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Exploring AWS Elemental MediaLive for Seamless Live Video Streaming


From sporting events and concerts to breaking news and interactive streams, viewers are glued to real-time content. But delivering high-quality live experiences can be complex and expensive, requiring specialized equipment and technical expertise. 

This is where AWS Elemental MediaLive steps in. As a cloud-based live video processing service, MediaLive removes the burden of managing and maintaining on-premises infrastructure. Let’s dive into how it works and empowers you to create exceptional live streams. 

How Does AWS Elemental MediaLive Work? 

AWS Elemental MediaLive takes your raw live video source and transforms it into high-quality streams suitable for various viewing platforms. It does this through real-time encoding, compressing your video into smaller sizes for efficient delivery across devices like connected TVs, smartphones, and tablets. 

The service offers a high degree of flexibility. You can create channels for both 24/7 linear broadcasts or one-time live events. AWS Elemental MediaLive also allows you to generate multiple streams with different resolutions and bitrates, ensuring a seamless viewing experience for all your audiences. 

Here’s a breakdown of the following process: 

  • Live Stream Input: The workflow starts with a live stream coming from an Open Broadcaster Software Studio (OBS Studio) application. OBS Studio is a free and open-source software for video recording and live streaming. 
  • Ingest via RTMP: The live stream is ingested into AWS Elemental MediaLive through the Real-Time Messaging Protocol (RTMP). RTMP is a protocol for transmitting audio, video, and data over the internet. It’s commonly used for live streaming content.
  • Packaging in MediaLive: AWS Elemental MediaLive receives the RTMP stream and performs just-in-time packaging. Just-in-time packaging refers to the process of preparing a media file for streaming delivery on-the-fly,  as opposed to pre-packaging the media file. AWS Elemental MediaLive can package the stream into multiple formats including HLS (HTTP Live Streaming), CMAF (Common Media Application Format), and DASH (Dynamic Adaptive Streaming over HTTP). 

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Use cases

Here are some compelling use cases for AWS Elemental MediaLive: 

  • Live streaming events: Broadcast live conferences, concerts, sporting events, and more to a global audience. 
  • Linear channels: Deliver high-quality, 24/7 linear channels for news, sports, or entertainment programming. 
  • Multiscreen delivery: Cater to viewers on various devices with optimized streams for each screen size and bandwidth. 
  • Over-the-top (OTT) platforms: Stream live content directly to OTT platforms like Netflix or Hulu. 

What's New with AWS Elemental MediaLive?

AWS is constantly innovating AWS Elemental MediaLive to stay ahead of the curve. Here are some recent updates: 

  • Enhanced channel monitoring: Gain deeper insights into your channel’s health with improved monitoring capabilities. 
  • Simplified channel creation: Create live channels even faster with a streamlined user experience. 
  • Advanced audio features: Leverage new audio functionalities like Dolby Atmos encoding for immersive audio experiences. 


AWS Elemental MediaLive follows a pay-as-you-go pricing model, so you only pay for the resources you use. Pricing is based on factors like the duration of your channel, the number of inputs, outputs, and the encoding resolutions. Here’s a simplified example: 

Let’s break down the hourly cost of running a live single-pipeline channel on AWS Elemental MediaLive in the US East (N. Virginia) Region. This specific configuration has two HD inputs (using input switching) and produces five outputs with advanced audio capabilities. 

Inputs (per hour): 

  • 1080p HD, HEVC, 20Mbps = $0.3528 
  • 1080p HD, HEVC, 20Mbps = $0.3528 (Total: $0.7056) 

Outputs (per hour): 

  • 1080p HD, 5Mbps 30fps = $0.4212 
  • 720p HD, 2Mbps, 30fps = $0.4212 
  • (Possible selections also include) 576p SD, 432p SD, and 288p SD (each at $0.2124 per hour) 

Add-on Functionality (per hour): 

  • Advanced Audio = $0.18 

Total Hourly Cost: 

The sum of these costs comes to $2.3652 per hour. This includes the cost of both inputs, your chosen combination of outputs, and the advanced audio add-on. 


AWS Elemental MediaLive empowers you to deliver broadcast-grade live video experiences without the complexities of traditional infrastructure. With its scalability, flexibility, and cost-effectiveness, AWS Elemental MediaLive is the perfect solution for bringing your live video vision to life. 

Drop a query if you have any questions regarding AWS Elemental MediaLive and we will get back to you quickly.

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1. Do I need any prior experience to use AWS Elemental MediaLive?

ANS: – While some technical knowledge is helpful, AWS Elemental MediaLive offers a user-friendly interface and pre-configured workflows to simplify the process.

2. Can I integrate AWS Elemental MediaLive with other AWS services?

ANS: – Absolutely! AWS Elemental MediaLive works seamlessly with other AWS media services like MediaPackage, MediaConnect and MediaStore for a holistic video processing and delivery experience. 

3. Is there a free trial available for AWS Elemental MediaLive?

ANS: – AWS offers a free tier for MediaLive, allowing you to experiment with the service before committing to a paid plan. 

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.



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