Have questions about VOS.io?
We've got answers.

Get answers to some of your burning questions about Harmonic's VOS®.io. From basics to technicalities, our FAQs cover live streaming, dynamic packaging, and content protection for your content. Let's dive in!


The essentials

See FAQs pertaining to the transition from Azure Media Services to Harmonic's product line, and the billing process.


Live streaming

Uncover VOS.io's live streaming app event process and explanations of the terminology.


Dynamic packaging

Discover answers to your basic questions about VOS.io's dynamic packaging app, like streaming endpoints and units.


Content protection

Explore a few key questions about VOS.io's content protection app, including delivery and encryption.

3newThe essentials

Which Harmonic SaaS products are available on Azure public cloud?

There are two offers available today:

VOS.io is perfect for enterprise and industry professionals looking for a ready-made solution for simple video workflows and with high standards for quality, protection, and support. This solution is comparable to Azure Media Services.

VOS360 Media SaaS is best for media and entertainment professionals looking for a customizable solution for advanced video workflows including expert-level feature sets, exceptional video quality, 24/7 monitoring and 99.995% service uptime commitment.

What are the advantages of migrating from Azure Media Service to VOS.io?

The main benefit of the Harmonic VOS.io solution is that it provides enterprise customers with a simple solution for all media workflows from a single solution.

Key benefits include:

  • Media pipeline that orchestrates video and audio into a single workflow.
  • Web interface for easy evaluation and integration, with simple-to-use API’s.
  • Single solution for all modern content distribution.
  • Seamlessly integrated with Azure marketplace.
  • Market-leading EyeQ™ content-aware encoding that can save up to 50% in bandwidth and storage costs.
  • Perfect for 24x7x365 live events streaming. 
  • Scales delivery according to your needs.
  • Prompt service support.
  • Support for features such as SRT, HDR and multi-channel audio.
  • Billing only on actual minutes of the services used.

How much does VOS.io cost?

Harmonic VOS.io is competitive and comparable to Azure Media Service prices (ex. live transcoding, file transcoding…) but with some added simplicity. You will notice the main differences in storage, data transfer, and CDN prices.

Storage: You’ll be charged per GB per month. It overcomes all the complexity of Azure Blob storage’s charging rules (ex. write operation, read operation, index…). This pricing provides a clear view of your storage cost.

Origin egress and data out: You can take advantage of a global, unique price that makes the pricing calculation easier.

CDN: All applications, from big to small have the same price. Prices will not be based on traffic tiering or regions.

The detailed pricing guide will be available with the official launch of VOS.io.

Does VOS.io store any customer data outside of the service region?

All asset data is stored in customers’ Azure blob storage accounts, and the customer controls the location and replication type of this storage. Any additional data associated with VOS.io services (including event recordings, content-encryption keys, token verification keys, HTTP URLs, and other entity metadata) is stored in Harmonic-owned storage within the region selected for the deployment of VOS.io.

3newLive Streaming

What is a VOS.io live event?

A VOS.io live event is the process of ingesting live video feeds through an RTMP protocol or SRT protocol, then direct pass-through or transcoding it, and finally streaming the live video content to end users or consumers. We support 24/7 live streaming and along with recorded content that will be available after live as VOD content.



What do the different live event encoding states mean?

VOS.io enables you to create Live Events. It is important to understand the life cycle of a Live Event to master the operation.

Live Event States: 

State Description
Offline No resource is allocated for this Live Event. The Live Event configuration entity is created and stored in VOS.io.
Allocating A preview action is triggered and compute resource is allocated for this Live Event. It usually takes 1 to 2 minutes to allocate resources.
Preview At the Preview state, the Live Event can be previewed using playback URLs. The playback URLs behave as a live streaming service.
Live The Live state can only be transitioned from the Preview state. The Live state begins when the Live Event has started and the playback URLs manifest reset and start to grow from the goLive time. 
Finished At the Finished state, the playback URLs return the Event with VOD content behavior with a start at the go Live time and an end at the end time. The origin output of the Event has HTTP header cache directive max-age of 3 days.

Live Event Operations: 

Create This is the creation of a new Live Event. You need to provide the input Cloud Source, transcoding, and output configurations. The Live Event is defined after successful creation.
Preview This triggers the allocation of compute resources for the defined Live Event. This operation could take 1 to 2 minutes during which the Allocating state signifies the resource is being alllocated.
Offline This brings the Live Event offline and de-allocates compute resources.
Go Live This takes the Live Event to a Live state.
Delete This deletes the Live Event. It also deletes the configuration and any recorded content from the VOS.io system. The Live Event configuration is removed and the content can no longer be played back after deletion.



How do I do live transcription with a VOS.io live event?

VOS.io delivers video, audio, and text in various protocols. When you publish your live stream by using MPEG-DASH or HLS/CMAF, then along with video and audio, the service delivers the transcribed text in IMSC1.1-compatible TTML.

3newPackaging & Delivery

What is a VOS.io streaming endpoint?

In VOS.io, a streaming endpoint represents a dynamic (just-in-time) packaging and origin service that can deliver your live and on-demand content directly to a client player app by using one of the common streaming media protocols (HLS or DASH). In addition, the streaming endpoint provides dynamic (just-in-time) encryption to industry-leading DRM systems.

Can I stream the pre-encoded mp4 assets directly from my own Azure Blob storage?

Yes, by leveraging VOS.io’s built-in origin server and dynamic packaging and encryption capabilities, we support the delivery from your existing assets in your Azure Blob storage accounts in HLS, Smooth Streaming and MPEG DASH streaming protocol formats. That means no more extra processing and quicker turnaround.

How can I correctly set the streaming units needed for my application?

The egress limit of one streaming unit is 200 Mbps.

Then the total streaming units needed = Average bandwidth x Number of viewers x Percentage of traffic not handled by the CDN / 200 Mbps. You can set the streaming units per your view of your traffic demand.

In case of some unpredictable traffic peak/burst which causes exceeding the max capacity of the preset streaming units, VOS.io supports auto-scaling the streaming units for you.

File Transcoding

What file formats are supported by VOS-Media-Lite?

The following file formats are supported:

  • MXFop1a: AVCI, AVC LGop, Mpeg2 LGOP, XDCAM50 (MPEG2 Long-GOP + PCM), DVCPro100.
  • MXF file playback supports DolbyE audio tracks. The DolbyE will be decoded.
  • MP4: H.264, audio supports AAC.
  • MTS: Mpeg2, H.264, audio can be Mpeg2L1 or AAC or AC3.
  • MOV: XDCAMHD, DV25, DVCPRO50/100, with PCM & DolbyE audio tracks.

Can VOS-Media-Lite Services be used for very short-form file content encoding?

We don't recommend it. Very short content that's less than a minute or two in duration is not ideal for adaptive bitrate streaming. If you intend to stream very short-form files, we recommend that you pre-encode the content into a format that's easily streamed using a single bitrate. Because most adaptive bitrate players need time to buffer multiple segments of video, as well as time to analyze the network bandwidth before "shifting" up or down the adaptive bitrate ladder, it's often useless to provide a lot of bitrates for content that's under 30 seconds long. By the time the player locks its heuristic algorithm on the right bitrate to play based on network conditions, the file will be done streaming. In addition, some players default to buffering up to three segments of video. Each segment can be two to six seconds long. For very short-format videos, the player is likely to buffer and begin playback of the first selected bitrate of the adaptive bitrate set. For this reason, we recommend using a single-bitrate MP4 file, and uploading it to an asset if you need HLS or DASH manifest generation. For details on how to achieve this, see the answer to the question "Can I stream existing MP4 files that are pre-encoded or encoded in another solution?" in the section about packaging and delivery.

3newContent Protection

How do I deliver my media content with dynamic encryption?

Dynamic encryption is securing your media from the time it leaves your computer all the way through storage, processing, and delivery. With VOS.io, you can deliver your live and on-demand content encrypted dynamically with Advanced Encryption Standard (AES-128) or any of the three major DRM systems: Microsoft PlayReady, Google Widevine, and Apple FairPlay. More information is coming soon...

Should I use AES-128 clear key encryption or a DRM system?

Customers often wonder whether they should use AES encryption or a DRM system. The main difference between the two systems is that with AES encryption, the content key is transmitted to the client over TLS. The key is encrypted in transit without any additional encryption ("in the clear"). As a result, the key that's used to decrypt the content is accessible to the client player and can be viewed in a network trace on the client in plain text. AES-128 clear key encryption is suitable for use cases where the viewer is a trusted party (for example, encrypting corporate videos distributed within a company to be viewed by employees).

DRM systems like PlayReady, Widevine, and FairPlay provide an additional level of encryption on the key that's used to decrypt the content, compared to an AES-128 clear key. The content key is encrypted to a key protected by the DRM runtime in addition to any transport-level encryption that TLS provides. Decryption is handled in a secure environment at the operating system level, where it's more difficult for a malicious user to attack. We recommend DRM for use cases where the viewer might not be a trusted party and you need the highest level of security.

Can I use Azure Active Directory (Azure AD) as my Token service provider?

Yes, we support using Azure AD as a Secure Token Service provider to issue tokens as part of our content protection working chain. If you don’t have any specific token provider, no worries, VOS.io also provides embedded STS service that can help to ease your work.

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