Concepts and terminology - AWS Elemental MediaPackage

Concepts and terminology

AWS Elemental MediaPackage (MediaPackage) includes the following components:

Just-in-time packaging

MediaPackage performs just-in-time packaging (JITP). When a playback device requests content, MediaPackage dynamically customizes the live video streams and creates a manifest in a format that's compatible with the requesting device.

Origination service

MediaPackage is considered an origination service because it's the point of distribution for media content delivery.


A packager prepares output streams for access by different types of players. The packager type specifies the streaming format that MediaPackage delivers from the endpoint (either Apple HLS, DASH-ISO, Microsoft Smooth Streaming, or Common Media Application Format [CMAF]). Additional packager settings include buffer and update durations and manifest tag handling instructions.

A packager is a part of an endpoint. Each endpoint must have one, and only one, packager. To use different packager types for the same content, create multiple endpoints on the channel.

Source Content

Source contents are live streams and video files that MediaPackage ingests.

  • For live video, source content comes from an upstream encoder, such as AWS Elemental MediaLive. MediaPackage supports HLS source content.

  • For video on demand (VOD), source content resides in an Amazon Simple Storage Service (Amazon S3) bucket in your AWS account. MediaPackage supports HLS and MP4 (.smil manifest format) content.


A stream refers to the content input and output of MediaPackage.

For live workflows, an upstream encoder sends a live stream as an input to MediaPackage to the channel. When a downstream device requests playback of the content, MediaPackage dynamically packages the stream (including specifying the packager type, adding encryption, and configuring track outputs) and delivers it to the requesting device as an output of the endpoint. An endpoint can produce multiple streams.

For VOD workflows, MediaPackage pulls file-based content from Amazon S3. As with live workflows, when a downstream device requests playback of the content, MediaPackage dynamically packages the stream and delivers it to the requesting device as an output of the asset resource.


Tracks make up the output content stream. MediaPackage includes selected video, audio, and subtitles or captions tracks in the output stream. The stream delivers the tracks to the player (either directly or through a CDN), and the player plays back the tracks based on player logic or network conditions (such as available bandwidth).

Live components

The following components apply to live workflows in MediaPackage:


A channel represents the entry point for a content stream into MediaPackage. Upstream encoders such as AWS Elemental MediaLive send content to the channel. When MediaPackage receives a content stream, it packages the content and outputs the stream from an endpoint that you create on the channel. There's one channel for each incoming set of adaptive bitrate (ABR) streams.


An endpoint is part of a channel and represents the packaging aspect of MediaPackage. When you create an endpoint on a channel, you indicate what streaming format, packaging parameters, and features the output stream will use. Downstream devices request content from the endpoint. A channel can have multiple endpoints.

Harvest Job

A harvest job is a task that you create to extract a VOD asset from a live content stream. A harvest job defines the start and end times of the VOD asset, and where MediaPackage stores the asset. When the job runs, MediaPackage creates an HLS clip for the times that you indicated. This clip is stored as a VOD asset in an Amazon S3 bucket of your choosing. You can use the VOD functionality in MediaPackage to serve the asset to end users.

VOD Components

The following components apply to VOD workflows in MediaPackage:


An asset represents the entry point for file-based content into MediaPackage. MediaPackage uses the information in the asset to locate and ingest your source content from Amazon S3. When you create an asset in MediaPackage, you associate it with a packaging group, which holds one or more packaging configurations. Each asset and packaging configuration combination provides a URL for playback of repackaged content. Each asset is associated with all the packaging configurations within one packaging group.

Packaging Configuration

A packaging configuration defines how MediaPackage formats, encrypts, and delivers source content to viewers. The packaging configuration includes settings such as stream selection, encryption, segment duration and combining, and one or more HLS, DASH, MSS, or CMAF manifest definitions.

Packaging Group

A packaging group is a set of one or more packaging configurations. Because you can associate the group to more than one asset, the group provides an efficient way to associate multiple packaging configurations with multiple assets.