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Elemental Link: The missing link

Posted on Aug 7, 2020 by FEED Staff

AWS introduces a powerful, simple-to-use device for instantly streaming video from anywhere

AWS Elemental Link is a new hardware device from Amazon Web Services, which allows anyone, anywhere to stream live video to the cloud. Link offers a simple solution for high-quality encoding and streaming at a price point within reach of just about any video team.

Most productions that have to be budget conscious – from local sporting clubs and classrooms to enterprise events and small performance venues – usually don’t have the resources or experience to install, configure and run high-end hardware and software for delivering video to the cloud. But not anymore. AWS Elemental Link is a plug-and-play solution for connecting video sources directly to AWS Elemental MediaLive and to a cloud distribution workflow.

AWS Elemental Link has a small, pocket-sized footprint and weighs less than 450g. It draws very little power (less than 10W) with silent, fanless operation and can support inputs of up to 1080p at 60fps with a bit rate of up to 50Mbps. The device can be ordered directly from the AWS Management Console for $995 and shipped, preconfigured for the user’s AWS account, to the point of use.

On arrival, the Link device only needs to be plugged into power, a video input – via 3G-SDI or HDMI – and an Ethernet connection. When connected to a video source, the Link device sends the associated video, audio and metadata streams to AWS Elemental MediaLive with automatic, hands-free tuning that adapts to available bandwidth.

Link is designed to maximise video quality and account for the unpredictable nature of network conditions

Link is designed to maximise video quality and account for the unpredictable nature of network conditions. The device uses an advanced video compression system that continuously adjusts to bandwidth conditions to deliver the best possible video across all networks.

IN THE LINK When connected to a video source, the AWS Elemental Link connects to AWS Elemental MediaLive with automatic tuning

After the device powers up and connects to the camera, the network and AWS, users simply open the AWS Elemental MediaLive Console and click ‘Devices’, where they can create a MediaLive input, selecting AWS Elemental Link as the source and choosing one of the listed input devices. Users can manage and monitor inputs from multiple devices operating anywhere in the world from one central point of control.

The simplicity of Link means that technical operators aren’t required to be at event sites to set up and configure the live streams. The user can simply create a channel that references the input and set up an output group to stream, archive, broadcast or package the video coming in, and use the full power of AWS Elemental Media Services to process, store, distribute and monetise it.

In a time when remote video production is taking off in a way no one could ever have predicted, AWS Elemental Link is an affordable, powerful and easy-to-use solution for plugging video into AWS, no matter where it’s coming from.

This article first appeared in the August 2020 issue of FEED magazine.

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