VRT Presents First Live Public Trial of MPEG-DASH During London Olympics

Brussels, July 30, 2012 – The commercial deployment of MPEG-DASH (dynamic adaptive streaming over HTTP) standard moves one step closer with the first live public trial, presented by Belgian public broadcaster VRT. The DASH Promoters Group, supported by the European Broadcasting Union, is facilitating live MPEG-DASH streaming with DRM content protection of the 2012 London Olympics to demonstrate the benefits of this unifying standard for adaptive streaming.

The demonstration will feature a live video stream encoded using the MPEG-DASH ISO Base Media File Format Live Profile, delivered through Belgacom’s Content Delivery Network to a range of device categories, including tablets, smartphones and PCs running iOS, Android and Windows operating systems. This represents the first large-scale multivendor deployment of MPEG-DASH. The demonstration is based on an early version of the DASH-264 interoperability guidelines, specifically developed by the DASH Promoters Group for interoperable deployment of MPEG-DASH standard. DASH-264 provides a general interoperability framework aligned with the HbbTV 1.5 specification and other consortia recommendations. HbbTV 1.5 will be widely used by European broadcasters for interactive services on connected televisions.

As a public broadcaster, VRT is challenged with trying to reach the maximum number of media users, without compromising the quality of user experience. An optimized streaming experience is key in meeting both of these requirements. Therefore, VRT was eager to participate in this trial. “As a public broadcaster, VRT is concerned with how to deal with the complexity and diversity of formats, combined with ever-increasing user expectations for video quality,” said Wim Wauterickx, Manager Operations at VRT. “Standardization of the technology behind these services is key, in order to keep operational costs under control while maintaining the expectations of current and potential users.” This trial is supported by a number of DASH Promoters Group members. Encoding is provided by Elemental, Harmonic and Media Excel; streaming origins are courtesy of Wowza and CodeShop, who is also providing encryption; web clients for PC and Android are supplied by Adobe; and BuyDRM is providing applications for iOS and Android which incorporate its DRM solution.

The European Broadcasting Union strongly supports the development of MPEG-DASH, as it is a key enabler allowing broadcasters to use a single file and streaming format to deliver content to multiple devices on multiple platforms. “The EBU strives for open, efficient and interoperable broadcast services and we believe MPEG-DASH is a means to these goals,” said Lieven Vermaele, EBU Director of Technology & Development. “On a daily basis, our members face the challenge of distributing large libraries of audio and video to an audience that uses a multitude of devices and technologies. MPEG-DASH is a comprehensive solution for them.”

This demonstration is another contribution of the DASH Promoters Group to the adoption and deployment of the MPEG-DASH standard. The DASH Promoters Group is working toward recommended interoperability and deployment configurations for DASH, informally called DASH-264. This would enable a minimum set of DASH requirements for the industry and help enable further commercialization of devices that support it.

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About the DASH Promoters Group

The DASH Promoters Group (DASH-PG) is a group of interested parties collaborating on promotion of MPEG’s DASH specification (ISO/IEC 23009) in the industry and other standards organizations and consortia. DASH-PG is not a standardization group and will not develop any specific technical output that can be referenced by industry. To learn more about the DASH Promoters Group, please visit dashpg.com.

For more information contact: sys@dashpg.org.