New – Amazon EC2 VT1 Instances for Live Multi-stream Video Transcoding

The global demand for video content has been rising sharply and now has the large audience in internet and mobile network traffic. Over-the-top streaming services like Twitch continue to see an explosion of content creators seeking live picture delivery with good picture quality, while live event TV stations are increasingly seeking to embrace flexible cloud infrastructure to reduce costs without sacrificing reliability and efficiently scale with demand.

Today, I’m pleased to announce the general availability of Amazon EC2 VT1 instances designed to provide the best price performance for multi-stream video transcoding with resolutions up to 4K UHD. These VT1 instances have Xilinx® Alveo ™ U30 media accelerator transcoding card with accelerated H.264 / AVC and H.265 / HEVC codecs and offers up to 30% better price per stream compared to the latest GPU-based EC2 instances and up to 60% better price per . Stream compared to the latest CPU-based EC2 instances.

Customers with their own live broadcasts and streaming video pipelines can use VT1 instances to encode video streams with resolutions up to 4K UHD. VT1 instances have network interfaces up to 25 Gbps that can consume multiple video streams over IP with low latency and low jitter. This capability enables these customers to fully embrace scalable, cost-effective and resilient infrastructure.

Amazon EC2 VT1 instance type
EC2 VT1 deposits are available in three sizes. The accelerated H.264 / AVC and H.265 / HEVC codecs are integrated into Xilinx Zynq ZU7EV SoCs. Each Xilinx® Alveo ™ U30 media transcoding acceleration card contains two Zynq SoCs.

Instance size vCPUs Xilinx U30 card Memory Network bandwidth EBS-optimized bandwidth 1080p60 Streams pr. Occurrence
vt1.3xlarge 12 1 24 GB Up to 3.12 Gbps Up to 4.75 Gbps 8
vt1.6xlarge 24 2 48 GB 6.25 Gbps 4.75 Gbps 16
vt1.24xlarge 96 8 192 GB 25 Gbps 19 Gbps 64

The VT1 instances are suitable for recoding several streams per Occurrence. The currents can be processed independently in parallel or mixed (picture-in-picture, side-by-side, transitions). The VCPU cores help implement image processing, audio processing and multiplexing. Xilinx® Alveo ™ U30 cards can simultaneously output multiple streams in different resolutions (1080p, 720p, 480p and 360p) and in both H.264 and H.265.

Each VT1 instance can be configured to produce parallel encoding with different settings, resolutions, and transmission bit rates (“ABR rises”). For example, a 4K UHD stream can be encoded at 60 frames per second with H.265 for high-resolution display. Several lower resolutions can be coded with H.264 for delivery to standard monitors.

Get started with EC2 VT1 instances
You can now launch VT1 instances in the Amazon EC2 console, AWS Command Line Interface (AWS CLI), or using an Amazon EC2 API SDK.

We provide a number of examples of video processing pipelines to the VT1 instances. There are tutorials and code examples in the GitHub repository that cover how to set codecs for image quality and transcoding time, call runtime for the U30 cards directly from your own applications, incorporate video filters such as title and watermark, and implement with container orchestration frames.

Xilinx provides the “Xilinx Video Transcoding SDK”, which includes:

VT1 instances can be coupled with Amazon Elastic Container Service (Amazon ECS) and Amazon Elastic Kubernetes Service (Amazon EKS) to efficiently scale workload transcoding and with Amazon CloudFront to deliver content globally. VT1 instances can also be launched with Amazon Machine Images (AMIs) and containers developed by AWS Marketplace partners, such as Nginx for additional video processing functionality.

You can supplement VT1 instances with AWS Media Services for reliable packaging and origin of transcoded content. To learn more, you can use a Live Streaming Solution Library on AWS to build a live video workflow using these AWS services.

Available now
Amazon EC2 VT1 deposits are now available in the US East (N. Virginia), US West (Oregon), Europe (Ireland), Asia Pacific (Tokyo) regions. To learn more, visit the EC2 VT1 instance page. Please send feedback to the AWS forum for Amazon EC2 or through your usual AWS support contacts.


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