Lead, Media & Entertainment at AWS, will present 'The Evolution of Content Production Aided by Machine Learning' as part of a half day looking at machine learning, deep learning and artificial intelligence technologies. The session will take place in the North Hall of the LVCC. Learn more
  • April 11, 9-10am: Ben Masek, Worldwide Business Development Lead, Media & Entertainment at AWS, will discuss cloud and media workflows as a guest panelist on NAB Show LIVE, the official live streaming broadcast of NAB Show. Learn more
  • April 11, 11am: Las Vegas Convention Center North Hall Main Stage: Gain insights into the future of content creation during a three-act, action-packed production involving NASA's Curiosity and Opportunity rovers on the surface of Mars. This session, titled 'Race on the Red Planet: Chasing our Creative Future with Curiosity and Opportunity', will give attendees and viewers online an exclusive, front-row seat for demonstrations and discussions of the latest cloud-based media workflows and advanced machine learning technologies. The keynote will stream live at

We hope to see you at NAB!