User Guide

Setting Up Timecodes

MediaConvert manages transcoded video frames by their timecode. The service uses the timecode to synchronize some audio and captions, and to determine the timing for displaying video frames in an output. The service also relies on timecodes to manage features—such as input clipping and graphic overlay (image inserter)—that are applied to only some parts of the video.


If your graphic overlays or sidecar captions aren't appearing when you expect, or aren't appearing at all, try setting both your job-wide and input timecode Source to Start at 0.

There are three distinct groups of timecode settings, located in three different places on the console:

Job-wide timecode configuration

The Timecode configuration settings under Job settings affect how timecodes appear in the outputs. The settings also affect the system behavior for features that apply to every output in the job. This includes the following:

  • When overlaid graphics (inserted images) appear in the video

  • How your HLS variant playlists show time

  • How inserted timecodes appear in your output

  • How the service interprets the timecode that you provide if you specify an anchor timecode

If you use the API or an SDK, you can find these settings in the JSON file of your job. These settings are under Settings, TimecodeConfig.

Input timecode setting

The Timecode source setting under Input affects only the following:

  • Synchronization for audio and captions that you provide as input files that are separate from the video

  • How the service interprets the timecodes that you provide if you use input clipping to specify only a portion of your input for transcoding

If you use the API or an SDK, you can find this setting in the JSON file of your job, called TimecodeSource, located in Settings, Inputs.

Output timecode settings

The timecode settings under Output determine whether and how timecode information appears in each output:

  • The Timecode insertion setting under Output, Stream settings, Video determines whether the service embeds timecode metadata in a given output. You can insert timecodes into MPEG-2, Apple ProRes, H.264, and H.265 outputs.

  • The Timecode burn-in settings under Output, Stream settings, Video, Preprocessors determine whether the service inscribes the timecode visually on the video frame.

To provide frame accuracy, AWS Elemental MediaConvert uses timecodes that specify frames by frame number, not by millisecond. All timecodes are in the following 24-hour format with a frame number: HH:MM:SS:FF.