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NAB 2023 : AWS opens new gateway for live video

Looking to improve operations in hybrid environments, providing monitoring, security and management of video feeds, AWS has released Elemental MediaConnect Gateway, a new cloud-connected software application for transmitting live video between on-premises multicast networks.

Explaining the reasons for the launch, AWS says delivery of live-video multicast streams between datacentres and the cloud typically 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.

With the new MediaConnect Gateway, AWS assures that customers have the ability to view, monitor, and control live video stream transport in on-premises datacentres directly from the AWS Management Console or by using the MediaConnect API. Part of AWS Media Services, MediaConnect Gateway manages video feeds from the AWS Management Console and allows customers to build end-to-end live video contribution and distribution workflows in AWS at scale, integrating into their on-premises infrastructure.

“Hybrid use-cases are prominent in live video applications among our customers,” said AWS Elemental general manager Brian Stein. “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.”

AWS envisages that customers will use MediaConnect Gateway primarily for contribution and distribution of live video. For video contribution workflows, AWS saw a typical use case of a content provider that originates live linear channels on premises and who sends these feeds to partners around the globe. By using MediaConnect Gateway as a bridge between multicast, on-premises network infrastructure and the cloud, each 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-programme 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, AWS says 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 says AWS is a cloud-managed solution with improved operational agility and decreased cost compared to a satellite-based workflow.

Once in MediaConnect, video feeds 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.

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 fibre-optic transport with the user-friendliness of IP-based networks.

Commenting on what the new solution could do for its business, Dave Evans, product VP, M2A CONNECT at cloud-based live video solutions provider M2A Media said: “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.” Rapid TV News

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