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MPEG makes a DASH for streaming


Published: 9 February, 2012


By Philip Hunter

The OTT field badly needs standards for streaming, filing, and security, to match up to expectations and fulfill the business objectives of the various content players. This at least unites dedicated online video providers like Netflix with the pay TV operators rushing into or expanding OTT offerings to repel them. Most of them have lined up behind the MPEG DASH (Dynamic Adaptive Streaming HTP) standard, believing that although still missing a few ingredients, it is on the right track to unifying the OTT world. Put simply, it specifies just one standard for the file format, encryption and streaming, while supporting five DRM systems so that it can reach all the principle target platforms. It also incorporates various mechanisms to optimize streaming delivery, minimizing latency and start up delay, while also reducing consumption of both bandwidth and storage compared with combinations of other technology options. DASH has one more essential quality - support for scalability to millions of devices.

But while these streaming methods allow effective switching between paths on the network, they do not allow the client to choose which CDN to deliver the stream. This is becoming increasingly desirable or even essential as OTT services expand and become connected to multiple CDNs. DASH on the other hand does give client devices the ability to switch to a different CDN if one is failing to perform.

For the full 2,500 word assessment of this breakthrough standard, go to


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