Checking my understanding for CloudFront and Elemental MediaConvert Usage/Price Estimation



We've had a dev team build a site for us using CloudFront and MediaConvert for Video on Demand. I wanted to check my understanding of how and what is charged for this setup.

My understanding is: Users upload their videos to S3 bucket -> MediaConvert converts the videos -> new converted video is stored in S3 bucket -> CloudFront then distributes this to the end user.

I would get charged for MediaConvert per min of output usage, but transfer to and from S3 bucket is free Cloudfront to internet costs (data transfer out to internet) per GB per month (first 1000GB free), but transfer to and from S3 bucket is free since we're transferring in between AWS products.

Is this correct?

Let’s say we get 1000 consumers per month, viewing 10 different videos for 1 minute each. 1000 consumers x 10 videos x 1min each = 10,000 mins of video 10,000mins of video at (3mb/s constant bit rate) = 1800Gb of video transfer (I'm guessing with my calculations here!)

MediaConvert Settings: Basic, AVC, Single Pass, HD, <= 30fps

  1. Is my understanding correct? I want to have an accurate estimate of costs.
  2. How much would MediaConvert and Cloudfront cost us with this level of usage? (Sydney region/servers)
  3. Would it be better to use QVBR instead of a CBR at 3mbps? (aiming for load speed over video quality)

Thanks in advance for your help!


1 Answer

The detailed costing is basically correct. It may be helpful to consider the following MediaConvert pricing structures. See the references below.

Note: Reserved Transcode Slots require a 12 month commitment and may run about 3x slower than on-demand transcodes.

If you can define On-Demand transcodes that match the Basic tier, that will allow for cost savings. Note the parameters that will trigger a Pro Tier transcoding, midway through the first reference.

Using QVBR encoding is definitely recommended, especially with Adaptive Bit Rate (ABR) protocols, like HLS and DASH. QVBR will provide a 25-40% reduction in the size of files transcode, compared to a CBR encode. This translates into reduced S3 storage costs and less CloudFront egress costs. When using QVBR, outputs should be evaluated to meet any video quality requirements.

answered 4 months ago
  • Hi Mike, thanks for your answer!

    I just wanted to double check that Cloudfront 'Data transfer out to origin' is free, since I'm using S3 bucket for video storage? (My wording in the original post might have been a bit vague)

    Thanks again.

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