Adobe announces support for MPEG-DASH streaming standard

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You have to love standards, imagine a world where your toaster used a different power supply than your refrigerator , or your plumbing be a mish mash of pipes, or when you go the hardware store to get a new door knob, it didn’t fit in your door. Imagine now preparing videos 4 or 5 times for different devices and imagine if you just had to do it once.

Standards help any industry grow and expand, and our video delivery industry is prime for some standards. With more devices and platforms on the market that can consume and create video standards that span across every device, every platform will enable video publishers to reach more audiences and open new opportunities to monetize.

This is why I am excited to announce that Adobe’s video solutions will adopt the emerging video standard, MPEG-DASH across our video streaming, playback, protection and monetization technologies. This is just one part of our big announcements today which include project Primetime, our integrated video and Ad service for online video and DRM for Apple iOS devices through our Adobe Access technology (formally known as Adobe Flash Access)

But let’s focus this post on MPEG-DASH, and more on the other items later this week. To get started, I created an FAQ to help you understand what this announcement means

Q: What did Adobe announce?

Adobe announced that it will support the MPEG-DASH standard initiative for streaming video through future versions of its video streaming technologies to help increase the amount of video available online to devices by reducing fragmentation and costs caused by multiple video formats.   

Read our Press Release

Q: What is MPEG-DASH?

“Dynamic Adaptive Streaming over HTTP” MPEG-DASH simplifies and converges the delivery of IP video, to provide a rich and enjoyable user experience, to help drive down costs and ultimately to enable a better content catalogue to be offered to consumers, because more revenues can be re-invested in content, rather than paying for operating overheads. It will help streamline and simplify workflows and enable operators and content providers to build sustainable business models to continue to deliver the services that consumers demand.

Q: Why did Adobe announce support for MPEG-DASH?

Interoperability between content encoders, service providers, platforms and devices will allow video publishers to focus on quality content and not the infrastructure to protect and deliver video.

For example, a broadcaster today may be required to support and protect multiple formats optimized for Adobe Flash, Microsoft Xbox, Samsung TV and Apple iOS. MPEG-DASH standard will allow broadcasters to prepare a single format that can reach across all devices using DASH formats and its associated common encryption standard. This will reduce the workflow to prepare content and reduce storage requirements and simplify testing so the audience can receive a consistent high quality experience where every video is consumed.

Q: What other companies support MPEG-DASH?

Adobe is joined by over 20 companies in the promotion of MPEG-DASH including industry leaders such as Microsoft, Qualcomm, Akamai, NDS, Envivio, Samsung and Harmonic. By adopting industry standard streaming formats such as MPEG-DASH and content profiles such as DASH-264, Adobe is joining a group of video delivery ecosystem leaders that range from encoders, DRM providers, content delivery networks, device manufacturers and platform providers.   

The MPEG-DASH Promoters Group is a group dedicated to the promotion and implementation of the standard. Current members include Microsoft, Qualcomm, Dolby, DTS, Akamai, AEG Digital Media, BuyDRM, Digital Rapids, Digital TV Labs, EBU-UER, Elemental, Envivio, Ericsson, Harmonic, Intertrust, NDS, Packet Ship, Path1, RGB Networks, Samsung, Thomson, ZiXi and others to bring more video content online.

Q: What content profiles of MPEG-DASH will Adobe support?

Adobe will support MPEG-DASH ISOBFF on demand and live profiles which are recommended in DASH-264 recommendation. The content profile is similar to Adobe’s HDS format and supports many of the performance objectives of the HDS format.

Q: Will Adobe continue developing HDS / HTTP Dynamic streaming and HLS / HTTP Live Streaming?

Yes, Adobe will continue developing its HDS format used to deliver high quality, protected video experiences across multiple devices. Adobe will also continue to innovate around the HTTP Live Streaming (HLS) file format.

Q: Is Adobe dropping support for HDS format?

No. Adobe will continue to innovate on the HDS format in all areas to improve the video performance, efficiency and rendering across all devices, networks and service providers. As MPEG-DASH interoperable technologies come to market, Adobe will include MPEG-DASH content profiles within HDS to maintain interoperability.   

The Adobe HDS format supported today by Adobe streaming technologies including Adobe Flash is based on the same MPEG-4 Part 12 (ISO/IEC 14496-12) the same technology used in the DASH-264 content profile.

Q: What Adobe technologies will support MPEG DASH?

Adobe will support MPEG-DASH as an HDS profile within its future streaming technologies that include Adobe Flash Media Server, Adobe Access, Adobe Flash, Adobe AIR and the Open Source Media Framework including Flash Media Playback and Strobe Media Playback.

MPEG-DASH will also be supported by Project Primetime including Adobe Auditude Advertising platform.

Q: When will Adobe technologies have support for MPEG-DASH?

Adobe has not announced a timeline at this time but will have public demonstrations throughout 2012.

Q: Where can I learn more about MPEG-DASH?

There are many resources online. I’ve listed a few good references below, including the MPEG-DASH Promoters Group.

MPEG-DASH promoters group

MPEG DASH ARTICLES