Overview of Azure on-demand media encoders

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Update your Azure Media Services REST API and SDKs to v3 by 29 February 2024. Version 3 of Azure Media Services REST API and client SDKs for .NET and Java offers more capabilities than version 2. We’re retiring version 2 of the Azure Media Services REST API and client SDKs for .NET and Java.

Action Required: To minimize disruption to your workloads, review the migration guide to transition your code from the version 2 API and SDKs to version 3 API and SDK before February 29th, 2024. After February 29th, 2024, Azure Media Services will no longer accept traffic on the version 2 REST API, the ARM account management API version 2015-10-01, or from the version 2 .NET client SDKs. This includes any 3rd party open-source client SDKS that may call the version 2 API. Learn about the latest version, starting with the Media Services v3 Overview.

Azure Media Services provides multiple options for the encoding of media in the cloud.

When starting out with Media Services, it is important to understand the difference between codecs and file formats. Codecs are the software that implements the compression/decompression algorithms whereas file formats are containers that hold the compressed video.

Media Services provides dynamic packaging which allows you to deliver your adaptive bitrate MP4 or Smooth Streaming encoded content in streaming formats supported by Media Services (MPEG DASH, HLS, Smooth Streaming) without you having to re-package into these streaming formats.

When your Media Services account is created a default streaming endpoint is added to your account in the Stopped state. To start streaming your content and take advantage of dynamic packaging and dynamic encryption, the streaming endpoint from which you want to stream content has to be in the Running state. Billing for streaming endpoints occurs whenever the endpoint is in a Running state.

Media Services supports the following on demand encoder:

This article gives a brief overview of on demand media encoders and links to articles with more detailed information.

By default each Media Services account can have one active encoding task at a time. You can reserve encoding units that allow you to have multiple encoding tasks running concurrently, one for each encoding reserved unit you purchase. For information, see Scaling encoding units.

Media Encoder Standard

How to use

How to encode with Media Encoder Standard


Formats and codecs


Media Encoder Standard is configured using one of the encoder presets described here.

Input and output metadata

The encoders input metadata is described here.

The encoders output metadata is described here.

Generate thumbnails

For information, see How to generate thumbnails using Media Encoder Standard.

Trim videos (clipping)

For information, see How to trim videos using Media Encoder Standard.

Create overlays

For information, see How to create overlays using Media Encoder Standard.

See also

The Media Services blog

Known issues

If your input video does not contain closed captioning, the output Asset will still contain an empty TTML file.