Sunday, October 19, 2014

A bit of MPEG-DASH or the story behind bitdash!

Back in time, some years ago, it was around 2008 (or so), some people within MPEG were wondering whether it is worth looking beyond the MPEG-2 Transport Stream or new means for the delivery of media content encoded with MPEG codecs, specifically in the context of new codecs and use cases (e.g., ultra-high definition). There was even the saying like "hey, MPEG-2 is quite old, we need something new" and some of you probably know, "new is always better" ;)

In any case, MPEG started - like they ever did if something new pops up and there's a critical mass of supporters - an exploration phase resulting in - if there's enough evidence and interest (there was enough of both) - drafting use cases, context/objectives, and, finally, requirements followed by a call for proposals. In July 2010 I've chaired the evaluation of the responses to the call for proposals on HTTP Streaming of MPEG Media and two years later, the first edition of MPEG Dynamic Adaptive Streaming over HTTP (DASH) was published as ISO/IEC 23009-1. Another two years later,  the second edition was published in 2014 and now MPEG is working on further extensions, possibly leading to a third edition sooner or later.

Soon after the evaluation of the responses to the call for proposals, first open source implementations became available and dash.itec.aau.at became a major portal for tools and datasets around MPEG-DASH. After setting up this Web site we thought about the next step and this was founding a company called bitmovin which provides online streaming solutions (OTT), enabling highest-quality media experience for the end user.

Early October 2014 we launched the official product Web site www.dash-player.com for our MPEG-DASH player bitdash. bitdash enables MPEG-DASH playback on any Web browser including mobile platforms using either HTML5 or Flash, depending on the browser and its version. bitdash pays high attention to stability and performance, featuring fast startup, best adaption algorithms and, thus, highest media quality of experience to the end user.

Feel free to download a free version on www.dash-player.com and give it a try!
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