Video on Demand on AWS
Video on Demand on AWS

Design Considerations

Encoding Presets

This solution includes seven custom transcoding presets for popular output formats, including presets that are aligned with Apple Tech Note TN2224. The presets cover the full spectrum of end-user requirements from 1080p down to 234p.

You can also create your own custom presets based on an existing preset. Once you create your own preset, it is available across your AWS account for the Amazon Elastic Transcoder service within a specific AWS Region. For more information on presets, please refer to the Amazon Elastic Transcoder Developer Guide.

Error Handling

If there is an error during the ingest, processing, or publishing workflows, an Amazon CloudWatch alarm is triggered, which sends an Amazon Simple Notification Service (Amazon SNS) notification to the subscribed email address. If there is an error during transcoding, Amazon Elastic Transcoder sends an Amazon SNS notification to the subscribed email address.


This solution leverages AWS Step Functions, which breaks the workflow into individual steps, making it easier to customize or extend the architecture for your specific video-on-demand needs. For example, you can modify or replace the encoding steps to produce different content sets. You can also add steps to extend support for more complex content decisions or thumbnail and image generation. This solution originates HLS content directly from Amazon Simple Storage Service (Amazon S3) through Amazon CloudFront. You can, however, customize the solution to leverage a dedicated origin server such as AWS Elemental Delta.


The Video on Demand solution allows you to add a watermark to your video during transcoding. Watermarks appear in the bottom-right corner. For more information on watermarks, please refer to the Amazon Elastic Transcoder Developer Guide.

The graphics that you use for watermarks can be in .png or .jpg format; if you want to display a watermark that is not rectangular, use the .png format, which supports transparency. After the solution stack is created, upload the graphics to the Watermarks folder in the source Amazon S3 bucket.

Regional Deployments

This solution uses AWS Step Functions, Amazon Elastic Transcoder, and AWS Lambda which are available in specific AWS Regions only. Therefore, you must deploy this solution in a region that supports these services. For the most current service availability by region, see AWS service offerings by region.