Back to basics: MPEG Dash


David Springall TV-Bay Magazine
Read ezine online

by David Springall, CTO & Founder, Yospace

Just when you thought that you had got your head around the different flavours of MPEG, another one comes along. What on earth is MPEG-DASH, and why do we need to care about it?

The DASH part stands for dynamic adaptive streaming over HTTP. MPEG-DASH is an attempt to create a standardised approach to delivering content to devices – not conventional television sets – over some form of the internet, which might include mobile connectivity.

Let’s forget the MPEG standard for a moment, and think about the problem. As we are all too aware, in some places the internet goes faster than others. Content owners offering their product online want to deliver a reasonably consistent quality of experience. So the search was out for a way of reconciling these two conflicting requirements.

The solution lies in adaptive bitrate streaming. In essence, the receiving device works out how much bandwidth is available to it and calls for content that will sit within that capacity. The sender – usually a content delivery network (CDN) on behalf of the service provider – actually stores multiple resolutions of the file, and so can send as much detail as the receiving device, and the data path between them, can accept.

The streaming bitrate is adapted dynamically to match the combination of circumstances at each moment. In the metadata alongside the content as it is delivered is a media presentation description file (MPD), which you may hear referred to as a “manifest”.

The reasoning behind this is clearly a good idea, and the technology exists, so people set about developing practical implementations. In 2009, when the iPhone 3GS was launched, its operating system included a new streaming protocol called HTTP Live Streaming (HLS). Microsoft shortly afterwards introduced its equivalent, SmoothStreaming. Adobe has its own format, too: HDS or HTTP dynamic streaming, used for Flash.

While these are proprietary standards they are widely adopted. Indeed, HLS has become something of a de facto standard, being used for Android devices as well as iOS, and also serving Blackberry 10, Roku, Boxee, Samsung connected televisions, and even on Xbox (which not many people are aware of). Perhaps more predictably, Microsoft does not support it natively in Windows 8, nor is it supported in Flash, although we have SDK solutions to handle HLS on both of these platforms (as do other specialists in the field).

Which brings us back to MPEG-DASH and the attempts to standardise online delivery. It is concerned with the MPD – the manifest – and does not address codecs nor much of the client/server interaction. These details are defined by profiles within MPEG-DASH, which enable you to create the complete end-to-end specification. The standard allows you to develop as many profiles as you need.

So it would be perfectly practical to develop an MPEG-DASH SmoothStreaming profile, and this is happening in something called DASH264. Adobe is behind this profile too, so it will subsume HDS. And it would be equally practical to develop an MPEG-DASH HLS profile, which again is the basis of another initiative, the MPEG-TS profile (apologies for all the acronyms).

But the important point is that the DASH264 profile and MPEG-TS profile are as incompatible with each other as Microsoft SmoothStreaming and Apple HLS are. Will either or both of those organisations give way and change years of research for an MPEG standard? I think we can guess the answer to that.

Why does it matter that there are multiple incompatible streaming systems? Each takes hardware to prepare, so content owners have to invest to support additional formats. And the processed files have to be stored, both at the content owner’s facility and at the edge servers of the CDN. Dealing with a single format represents a significant cost saving in bandwidth and server space.

But for now, at least, I cannot see that MPEG-DASH will deliver that single solution even if the “freight train” of continued device support for HLS support is derailed. Instead, we may migrate from three competing and incompatible protocols to two or three competing and incompatible profiles within a rather broad standard. You may, therefore, feel it unsafe to rely on the new MPEG initiative to bring about the concept of a unified streaming solution in the near future.


Tags: iss076 | Yospace | mpeg-dash | streaming | http | mpeg | cdn | bitrate | David Springall
Contributing Author David Springall

Read this article in the tv-bay digital magazine
Article Copyright tv-bay limited. All trademarks recognised.
Reproduction of the content strictly prohibited without written consent.

Related Interviews
  • Yospace: Advert Insertion at NAB 2013

    Yospace: Advert Insertion at NAB 2013

  • YoSpace at NAB 2012

    YoSpace at NAB 2012

  • Elemental Technologies Software-Defined Video at NAB 2014

    Elemental Technologies Software-Defined Video at NAB 2014

  • Elemental Technologies HEVC solutions at NAB 2014

    Elemental Technologies HEVC solutions at NAB 2014

  • Elemental Technologies Multiscreen Solutions at NAB 2014

    Elemental Technologies Multiscreen Solutions at NAB 2014

  • Bridge Technologies QoE Monitoring with Mobile Videowall Display at IBC 2013

    Bridge Technologies QoE Monitoring with Mobile Videowall Display at IBC 2013

  • House of Worship Multisite Streaming from VITEC at NAB 2017

    House of Worship Multisite Streaming from VITEC at NAB 2017

  • Streaming Media with Interra Systems at NAB 2017

    Streaming Media with Interra Systems at NAB 2017

  • Live Streaming Solution from Verizon at NAB 2017

    Live Streaming Solution from Verizon at NAB 2017

  • Wohler Technologies on BroadcastShow LIVE at IBC 2013

    Wohler Technologies on BroadcastShow LIVE at IBC 2013

  • Facebook and YouTube live integration with Monarch HD from Matrox at NAB 2017

    Facebook and YouTube live integration with Monarch HD from Matrox at NAB 2017

  • LiveMedia Server and Live Xpert from 3D Storm at NAB 2017

    LiveMedia Server and Live Xpert from 3D Storm at NAB 2017

  • VITEC EZ TV at IBC 2016

    VITEC EZ TV at IBC 2016

  • JVC at IBC 2016

    JVC at IBC 2016

  • JVC GY-LS300 at IBC 2015

    JVC GY-LS300 at IBC 2015

  • VITEC at IBC 2015

    VITEC at IBC 2015

  • Matrox at IBC 2015

    Matrox at IBC 2015

  • JVC GY-LS300 prototype at IBC 2014

    JVC GY-LS300 prototype at IBC 2014

  • Matrox at IBC 2014

    Matrox at IBC 2014

  • Telestream Wirecast and Switch at IBC 2014

    Telestream Wirecast and Switch at IBC 2014

  • Telestream Vantage support for DPP at IBC 2014

    Telestream Vantage support for DPP at IBC 2014

  • NewTek TalkShow at IBC 2014

    NewTek TalkShow at IBC 2014

  • Matrox Monarch HD at NAB 2014

    Matrox Monarch HD at NAB 2014

  • Telestream Enterprise at NAB 2014

    Telestream Enterprise at NAB 2014

  • Telestream Switch at NAB 2014

    Telestream Switch at NAB 2014

  • JVC GY-HM850 and GY-HM650 at NAB 2014

    JVC GY-HM850 and GY-HM650 at NAB 2014

  • Matrox Mojito at NAB 2014

    Matrox Mojito at NAB 2014

  • Matrox Capture Card at NAB 2014

    Matrox Capture Card at NAB 2014

  • NewTek TriCaster at BVE 2014

    NewTek TriCaster at BVE 2014

  • Matrox Monarch HD and VS4 at BVE 2014

    Matrox Monarch HD and VS4 at BVE 2014

  • JVC HM850 at BVE 2014

    JVC HM850 at BVE 2014

  • Dejero on BroadcastShow LIVE at IBC 2013

    Dejero on BroadcastShow LIVE at IBC 2013

  • Pixel Power on BroadcastShow LIVE at IBC 2013

    Pixel Power on BroadcastShow LIVE at IBC 2013

  • Canon on BroadcastShow LIVE at IBC 2013

    Canon on BroadcastShow LIVE at IBC 2013

  • Harmonics Peter Alexander on BroadcastShow LIVE at IBC 2013

    Harmonics Peter Alexander on BroadcastShow LIVE at IBC 2013

  • Haivision on BroadcastShow LIVE at IBC 2013

    Haivision on BroadcastShow LIVE at IBC 2013

  • Front Porch Digital on BroadcastShow LIVE at IBC 2013

    Front Porch Digital on BroadcastShow LIVE at IBC 2013

  • Atomos with the Samurai Blade on BroadcastShow LIVE at IBC 2013

    Atomos with the Samurai Blade on BroadcastShow LIVE at IBC 2013

  • ChyronHego on BroadcastShow LIVE at IBC 2013

    ChyronHego on BroadcastShow LIVE at IBC 2013

  • Cinegy on BroadcastShow LIVE at IBC 2013

    Cinegy on BroadcastShow LIVE at IBC 2013

  • Trilogy on BroadcastShow LIVE at IBC 2013

    Trilogy on BroadcastShow LIVE at IBC 2013

  • Projects Department on BroadcastShow LIVE at IBC

    Projects Department on BroadcastShow LIVE at IBC

  • Blackmagic Design on BroadcastShow LIVE at IBC 2013

    Blackmagic Design on BroadcastShow LIVE at IBC 2013

  • Atomos talking 4K on BroadcastShow LIVE at IBC 2013

    Atomos talking 4K on BroadcastShow LIVE at IBC 2013

  • Calrec on BroadcastShow LIVE at IBC 2013

    Calrec on BroadcastShow LIVE at IBC 2013

  • Glensound on BroadcastShow LIVE at IBC 2013

    Glensound on BroadcastShow LIVE at IBC 2013

  • Zylight on BroadcastShow LIVE at IBC 2013

    Zylight on BroadcastShow LIVE at IBC 2013

  • Nexidias Drew Lanham on BroadcastShow LIVE at IBC 2013

    Nexidias Drew Lanham on BroadcastShow LIVE at IBC 2013

  • Carl Zeiss on BroadcastShow LIVE at IBC 2013

    Carl Zeiss on BroadcastShow LIVE at IBC 2013

  • Miranda on BroadcastShow LIVE at IBC 2013

    Miranda on BroadcastShow LIVE at IBC 2013

  • Orad Hi Tec Systems on BroadcastShow LIVE at IBC 2013

    Orad Hi Tec Systems on BroadcastShow LIVE at IBC 2013

  • Photon Beard on BroadcastShow LIVE at IBC 2013

    Photon Beard on BroadcastShow LIVE at IBC 2013

  • Polecam talk accessories on BroadcastShow LIVE 2013

    Polecam talk accessories on BroadcastShow LIVE 2013

  • TMD talk workflow on BroadcastShow LIVE at IBC 2013

    TMD talk workflow on BroadcastShow LIVE at IBC 2013

  • Metus on BroadcastShow LIVE at IBC 2013

    Metus on BroadcastShow LIVE at IBC 2013

  • Guntermann and Drunck on BroadcastShow LIVE at IBC 2013

    Guntermann and Drunck on BroadcastShow LIVE at IBC 2013

  • Brainstorm on BroadcastShow LIVE at IBC 2013

    Brainstorm on BroadcastShow LIVE at IBC 2013

  • Pilat Media on BroadcastShow LIVE at IBC 2013

    Pilat Media on BroadcastShow LIVE at IBC 2013

  • Sonnet Technologies on BroadcastShow LIVE at IBC 2013

    Sonnet Technologies on BroadcastShow LIVE at IBC 2013

  • EditShare on BroadcastShow LIVE at IBC 2013

    EditShare on BroadcastShow LIVE at IBC 2013

  • Nucomm on BroadcastShow LIVE at IBC 2013

    Nucomm on BroadcastShow LIVE at IBC 2013

  • Nexidia QC on BroadcastShow LIVE at IBC 2013

    Nexidia QC on BroadcastShow LIVE at IBC 2013

  • SIS LIVEs Martyn Hopkins on BroadcastShow LIVE at IBC 2013

    SIS LIVEs Martyn Hopkins on BroadcastShow LIVE at IBC 2013

  • Atomos with the Ronin on BroadcastShow LIVE at IBC 2013

    Atomos with the Ronin on BroadcastShow LIVE at IBC 2013

  • Snell on BroadcastShow LIVE at IBC 2013

    Snell on BroadcastShow LIVE at IBC 2013

  • Harmonics Tom Lattie on BroadcastShow LIVE at IBC 2013

    Harmonics Tom Lattie on BroadcastShow LIVE at IBC 2013

  • Primestream on BroadcastShow LIVE at IBC 2013

    Primestream on BroadcastShow LIVE at IBC 2013

  • NewTek on BroadcastShow LIVE at IBC 2013

    NewTek on BroadcastShow LIVE at IBC 2013

  • Wyplay on BroadcastShow LIVE at IBC 2013

    Wyplay on BroadcastShow LIVE at IBC 2013

  • Volicon on BroadcastShow LIVE at IBC 2013

    Volicon on BroadcastShow LIVE at IBC 2013

  • Forbidden Technologies on BroadcastShow LIVE at IBC 2013

    Forbidden Technologies on BroadcastShow LIVE at IBC 2013

  • Atomos with the Datacolor Spyder on BroadcastShow LIVE at IBC 2013

    Atomos with the Datacolor Spyder on BroadcastShow LIVE at IBC 2013

  • Sound Devices on BroadcastShow LIVE at IBC 2013

    Sound Devices on BroadcastShow LIVE at IBC 2013

  • Audio Network on BroadcastShow LIVE at IBC 2013

    Audio Network on BroadcastShow LIVE at IBC 2013

  • Cooke Optics on BroadcastShow LIVE at IBC 2013

    Cooke Optics on BroadcastShow LIVE at IBC 2013

  • SIS LIVEs Mark Shadbolt on BroadcastShow LIVE at IBC 2013

    SIS LIVEs Mark Shadbolt on BroadcastShow LIVE at IBC 2013

  • Softron Media Services on BroadcastShow LIVE at IBC 2013

    Softron Media Services on BroadcastShow LIVE at IBC 2013

  • Cobham on BroadcastShow LIVE at IBC 2013

    Cobham on BroadcastShow LIVE at IBC 2013

  • Riedel Communications on BroadcastShow LIVE at IBC 2013

    Riedel Communications on BroadcastShow LIVE at IBC 2013

  • TMD talk asset management solutions on BroadcastShow LIVE at IBC 2013

    TMD talk asset management solutions on BroadcastShow LIVE at IBC 2013

  • SMPTE on BroadcastShow LIVE at IBC 2013

    SMPTE on BroadcastShow LIVE at IBC 2013

  • Behind the scenes of the Teradek booth on BroadcastShow LIVE at IBC 2013

    Behind the scenes of the Teradek booth on BroadcastShow LIVE at IBC 2013

  • Wowza Media Systems on BroadcastShow LIVE at IBC 2013

    Wowza Media Systems on BroadcastShow LIVE at IBC 2013

  • Stream UK on BroadcastShow LIVE at IBC 2013

    Stream UK on BroadcastShow LIVE at IBC 2013

  • Cambridge Imaging Systems on BroadcastShow LIVE at IBC 2013

    Cambridge Imaging Systems on BroadcastShow LIVE at IBC 2013

  • Digital Vision on BroadcastShow LIVE at IBC 2013

    Digital Vision on BroadcastShow LIVE at IBC 2013

  • Polecam talk high speed on BroadcastShow LIVE at IBC 2013

    Polecam talk high speed on BroadcastShow LIVE at IBC 2013

  • Haivision live encoding HEVC at IBC 2013

    Haivision live encoding HEVC at IBC 2013

  • SIS LIVE and their products ManPak and DriveForce at IBC 2013

    SIS LIVE and their products ManPak and DriveForce at IBC 2013

  • Softron Media at IBC 2013

    Softron Media at IBC 2013

  • Telestream with Wirecast version five at IBC 2013

    Telestream with Wirecast version five at IBC 2013

  • Telestream with Post Producer at IBC 2013

    Telestream with Post Producer at IBC 2013

  • Vimond Control Center at NAB 2013

    Vimond Control Center at NAB 2013

  • Matrox at BVE 2013

    Matrox at BVE 2013

  • Autocue at BVE 2013

    Autocue at BVE 2013

  • StreamUK at BVE North 2012

    StreamUK at BVE North 2012

  • Radiant Grid at NAB 2012

    Radiant Grid at NAB 2012

  • Haivision at NAB 2012

    Haivision at NAB 2012

  • Broadcast Pix at NAB 2012

    Broadcast Pix at NAB 2012

  • Cinegy at NAB 2012

    Cinegy at NAB 2012

  • LiveU at NAB 2012

    LiveU at NAB 2012

  • SIS LIVE at NAB 2012

    SIS LIVE at NAB 2012

  • Anton Bauer at NAB 2012

    Anton Bauer at NAB 2012

  • Garland Partners at BVE 2012

    Garland Partners at BVE 2012

  • StreamUK at BVE North 2011

    StreamUK at BVE North 2011

  • Suitcase TV at IBC2011

    Suitcase TV at IBC2011

  • Digital Rapids at IBC2011

    Digital Rapids at IBC2011

  • Wohler MPEG Monitoring Series at IBC 2014

    Wohler MPEG Monitoring Series at IBC 2014

  • Wohler MPEG Monitoring at BVE 2014

    Wohler MPEG Monitoring at BVE 2014

  • Capella Cambria File Convert (FTC) at BVE2019

    Capella Cambria File Convert (FTC) at BVE2019

  • Wohler DPP at BVE 2014

    Wohler DPP at BVE 2014

  • Cobham: Mini RF Transmitters at NAB 2013

    Cobham: Mini RF Transmitters at NAB 2013

  • Cobham: RF Transmitter at NAB 2013

    Cobham: RF Transmitter at NAB 2013

  • Visionary Solutions at NAB 2012

    Visionary Solutions at NAB 2012

  • Broadpeak shows nanoCDN multicast ABR at IBC 2018

    Broadpeak shows nanoCDN multicast ABR at IBC 2018

  • Broadpeak Technology nano CDN technology multicast ABR

    Broadpeak Technology nano CDN technology multicast ABR

  • Visual Unity at NAB 2014

    Visual Unity at NAB 2014

  • Broadpeak at IBC 2013

    Broadpeak at IBC 2013

  • Broadpeak at NAB 2012

    Broadpeak at NAB 2012


Related Shows
  • Larry Jordan with Thom Holliday talk streaming at BVE 2016

    Larry Jordan with Thom Holliday talk streaming at BVE 2016


Articles
Behind the Scenes of Wild rose
KitPlus Financed by BFI Film Fund, Wild Rose tells the story of a musician from Glasgow who dreams of becoming a Nashville star. The only thing in the way: her own penchant for crime and violence.
Tags: iss137 | blackmagic design | davinci | ursa mini pro | KitPlus
Contributing Author KitPlus Click to read or download PDF
Canon EOS C300 MkII Camera Review
Andy McKenzie Canon described the EOS C300 Mark II at its launch as 'a game-changer for creative film-making'. What interested me was whether the camera's impressive feature set, compact size and very aggressive price point matched the needs of the video production market.
Tags: iss137 | finepoint | c300 review | canon c300 | Andy McKenzie
Contributing Author Andy McKenzie Click to read or download PDF
Cinegy Channel Playout
David Wright Canis Television & Media is a UK-based specialist broadcast services company, providing its clients as a one-stop shop for everything from production facilities to asset valuations to traffic control. In response to growing demand from its clients, Canis identified a need for channel playout facilities.
Tags: iss137 | cinegy | canis media | David Wright
Contributing Author David Wright Click to read or download PDF
IMF Adoption
Howard Twine The Interoperable Master Format isn’t new. It’s been around for more than six years. Despite this longevity, the broad adoption since the publication of SMPTE 2067 has been pretty slow. This is perhaps more because of the age old mantra “if it ain’t broke don’t fix it,” than the ease with which many could interpret the standard. However, it is safe to say that movie producers blazed a trail in using IMF for original content delivery. Perhaps the key is that those early adopters didn’t have any significant tape based infrastructure that had been modified for file-based working when receiving content. So, many longer established content distributors have the immense resources to create the vast array of versions required to address the ‘version issue.’ This being how do you get the same content to look good on the back of an aeroplane seat headrest or an iPhone in the back of car as well as a good old TV set. Over time these resources have been diminishing and many organisations recognise that they have to adopt workflow automation to survive.
Tags: iss137 | editshare | imf | standards | smpte 2067 | Howard Twine
Contributing Author Howard Twine Click to read or download PDF
NAB 2019 Highlights
Paul MacKenzie The NAB Show in Las Vegas never loses its capacity to surprise. With NHK already transmitting in 8K and the Tokyo Olympics just a year away, this might have been the year that 8K equipment prices descended from the stratosphere to just plain expensive. The main trends at NAB 2019 were an increasing focus on HD-HDR, Media-over-IP and 4K. 8K was pretty low key except for a very promising demo on the Sharp stand: an extremely compact 8K camera at an impressively low price point: $4,000. Shooting at 30 frames per second to an internal card and using a prosumer-style Olympus lens, it looked very much an entry-level product but one with phenomenal potential for any videographer looking to work with very large display screen sizes.
Tags: iss137 | finepoint | nhk | media-over-ip | canon xa50 | xa55 | huddlecam | jvc | gy-hc550 | panasonic aw-ue-150 ptz | samsung | 8k signage | hdr10+ | livetrakl-20 | mediakind | Paul MacKenzie
Contributing Author Paul MacKenzie Click to read or download PDF