A Beginner’s Guide to AWS Elemental


Amazon has made the cloud a live broadcaster’s new best friend

Imagine if you took some of the most sophisticated video processing services available and made it available on the cloud. Envision broadcast-quality live video streams made possible for anybody.

And, imagine if this service was brought to you by Amazon, so you knew it was robust, secure, and high-quality – just like the rest of their world-class AWS products. Stop imagining. AWS Elemental is here, and this is what you need to know about how it works.

Formerly known as Elemental Technologies

Amazon has the resources to acquire the best in class when it decides to step forward and offer a cloud-based service. It’s why they acquired Portland-based Elemental Technologies in 2015. The company, founded in 2006, was known for its superior software and platforms for encoding and streaming video over IP networks on commodity hardware. In November of 2017, Amazon Web Services rebranded it as AWS Media Services. It offers a suite of Elemental services that do everything from encoding and streaming live video, to inserting targeted advertising into video content.

AWS Elemental gives the power of live video streaming to everyone as a pay-as-you-go service. You no longer need deep pockets and massive fixed infrastructure. The service is secure and scalable, allowing you to focus on the content instead of worrying about how to get it to your audience.

Six integrated cloud-based services

The package is known as AWS Media services. It’s a suite of cloud-based services that facilitate video –broadcast quality – workflow. Each service can be used as an individual component, but the real benefit comes when you use them as building blocks for your video objectives.

Like all cloud-based services, this solution is scalable. Pay-as-you-go pricing allows you to increase or decrease storage capacity and processing needs as you need it. You won’t have to worry about exceeding the capacity of a fixed infrastructure.

Elemental MediaConnect

This is your starting point. MediaConnect is a secure and reliable live video transport service. It gets your broadcast quality content into the cloud, so it can be prepared for secure transmission to your partners for distribution.

MediaConnect is the successful IP infrastructure approach everybody’s been waiting for. It allows you to leapfrog satellite or fiber, which are expensive and inflexible, and ingest live video at the source. MediaConnect assures that it’s securely transported to the cloud where it can be shared with distribution partners or replicated so it can be processed for streaming.

Elemental MediaConvert

Live video has to be processed for multiscreen delivery. Elemental MediaConvert is the next step – a file-based video transcoding service that lives in the cloud. Your live video feeds are transcoded and made ready for broadcast and multiscreen viewing.

The cost of building and operating a video processing infrastructure like this is often beyond the reach of most budgets. Now it’s a pay-as-you-go service. Use it to process broadcast quality video without the associated cost.

Elemental MediaLive

Not everybody’s looking at the video on their smartphone. AWS Elemental MediaLive is a cloud-based solution that generates the high-quality video streams you need to deliver your content to televisions, as well as the formats needed for tablets and smartphones.

MediaLive is the service you need to produce video streams for live events, but it also creates the formats you’ll need for on-demand streaming, which often requires advanced features. You’ll only pay for what you use, which likely wouldn’t be the case if you leased these services elsewhere.

Elemental MediaPackage

Television viewers today expect to be able to pause the action with their remote, and AWS Elemental MediaPackage lets you offer this time-shifting functionality. Viewers can pause, rewind, start over, and more.

Elemental MediaStore

Where do your media assets live? On disk drives scattered across multiple locations? Elemental MediaStore is a cloud-based storage service with the essential low latency needed to deliver stored video assets to where you need them to go. Finally, you can take advantage of the benefits of metadata to build your workflows and libraries. Your assets are secure and cost-efficiently stored.

Elemental MediaTailor

This is one of the most exciting and valuable Elemental services. With MediaTailor, you can serve multiscreen content featuring tailored advertising. Streaming broadcast quality video is customized with server-side ad insertion. If you want accurate ad impression measurement and insight into viewer behavior, now you’ve got it.

Amazing flexibility

Broadband Technology Report praises AWS Elemental, saying it combines deep video expertise with the power of the AWS cloud. If you’re a video content-maker, the Elemental suite of products offers two clear benefits:

  1. You can focus on your content, instead of worrying about its delivery
  2. You can create highly differentiated viewer experiences

Learn how we can help you make the most of AWS Elemental with our consulting and cloud advisory service.

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