AWS Elemental Debuts MediaConnect for Live Video Transmission

Amazon Web Services announced the availability of AWS Elemental MediaConnect, a reliable, secure, and flexible service for ingesting, transmitting, and replicating live video feeds. AWS Elemental MediaConnect lets broadcasters and content owners cost-effectively send their high-value live content into the cloud, securely transmit it to partners for distribution, or replicating one source to multiple destinations. Using AWS Elemental MediaConnect, customers can build mission-critical live video transport workflows in a fraction of the time and cost of satellite or fiber, and get broadcast-grade monitoring and management.

As streaming video viewership grows and live content creates new monetization opportunities, the work of producing, processing, and managing live video continues to shift from rigid ground infrastructures towards flexible cloud-based services. Before AWS Elemental MediaConnect, broadcasters, content owners, rights holders, content aggregators, and event venues typically relied on satellite networks or telecom fiber connections to send their high-value content into the cloud or transmit it for distribution. These approaches are costly to lease and manage, require customers to commit to long-term contracts, and frequently take months to set up. They also lack the flexibility to adapt to changing requirements or new business opportunities.

AWS Elemental MediaConnect is a fully managed AWS service that combines the reliability, security, and operational visibility of satellite and fiber with the flexibility, agility, and economics of IP-based networks. Within AWS, customers can use AWS Elemental MediaConnect to ingest live video from a remote event site, such as a stadium; share video with a partner, like a cable TV distributor; or replicate a live video stream for processing, such as an over-the-top video service. Transport workflows built with AWS Elemental MediaConnect can be reconfigured on demand and easily integrated into other AWS services for monitoring and distribution.

“Broadcasters and other content providers told us they wanted a way to ingest and transmit their live video streams that was reliable, secure, flexible, and fast-to-deploy,” says Alex Dunlap, Amazon Web Services, General Manager for AWS Elemental. “With AWS Elemental MediaConnect, customers can quickly and easily build video transport solutions that allow them to process and prepare high-value content, share live events globally, create and protect revenue streams, and take advantage of the agility, reliability, and cost-efficiency of the AWS Cloud.”

Arqiva is a leading UK communications infrastructure company, providing services to media and telecom companies that connect millions of people and machines wherever they are through TV, radio, mobile, and the Internet of Things. Arqiva has been using AWS to power its recently launched virtualized OTT and on-demand media management services. “AWS has given Arqiva the ability to test quickly, only pay for what was used, and produce reliable, high-quality, secured managed services for our clients in a matter of weeks,” says Alex Pannell, Managing Director of Satellite & Media for Arqiva. “The new AWS Elemental MediaConnect service will allow us to be much more responsive in the acquisition and distribution of live and linear video channels, with significantly more flexibility, while expanding our reach globally using the scale of the AWS Cloud.”

Discovery is a global leader in real life entertainment, serving a passionate audience of superfans around the world with content that inspires, informs, and entertains. Discovery delivers over 8,000 hours of original programming each year and has category leadership across deeply loved content genres around the world with availability in 220 countries and territories and in nearly 50 languages. In 2017, Discovery transitioned all 13 of its U.S. networks from a linear broadcast infrastructure to the AWS Cloud. In 2018, over 100 of Discovery’s European networks transitioned, validating the scalability of the design. “With more than 300 channels now playing out in the cloud, we’re the first broadcaster to make a cloud transition at this scale. It enables us to efficiently aggregate, customize and distribute assets across all our platforms, including linear TV, to reach viewers on every screen. Discrete, physical supply chains are too complicated and don’t let us move fast enough,” says Brinton Miller, EVP Technology Strategy for Discovery. “The cloud helps us reduce physical infrastructure spending and we are excited to use the capabilities of AWS Elemental MediaConnect to reliably bring broadcast quality content to the AWS Cloud. It opens the door more fully to leverage cloud-native distribution to partners and affiliates as we take our content around the globe on all platforms.”

ITV creates, owns, and distributes high-quality content on multiple platforms globally, reaching millions of viewers in the United Kingdom delivered through linear television broadcasting as well as on demand via the ITV Hub. “ITV adopts the best technologies to innovate and deliver the most compelling programming to our audiences,” says Tom Griffiths, Director of Broadcast & Distribution Technology for ITV. “Last year, we partnered with AWS to modernize our streaming video capabilities. Now, with the newly launched AWS Elemental MediaConnect video transport service, we see the potential to securely contribute live streams into the AWS Cloud, replicate, and easily distribute them. AWS Elemental MediaConnect will significantly reduce the time to on-board affiliates, extend our content reach globally, and reduce the number of formats we distribute using its granular entitlements feature.”

Earlier this fall, the Pac-12 Conference (Pac-12) went all-in on the world’s leading cloud and selected AWS as its standard for machine learning and media workloads. Pac-12 leverages AWS Media Services to transform the collegiate sports experience for millions of fans. As one of the nation’s top live sports producers with annual live coverage of 850 sporting events, Pac-12 Networks uses AWS Elemental MediaLive and AWS Elemental MediaPackage to bring personalized, broadcast-grade games to a broader audience on any device. “The newest addition to the AWS Elemental Media Services family, AWS Elemental MediaConnect, will enable Pac-12 to connect stadiums across the United States to the cloud, allowing us to flexibly handle distribution of live content to locations around the country and internationally. Longer term, AWS Elemental MediaConnect can help us standardize content encoding and contribution across all Pac-12 universities.”

AWS Elemental MediaConnect joins AWS Media Services, a family of services that form the foundation of cloud-based video processing workflows. It can be configured as a content source for AWS Elemental MediaLive, sending live video to and from the AWS Cloud via the public internet or AWS Direct Connect. AWS Elemental MediaConnect supports a comprehensive range of video industry standard protocols, including Zixi, RTP, and RTP with forward error correction. AWS Elemental MediaConnect is available in the US East (N. Virginia), US West (Oregon), US West (N. California), EU (Frankfurt), EU (Ireland), Asia Pacific (Singapore), Asia Pacific (Sydney), and Asia Pacific (Tokyo), and will expand to additional Regions in the coming year.

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