Momentum for live production in the cloud has grown, accelerated by an unprecedented demand for remote workflows in 2020 and 2021. For the live production community to fully realize the benefits and scalability of the cloud, however, there are challenges to overcome. One such barrier today is that a large majority of standard tasks – like playout, motion graphics insertion, and video production switching – remain powered by on-premises serial digital interface (SDI) technology or dedicated network infrastructure. AWS Cloud Digital Interface (AWS CDI) is providing a solution, offering the highest video quality and the uncompressed, sub-frame latency live video transport required to bring more of these applications into the cloud. An open-source project, the network technology is making live end-to-end production in the cloud a reality by bringing key pieces into place, starting with interoperability.
When AWS CDI launched, it promised to lay the groundwork for developing reliable, live video applications in the cloud that connect AWS and AWS Partner products and services within the cloud. Achieving this vision, however, requires collaboration between major technology players in the space. To move the needle forward, AWS hosted a two-day virtual AWS CDI Interoperability Workshop in June, which resulted in more than 100 new cloud production technology integrations developed by 13 participants, including vendors like Drastictech, Gallery SIENNA, Imagine Communications, Matrox, NetOn.Live, Nevion, Ross Video, TAG Video Systems, TechEx, and Telestream. Ahead of the workshop, AWS hosted a training session for Partners that focused on live production and ensured each participant would have technology that was ready to interoperate with CDI. As the workshop rolled around, each Partner came prepared to collaborate and achieve new cloud integrations to enable live production professionals to deploy audio and video features previously reserved for on-premises networks in the cloud.
AWS kicked off the series with a welcome message, then Partners were connected via breakout sessions. Every participant was provided Amazon Elastic Compute Cloud (Amazon EC2) Instances, a Slack channel for real-time communication and an AWS Solutions Architect as a coach. By the end of the workshop, Partners walked away with a better understanding of CDI and its underpinnings, and tangible cloud Partner integrations. AWS then collected Partner feedback to inform future CDI development. The Partner response to the workshop series was overwhelmingly positive, so much so that AWS plans to host another one this fall. More details about the upcoming session will be provided soon. In the meantime, you can watch the initial presentation here or reach out to your AWS account or Partner manager.
Moving top-tier live productions to the cloud will require customers to use leading solutions from multiple Partners, and AWS CDI-enabled interoperability is essential to the process. The end goal is to streamline live production in the cloud, while also making it more sustainable. It should be easy for audiences to turn on their TVs or digital devices and watch their favorite live content quickly, easily and with low latency. And, it should be easy to produce content with less of an environmental impact than content produced with on-premises infrastructures.
With each interop workshop, realizing this vision becomes easier. AWS is planning more workshop in the future, including one focused on JPEG XS Mezzanine compression, among other aspects.