Amazon Web Services (AWS), an Amazon.com company, recently announced availability of Accelerated Transcoding, a new feature within AWS Elemental MediaConvert that enables broadcasters, over-the-top (OTT) distributors, and other premium content providers to complete their video transcoding projects up to 25 times faster. EPIX, a 24-hour premium TV network, now uses Accelerated Transcoding to convert 4K UHD content for streaming to approximately 70 million U.S. pay-TV homes. Accelerated Transcoding was demonstrated publicly for the first time during the 2019 NAB Show, which ran from 8 to 11 April.
Whether on home theaters with dedicated projection, TV sets in living rooms, or mobile screens, multiscreen viewing is proliferating. As the range and resolution of device displays increase, more complex video encoding methods are needed, resulting in long content render times. These delays present challenges for cable networks and streaming content providers. For example, a full-length 4K feature in high dynamic range (HDR) could take more than a day to render using traditional video workflow infrastructure for all of the formats required and the myriad of consumer players available today. With the scalability, elasticity, and flexibility of cloud processing and the advent of new technologies such as Accelerated Transcoding, these compute-heavy workflows can be processed with dramatically reduced turnaround times, allowing customers to meet studio’s requirements for transcode and quality assurance with time to spare. In addition to significantly reducing the transcoding time, AWS Elemental MediaConvert includes Quality-Defined Variable Bitrate control (QVBR) which can reduce file size by up to 50% by automatically adjusting bitrate on a frame by frame basis. Both QVBR and Accelerated Transcoding are available in AWS Elemental MediaConvert with no additional cost.
“We were looking to transcode large volumes of film and original television content into 4K Ultra HD for on-demand streaming to our customers,” said Jon Dakss, Chief Digital Officer, EPIX. “AWS Elemental MediaConvert is a flexible solution that doesn’t require any on-premises hardware, runs in the cloud, and with Accelerated Transcoding ensures faster delivery of the best 4K streaming experience across multiple devices.”