I'm trying to understand the Transcoder pricing structure and how it would apply to my case... The pricing page states that Transcoder is priced based on "streams per month", and in my case, we have an arbitrary number of user-initiated short-lived sessions (lasting anywhere from 10 min to maybe 2 hours at most). Basically, the end-user might start an event (somewhat similar to the Google "hangout") and then stop it whenever they please. We don't know how many events/streams will be running ahead of time, all we know is the average stream duration (above). In this situation, how do we estimate the Transcoder budget?
The billing for the Transcoder AddOn is calculated by number of channels (streams) Transcoded, not the duration of each Transcoder session.
Without knowing how many streams will be Transcoded you will not be able to estimate exactly what the cost will be, but the pricing structure is such that, you can estimate roughly how many Transcodes there will be and get a ballpark figure on the cost.
Just to be clear, The costs listed on the pricing page are
per source stream for the maximum number of concurrent source streams over the month. As the number of concurrent sources increases,
the cost per source reduces.
Using Salvadore's examples above, if you have 1 - 4 concurrent streams running at any time in the month, you will be billed at
$20 each. If at some stage during the month, you have 10 concurrent streams running, you will be billed
$20 each for the first 4 and
$18 each for the next 6.
Yes, that is right. Transcoder channels are counted concurrently, not as a sum total.
So you could have 400 incoming streams transcoded per month, as long as only 1-4 were incoming at the same time, it would be 20 dollars per billing cycle. But if at some point during the billing cycle 10 streams were incoming at the same time, it would be 38 dollars for that billing cycle.