Thursday, December 15, 2011

DASH it all?

MPEG-DASH has been ratified by 24 national bodies, a topic covered in a recent article and also at (run by Jan Ozer).

Now that we, as an industry, have reached a tentative agreement on how to handle adaptive streaming over HTTP through consistent parsing of manifest files (MPD or Media Presentation Description in MPEG DASH parlance) there's another question remaining: what's next?

The next two steps, as noted in both the Streaming Media article and our own white paper, is the acceptance of a common file format and a common encryption scheme (CENC).

Following ratification of CENC and adoption of the common file format, there's a huge need to deal with interoperable, DASH-compliant players. In fact, this element may be the biggest challenge of all—getting encoded content to consistently play back on every device or platform.

It's the same issue we faced during the two reports (1, 2) on Android handset and tablet video playback, where core services of Android didn't necessarily translate into consistent playback of RTSP or even YouTube videos on a variety of playback devices from the same handset manufacturer.

So Transitions is issuing a challenge, as part of our 2012 Q1 Best Workflows testing: bring us your DASH-compliant player, whether it's in beta or gold master, and we'll put it through its paces against other DASH-compliant players, using consistent fMP4 and M2TS content. Here's looking at you, Qualcomm, Ericsson and even Microsoft and Adobe...

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