Source failover - AWS Elemental MediaConnect

Source failover

Source failover is a setup that involves two redundant sources for a transport stream flow. This redundancy helps to minimize disruption to your video stream. To use source failover, you specify two sources for the flow, both of which come from the same encoder. For the failover mode, you have two options: Merge and Failover.

  • Merge mode combines the sources into a single stream, allowing a graceful recovery from any single-source loss. If you set the failover mode to Merge, you can set the recovery window, which is the size of the buffer (delay) that you want MediaConnect to maintain. A larger recovery window means a longer delay in transmitting the stream, but more room for error correction. A smaller recovery window means a shorter delay, but less room for error correction. Sources used this way need to be binary identical, which means that they need to have originated from the same encoder. MediaConnect must also receive content from the two sources at the same time. Additionally, if the sources use RTP protocol, they must have RTP headers with aligned sequence numbers and they must also comply with the SMPTE ST 2022-7 standard.


    SMPTE ST 2022-7 is a standard developed by the Society of Motion Picture and Television Engineers (SMPTE) group. The ST 2022-7 standard defines a method that replaces missing packets with packets in an identical, redundant stream. This type of failover requires a small latency buffer in your workflow to allow time for MediaConnect to recover packets from the two streams.

  • Failover mode allows switching between a primary and a backup stream. This switching facilitates an easy transition to a more reliable stream. If you set the failover mode to Failover, you can specify a source as the primary source. The second source serves as the backup. If you don’t specify a primary source, MediaConnect treats both sources with equal priority, and switches to the more reliable source as needed.

MediaConnect uses the two modes of failover in the following ways:

  • In the Merge mode, MediaConnect uses content from both sources. The service randomly selects one of the sources to start with. If that source is missing a packet, the service pulls the missing packet from the other source. For example, if the flow is using source A and packet 123 is missing, MediaConnect pulls in packet 123 from source B and continues using source A. In this mode, the two sources are binary identical/ST 2022-7 compliant.

  • In the Failover mode, if you don't specify a primary source, MediaConnect randomly uses one of the sources to provide content for the flow. If that source fails, the service switches to the other source, and continues switching back and forth between sources as needed. If you do specify a primary source, MediaConnect uses that source to provide content for the flow. The service switches to the other source if the primary source fails, and switches back to the primary source as soon as it is reliable.


MediaConnect doesn't support source failover on entitled flows or on CDI flows.