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AWS Debuts MediaConnect, Live Video Upload and Transfer Service

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Amazon Web Services (AWS) is debuting a new element in its AWS Elemental media services, one designed to make live video sharing easier, even for large streams. For a refresher, AWS introduced its original five AWS Elemental media services in November 2017. Called MediaConvert,, MediaLive, MediaPackage, MediaStore, and MediaTailor, they were created to help broadcasters streamline video offerings. The services have been a success, with thousands of customers using one or more of them, notes Aslam Khader, chief product officer for AWS Elemental. But customers reported they still had trouble getting live video into the AWS cloud reliably.

AWS Elemental MediaConnect is a transport service for live video, allowing customers to upload streams, transfer them to other cloud accounts, and move streams out of the cloud. The service is scalable and fully managed. AWS Elemental tested the service with select clients and conducted a private preview in September and October. It launches with partnerships from ITV, Arqiva, Discovery Networks, and Pac-12.

MediaConnect is meant to combine the security and robustness of satellite and fiber with the cost efficiencies and agility of IP networks. The service has three main use cases, Khader says. The first is contribution, with MediaConnect offering easy cloud uploading. It supports multiple protocols including RTP, RTP with forward error correction, and Zixi, with RIST coming next year, and streams of up to 80 Mbps. That allows for live uploading of UHD mezzanine workflows. Second, it supports distribution workflows to downstream accounts. Customers can have it replicate streams and distribute to all endpoints whether they're in the cloud or not. The third use case is entitlement, as rights holders can give other AWS accounts access to their live streams. Those accounts will see their entitlements in their MediaConnect dashboards. The AWS global network lets customers move streams around the globe.

"MediaConnect will enable live video transport within and out of the cloud securely, robustly, and cost efficiently," Khader says. "if you have live video and you want to maximize the potential of that live video, MediaConnect gives you the ability to do that."

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