Amazon AWS is now offering a Cloud Digital Interface that allows software vendors and partners to build reliable, live video applications that can connect products and services in its network cloud using uncompressed video transports. This opens up opportunities for broadcasters and video service providers to move more services into the network cloud rather than being tied to on-premise infrastructure using dedicated circuits.

Processes that previously required high-performance connectivity and uncompressed live video transport have historically been deployed on site using connections such as Serial Digital Interface or dedicated network infrastructure. This has prevented these workflows from taking advantage of the agility and scalability of the AWS cloud.

AWS CDI opens opportunities for broadcasters and technology developers to transport uncompressed live video between applications and across EC2 instances, creating reliable, high-performance, scalable, interoperable, high-quality live video solutions without being anchored to on-premise infrastructure.

This enables live video solutions in the cloud, such as television channel playout, motion graphic insertion, multi-viewer applications, live video production switching, video frame rate and colour space conversion, forensic watermarking and video encoding or decoding.

It provides high-performance networking and defines an interoperable audio, video, and metadata schema that facilitates reliable communication between various vendor applications.

David Griggs of AWS Elemental described it as a huge leap forward. “AWS CDI delivers the network performance, reliability, and high-quality transport that is critical for building uncompressed live video workflows in the cloud.”

AWS CDI enables reliable transport between applications of uncompressed video, up to ultra-high-definition resolution at 60 frames per second, with latencies as low as 8 milliseconds.

The maximum data rate supported is approximately 12 Gbps per stream and has been tested with an aggregate of up to 50 Gbps across all streams, in either direction.

“The ability to transport uncompressed video between Amazon EC2 instances and cloud services with high reliability and low latency is an absolutely game changing technology for broadcast and live production workflows in the cloud”, said Dan Turow, who is responsible for file-based solutions at broadcast solutions company Evertz. “It clearly has the potential to deliver exactly what the industry has been waiting for and subsequently unlocking numerous uncompressed and low latency applications in the cloud.”

Optimized for live video performance, AWS CDI is built on existing technologies that run on Amazon Elastic Compute Cloud instances that include Elastic Fabric Adapter.

A software development kit is freely available as an open source project that can be incorporated in software products and applications.