Amazon Web Services (AWS) has launched AWS Elemental MediaConnect Gateway, a new cloud-connected software application to transmit live video between on-premises multicast networks and AWS. Part of AWS Media Services, MediaConnect Gateway improves operations in hybrid environments, providing monitoring, security, and management of video feeds from the AWS Management Console. With MediaConnect Gateway, customers can build live video contribution and distribution workflows in AWS at scale, seamlessly integrating into their on-premises infrastructure.
Typically, delivery of live-video multicast streams between data-centres and the cloud requires investment in specialised third-party hardware and software or resources to develop a custom solution. These solutions can be costly, complex, and difficult to support, and monitoring requires extensive knowledge and investment in vendor-specific tools. Now, with MediaConnect Gateway, customers have the ability to view, monitor, and control live video stream transport in on-premises data-centres directly from the AWS Management Console or by using the MediaConnect API.
“Hybrid use-cases are prominent in live video applications among our customers,” said Brian Stein, GM of AWS Elemental. “MediaConnect Gateway gives customers full control over deploying and monitoring their hybrid live video workflows, saving them valuable time and resources so they can instead focus on their core business.”
Customers will use MediaConnect Gateway primarily for contribution and distribution of live video. For video contribution workflows, let’s take a content provider that originates live linear channels on premises. The provider sends these feeds to partners around the globe, using MediaConnect Gateway as a bridge between their multicast, on-premises network infrastructure and the cloud. Each MediaConnect Gateway instance can subscribe to one or more multicast groups, where a group represents either a single channel or multiple channels multiplexed together in a multi-program transport stream (MPTS). Once subscribed, MediaConnect Gateway converts the network traffic to unicast, adds encryption, and sends the video to a MediaConnect flow in the cloud. Then a live streaming application is created using the feed, processing and delivering the video to end viewers using AWS Elemental MediaLive, AWS Elemental MediaPackage, and Amazon CloudFront, for example, or another software application.
For video distribution, customers can use MediaConnect Gateway to build sophisticated networks that span hundreds or even thousands of end points on premises. For example, let’s take a broadcaster that sends 24/7 live linear content to hundreds of affiliates. The broadcaster uses MediaConnect Gateway to seamlessly bridge their on-premises multicast network at both the source and destination locations. The result is a cloud-managed solution with improved operational agility and decreased cost compared to a satellite-based workflow.
MediaConnect Gateway runs inside Amazon Elastic Container Service (ECS) Anywhere, a service that allows customers to manage ECS containers on their servers. To get started, customers install the open-source ECS Agent on their VM or bare metal server. Once ECS Anywhere has been installed, customers can download MediaConnect Gateway as a software container. After that, all management of video feeds is handled in the AWS Management Console or using the MediaConnect API. When an on-premises multicast video feed is selected, the video signal is transported as unicast to the cloud using AWS Elemental MediaConnect, a service that combines the dependability of satellite and fiber-optic transport with the user-friendliness of IP-based networks.
Once in MediaConnect, the video can be sent to other AWS Regions, processed using AWS Media Services or other applications, shared with partners and affiliates, and delivered to other on-premises MediaConnect Gateway locations. And with the integration of MediaConnect Gateway into Amazon CloudWatch, customers can monitor the health of feeds without the need to invest in separate tools.
“AWS understands that so much of what broadcasters do starts and ends on premises,” said Dave Evans, Product VP, M2A CONNECT at M2A Media. “We’ve been using MediaConnect since launch, and now MediaConnect Gateway bridges the gap and makes the cloud even more broadcast-friendly. Our customers can contribute live video to the cloud and distribute their premium live content to thousands of endpoints globally, managing everything including receivers all within M2A CONNECT.”
AWS Elemental MediaConnect Gateway is available today to customers globally.