Announcing Cloud Transcoding for Live Video

Yesterday we announced the general availability of our newest product, Live Cloud Transcoding, a cloud-based API for transcoding live video.

Streaming high-quality, live video over the web is a difficult problem that generally requires expensive hardware and considerable skill to set up and operate. Recent years have shown an increase in the number of streaming formats available combined with an explosion in internet connected consumer devices, making the job of content providers even harder.

Over the last three years, Zencoder has offered the fastest, most scalable, and highest quality file transcoding in the cloud. We’re bringing the same approach to live video, with a focus on performance, features, and API usability. Our initial release is simple, straightforward, and powerful.

The web service will accept RTMP input streams, and transcode to RTMP and HLS in multiple bitrates for adaptive bitrate playback. Thanks in no small part to all of the great participants in the beta, we’re proud to present a product that we think will change the world of live event streaming online.

Cloud-based VOD transcoding has enabled a lot of really cool products – certainly more than we could dream up.  The costs and complexity of live video can discourage experimentation, so we’re now putting powerful live transcoding at every developer’s fingertips.  We can’t wait to see the results.

Cloud transcoding for live video offers some major efficiencies:

Eliminate outbound bandwidth bottlenecks. Outbound bandwidth can be a major bottleneck for distributing live video.  Encoding on-premise limits the number and bitrates of streams to the outbound throughput, leading to tough decisions between device support and providing the best user experience with technologies like adaptive bitrate playback.  With Live Cloud Transcoding, content providers publish just one RTMP stream, and transcode to other formats and bitrates.

Use inexpensive (or free) encoders at the event. Simply use an off-the-shelf laptop and a software encoder like Flash Media Live Encoder, XSplit, OBS or Wirecast, and you’re ready to rock.  Of course, you can still use a hardware encoder such as Elemental and achieve bandwidth efficiences.

Transparently scales to handle any number of input streams. Broadcasting multiple camera angles or several simultaneous events is simple and minimizes upfront investments in expensive hardware or software.

Scale to handle numerous output streams. Output streams can be gated not only by bandwidth, but also by processing power.  The cloud provides instant access to powerful computing resources and in the initial launch, we’ll allow up to 20 output streams per live input stream.

Simplify Live -> File workflow. Event streams are easily archived and immediately made available as a file.

Usage-based pricing. Users pay only for what they use, and never over provision..

Ready to give it a try?

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