Azure Media Services Overview


CAPABILITIES
– Host
– Encode
– Protect
– Stream
– Play

SETUP
1. Create new APP SERVICES -> MEDIA SERVICE -> QUICK CREATE
2. Enter name (will be part of URL and must be unique)
3. Select region closest to audience
4. Select existing or create new storage account

UPLOAD
1. Once created, select media service
2. Click on CONTENT -> UPLOAD
3. Select local video file (200 MB max) or from storage (e.g. upload first using CloudBerry Explorer)

PROGRESSIVE DOWNLOAD
1. After upload, select file and click on PUBLISH
2. Copy PUBLISH URL and go to https://aka.ms/azuremediaplayer
3. Paste manifest URL starting with // (without http)
4. Click on Update Player and play
5. Diagnostics tab will show progressive download

STREAMING – SETUP
1. After upload, select file and click on PROCESS
2a. Media Encoder Standard: Easy/cheap encoding
2b. Azure Media Indexer: Makes files searchable by extracting speech content
2c. Media Encoder Premium Workflow: Needs workflow file. Supports additional (professional) video formats, closed captioning, intelligent (decision based) encoding, etc.

STREAMING – ENCODING – Media Encoder Standard
1. Select ENCODE CONFIGURATION according to source file and target audience
2. Dynamic Packaging is recommended approach as it saves storage and encoding costs (with traditional approach, multiple assets need to be created and stored)
3. Encoding takes ~12 h for a standard ~1.5 h movie in Full HD (~1 GB)
4. Output is ~12 GB for H264 Multiple Bitrate 1080p
4a. Storage for the above output file costs ~€0.12/month
5. Encoding costs ~€20 using Standard Encoder (Size in GB * Price per output GB)
6. Before encoding, under ENCODING tab, increase RESERVED UNIT TYPE (MRU) for faster encoding
6a. MRU S1 encodes at 1x speed, costs ~€2/day
8b. MRU S2 encodes at 2x speed, costs ~€4/day
8c. MRU S3 encodes at 4x speed, costs ~€11/day
7. Multiple units can encode in parallel
8. After starting encoding, progress can be viewed under JOBS
9. Under STREAMING ENDPOINTS, streaming Units can be added to increase capacity at 200 Mbps/unit
9a. Streaming units cost ~€4/day
IMPORTANT: Remove unneeded MRU and/or streaming units to avoid unnecessary daily costs!

STREAMING – PROTECT
1. Requires supporting client (e.g. AMP) and adds costs per number of licenses
2. When encoding is done, select file and click on ENCRYPTION
3. AES uses token (password)
4a. Under CONTENT PROTECTION, the KEY AUTHORIZATION POLICY can be set to OPEN or TOKEN
4b. OPEN: Key is delivered to everyone
4c. TOKEN: Requires token service
5. PlayReady offers more options and is more complex

STREAMING – PLAY
1. After enabling (AES, open) encryption, select file and click on PUBLISH
2. Copy PUBLISH URL and go to https://aka.ms/azuremediaplayer
3. Paste manifest URL starting with // (without http)
4. Click on Update Player and play
5. Diagnostics tab will show streaming info such as varying bitrate and buffer size
6. Streaming a standard 1080p movie takes ~1.3 GB of transfer data, which costs ~€0.09

AMP PLAYER
1. Click on Code -> Get share code: AMP player URL to play this file
2. Click on Code -> Get embed code: AMP player iframe code to play this file
3. Click on Code -> Get player code: AMP player HTML/JS code to play this file
4. To remove the logo/watermark, either:
4a. Add this to the options object: logo: { enabled: false }
4b. Add this attribute to the video tag: data-setup='{"logo": { "enabled": false }}'

FINE TUNING
– Storage type (LRS vs GRS vs RA-GRS | Hot vs cool)
– Content Delivery Network (CDN)

COSTS
Summary: A standard ~1.5 h movie in 1080p (~1 GB) costs ~€20 to encode using the H264 Multiple Bitrate 1080p configuration. The standard encoder costs ~€2/day. The output file is ~12 GB of size, which costs ~€0.12/month to store. One streaming unit (required for progressive download and streaming) costs ~€4/day. Streaming the movie once takes ~1.3 GB of transfer data, which costs ~€0.09.
Note: Costs are rounded as of September 2016 – just to give an idea.
Update: The pricing model for encoding in AMS has changed (significantly) as of January 2017. The above example no longer matches.
Media Services
Storage
Data transfer
CDN

Comments (1)

  1. Leads AI says:

    Nice overview Luis

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