AWS, Cloud Computing

3 Mins Read

AWS MediaConvert: The Powerful Alternative to Elastic Transcoder


Video encoding is a crucial aspect of any video workflow, whether it’s for streaming, broadcasting, or archiving. AWS Elastic Transcoder has been a popular choice for video encoding in the cloud, but AWS MediaConvert has emerged as a powerful alternative with several advantages.


AWS MediaConvert is a cloud-based video transcoding service that allows you to convert media files from one format to another easily. With AWS MediaConvert, you can convert video and audio files into formats suitable for streaming, broadcast, and content distribution.

AWS MediaConvert supports various input and output formats, including popular codecs such as H.264, HEVC, and MPEG-2.

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Benefits of AWS MediaConvert

  1. Greater Flexibility: AWS MediaConvert offers greater flexibility when configuring video encoding jobs. With Elastic Transcoder, you have to choose from predefined presets, limiting your ability to customize the output. AWS MediaConvert, on the other hand, allows you to fine-tune the encoding settings to suit your specific needs. You can adjust parameters such as bit rate, resolution, frame rate, and color space to get the best output quality.
  2. Faster Encoding: AWS MediaConvert is faster than Elastic Transcoder regarding video encoding. AWS MediaConvert uses a distributed architecture that enables parallel processing of video encoding jobs. This means that you can encode multiple videos at the same time, reducing the overall time it takes to encode your content.
  3. Better Quality: AWS MediaConvert offers better output quality than Elastic Transcoder. AWS MediaConvert uses advanced algorithms and machine learning techniques to optimize encoding, producing high-quality output. You can also use AWS MediaConvert to convert video into HDR formats, which is not possible with Elastic Transcoder.
  4. Cost-Effective: Regarding pricing, AWS Elemental MediaConvert charges hourly rates per minute of output, while AWS Elastic Transcoder charges per minute of input, with no upfront costs or minimum fees for either service.
  5. Better Integration with Other AWS Services: AWS MediaConvert offers better integration with other AWS services, such as Amazon S3, Amazon CloudFront, and Amazon Elastic Transcoder. AWS MediaConvert can directly access content stored in Amazon S3, and you can use CloudFront to distribute your content to viewers worldwide. You can also use AWS MediaConvert with Elastic Transcoder, allowing you to take advantage of the strengths of both services.

Features of AWS MediaConvert

Regarding quality and features, AWS Elemental MediaConvert provides high-quality video transcoding with advanced features such as support for HDR and video upscaling. At the same time, AWS Elastic Transcoder has more basic transcoding capabilities and lesser advanced features. AWS Elemental MediaConvert frequently introduces new features such as:

  1. Media metrics – Real-time data on how your video files perform during the transcoding process, such as frame rate, bit rate, resolution, and encoding time.
  2. Enhanced audio capabilities – Support multi-channel audio, audio normalization, and audio downmixing.
  3. Multi-region support – Ability to transcode video files in multiple regions simultaneously for faster processing time.
  4. Improved customization – Ability to create custom transcoding settings using AWS Lambda and AWS Step Functions.
  5. Integrated with AWS Elemental MediaConnect – Ability to use MediaConnect to transport video files to and from MediaConvert securely.


Regarding pricing, AWS Elemental MediaConvert charges hourly rates per minute of output. AWS Elastic Transcoder charges per minute of input, with no upfront costs or minimum fees for either service.

Here are some pricing examples for AWS MediaConvert and Elastic Transcoder:

  1. For Elastic Transcoding:

A 20-minute source file in MUMBAI REGION transcoded to an SD output will cost 20 x $0.015 = $0.30

A 20-minute source file in MUMBAI REGION transcoded to an HD output will cost 20 x $0.030 = $0.60

  1. For Elemental MediaConvert:

The cost for a 20-minute source file transcoded in MUMBAI REGION using the AVC codec to an SD output at 30 fps and with 1 pass quality setting but not using any capabilities like captions, DRM, multiple track audio etc. specified under the Professional tier would be $0.15

AVC, SD, 30 fps, 1 pass quality= $0.0075 per min (Basic tier)

(20 x $0.0075 = $0.15)

Overall, AWS Elemental MediaConvert is better than AWS Elastic Transcoder due to its advanced transcoding capabilities, better video quality and output options, as well as its scalability, flexibility, and reliability. However, businesses must assess their specific needs, usage, output goals, and budget when deciding which service is best suited for them.


AWS MediaConvert is a powerful alternative to Elastic Transcoder that offers greater flexibility, faster encoding, better quality, and cost-effectiveness. AWS MediaConvert is ideal for companies that need to encode large volumes of video content and those requiring high-quality output for streaming or broadcast. With its advanced features and better integration with other AWS services, AWS MediaConvert quickly becomes the go-to choice for video encoding in the cloud.

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1. How many resolution profiles can be added in a single output group of Job templates in AWS MediaConvert?

ANS: – AWS Elemental MediaConvert allows users to add up to 30 resolution profiles in a single output group of a job template. This means users can create output files with up to 30 different resolutions in a single job. The exact number of resolution profiles that can be added may vary depending on factors such as the video codec used, bitrate settings, and other factors that may affect the output file size and quality. It’s important to note that adding more resolution profiles to a single output group may increase the time it takes to complete the transcoding job and affect the output files’ overall quality and size.

2. Why is AWS promoting customers using AWS MediaConvert as an Alternative to Elastic Transcoder?

ANS: – AWS MediaConvert offers a more advanced and customizable media processing solution than Elastic Transcoder, making it a better option for customers with more complex media processing needs.

3. Does video file duration affect the pricing of AWS Elemental MediaConvert?

ANS: – Yes, the video file duration can affect the pricing of AWS Elemental MediaConvert. AWS Elemental MediaConvert charges customers based on the total duration of the video that is being transcoded, as well as the number of output files that are generated. The pricing model for MediaConvert is based on the number of minutes of video transcoded per month, with pricing tiers that vary based on the total number of minutes transcoded. In addition to the duration of the video file, other factors that can affect the pricing of AWS Elemental MediaConvert include the video codec used, the number of output files generated, the resolution and quality settings used, and other options selected by the user when creating the transcoding job. It’s important for users to carefully consider these factors and plan their transcoding jobs accordingly to optimize their costs and ensure that they get the best value for their investment in AWS Elemental MediaConvert.

WRITTEN BY Aishwarya Joshi

Aishwarya works as a Research Associate (AWS Media services) with CloudThat. She is an enthusiastic individual and a good team player. A positive attitude is her way of dealing with everything. She enjoys learning new technologies and exploring various ways of problem-solving. As of late, she has become proficient in cloud services and enjoys writing technical blogs.



  1. Rakhee kulkarni

    May 30, 2023


    Well explained!

  2. Rutuja

    May 30, 2023


    Informative,well done!!

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