Cloud-based streaming and production services can be a boon to any large broadcaster. Media enterprises recognize the key benefits of the cloud as an opportunity to replace up-front capital infrastructure expenses with low variable costs that scale with a project. With the cloud, they no longer need to plan for and procure servers and other IT infrastructure, weeks or months in advance. Producers of broadcast TV programming or live events streamers can spin up hundreds or thousands of servers in minutes, and scale them down after use.
Microsoft Azure Media Services is an extensible cloud-based platform that enables developers to build scalable media management and delivery applications. With Media Services, you can securely upload, store, encode and package video or audio content for both on-demand and live streaming delivery to various clients (for example, TV, PC, and mobile devices).
Features of Azure Media Services
Encode, store, and stream audio and video at scale
With Azure Media Services, you can build comprehensive end-to-end media workflows and reduce the costs associated with integrating multiple products and providers.
Live Streaming and Video on Demand
Microsoft Azure Media Services includes all the tools and services you’ll need to handle media processing, delivery, and consumption, for live events and video on demand(VOD)
Your assets are well protected with encryption during upload, while at rest in storage, and during playback with Microsoft PlayReady Digital Rights Management (DRM) or AES encryption.
Fast and Cost-Effective Encoding
Azure Media Encoder supports a wide variety of studio-grade input and output file formats and is charged based on output GBs.
CDN with Global Reach
Azure CDN allows you to deliver high-bandwidth content to end-users around the world with low latency and high availability via a robust network of global data centers.
Deliver to hundreds of millions of device end points
Target all of today’s most popular client devices types including Windows, Android, and iOS PCs, tablets, smartphones, plus TV, game consoles, and more.
Fast Ingest Options & Dynamic Packaging
Upload assets quickly with support for UDP or physically ship hard drives. Optimize storage by encoding to multi-bitrate MP4 and delivering to all formats on the fly – storing only single copy of your content.
Pay only for what you use and scale easily and reliably to match usage to actual demand. Meet burst or peak demand without the expense of spinning-up encoding units and reduce upfront and ongoing IT expenditures.
Advanced Content Indexing
Make your media files more accessible, discoverable and valuable using the Azure Media Services Indexer. Indexer can quickly index your media library to later search for keywords, phrases, or clips and create closed caption files.
Streamlined Video Content Management
Easily store, encode and manage your Media Services video content using our user-friendly management solution.
First-of-its-kind robot surgery event powered by Microsoft Azure Media Services
On February 16th 2015, over 3,000 medical students and professionals tuned in to the world’s first 24-Hour Live Worldwide Robotic Surgery Event(WRSE) powered by Microsoft Azure Media Services. The event, focused on robotic surgery training and certification, streamed from 10 leading robotic surgery centers of excellence from four continents and broadcasted live for 24 continuous hours.
Historically, conducting live surgery events was expensive, risky, and required surgeons performing complex procedures in unfamiliar environments. Streaming the event live using Azure Media Services was significantly more cost efficient, and more importantly, provided greater accessibility to student viewers. The videos were streamed in real-time and also allowed for pausing or rewinding – leveraging Microsoft Azure Media Services Cloud DVR capabilities, including seamless live to VOD transition for later viewing.
With Microsoft Azure Media Services, anyone – from broadcasters, to cable providers to surgeons – have everything they need to quickly build great, extremely scalable, end-to-end media solutions for streaming to consumers on any device.
Azure Media Services and the 2014 Sochi Winter Olympics
More than 100 million people tuned into streaming media of the Sochi Olympics to take in more than 6,000 hours of high-definition content. Streams were broadcast across 22 countries on 4 continents, including 204 individual live streaming channels from the games. Microsoft Azure powered it all without a hitch, serving live streams and more than 500 billion transactions with the 100 TB of stored content.
Source: Microsoft Azure