Momentum grows for MPEG-DASH at IBC2012

MPEG-DASH, the dynamic adaptive streaming via HTTP standard, advanced further this week in Amsterdam at IBC2012 on its way to possibly becoming the next-generation delivery format for video content delivered via the Internet.

On an individual basis Harmonic, Nagra and Digital Rapids are among the companies that announced support — or alternately, “upcoming support” — for the new standard. Both Nagra and Harmonic focused on the deployment of a cloud-based OTT video service from Spanish telecom operator Abertis Telecom, while Digital Rapids announced its commitment to the standard in upcoming products.

On a broader basis, MPEG-DASH advanced with the announcement that the DASH Promoters Group is setting up the DASH Industry Forum (DASH-IF) to accelerate adoption of MPEG-DASH. DASH-IF will focus on promoting adoption of MPEG-DASH, publishing interoperability and deployment guidelines and facilitating interoperability tests and collaboration with standard bodies.

"The adoption of DASH will allow operators to enhance their delivery of personalized content over existing broadband networks and, at the same time, will allow content owners to offer their assets over unmanaged networks with the optimal user viewing experience," said David Price, board member and treasurer of DASH-IF and head of media business development for Ericsson.

The founding members of DASH-IF include Akamai, Ericsson, Microsoft, Netflix, Qualcomm and Samsung. Other members include: Adobe Systems, Allegro DVT, AuthenTec, BuyDRM, castLabs, Cisco, CodeShop BV, Digital Primates, Digital TV Group, Dolby Labs, DTS, Elemental Technologies, Envivio, Espial Group, European Broadcast Union, Fraunhofer IIS, Harmonic, Huawei Technologies, Imagine Communications, Intel Corp, InterDigital Communications, Irdeto, Livestream, mDialog, Media Excel, Nagravision, Path 1, RealNetworks, RGB Networks, SeaWell Networks, Sorenson Media, University of British Columbia, ICICS, Verimatrix, VisualOn, Wowza Media Systems and ZiXi.

One notable name missing from the list, however, is Apple. Currently, three competing adaptive bit rate streaming technologies — Adobe’s HTTP Dynamic Streaming (HDS), Microsoft’s HTTP Smooth Streaming (HSS) and Apple’s HTTP Live Streaming (HLS) — have fueled the rapid growth in the delivery of video content via the Internet. MPEG-DASH represents an attempt at a unified standard.