WP20 STREAMING MEDIA SPOTLIGHT SERIES JUNE 2017 SPONSORED CONTENT
If you or your company takes video from any number of different sources, whether that content is on demand or live, and elivers it for consumption on multiple
devices, then you probably have the need
for encoding and transcoding solutions like
those from AWS Elemental. This e-book offers
an introduction to live and on-demand video
encoding and distribution. We’ll start with a brief
look at the history of video, then address video
compression and delivery as it works today.
From Analog to Digital
The transition from analog television to digital
television and streaming is the biggest change to video
since the switch from black-and-white to color in the 1950s,
with the first major color broadcast being the coronation
of Queen Elizabeth II in 1953. Over the next decade, the
number of television sets grew from about 6 million to more
than 60 million. When broadcasters made the switch to
color, they made sure that the signal was also viewable on
black-and-white sets. That backwards-compatibility is just
as important today as it was then.
Fast-forward about 30 years to the 1990s. This was the start
of the transition from analog to digital, and the switch from
large CR T screens to flat-screen plasma or LCD televisions.
By 1990, there were about 220 million televisions in the U.S.
Even today, with billions of video-viewing devices across the
globe, the primary screen in the living room is still alive and
well, and almost all streaming video prepared for delivery to
PCs, tablets, and mobile phones also needs to be viewable on
The 2000s saw the second great shift, as analog broadcast
was eventually phased out completely and broadcasters
around the world began to deliver digital video signals.
At the same time came the emergence of video delivered
over the internet, and today there are billions of devices
from tablets and mobile phones to smart TVs and gaming
consoles, all of which are optimized to display different types
of video streams at different resolutions and sometimes
even different compression schemes. So what used to be a
relatively simple proposition for broadcasters—delivering a
single analog or digital signal to one type of device—became
a more complex task. Today, broadcasters, pay TV operators,
and OT T services must deliver video to every type of device,
from gigantic HD and 4K televisions to relatively small mobile
phones and tablets. And the video needs to look just as good
on the smallest device as it does on the largest one.
These are difficult problems to address, and AWS Elemental
has helped customers solve a lot of these challenges.