Tracking MPEG-4 At Streaming Media East
Natural Codecs (A/V) and Interoperability
The second morning session was entitled Natural Codecs (A/V) and Interoperability, but it tended more toward a product description and application discussion for streaming A/V content today. Given that there was a dearth of developers on the show floor, I actually didn't mind the product-oriented presentations. Here's what each had to say:
• Isabelle Corset, Product Manager of Philips Digital Networks described the evolution of MPEG-4 products developed by Philips over the past 7 years, and culminating in their MP4Net product line. MP4Net offers the WebCine MPEG-4 encoder, as well as server technology and player application for delivery of MPEG-4 to wireless devices and over IP to the desktop. Over the past year they have demonstrated and tested interoperability with many of the wireless device manufacturers, including PacketVideo and a prototype PDA from Sun running a Java-based decoder on Linux.
• Ziv Eliraz, VP of Business Development at Emblaze also offered his company's perspective on product development and integrated services for delivering rich media content. They too have focused efforts over the past year on wireless delivery of MPEG-4, but there were no new product announcement at the show this year.
• Rob Lanphier, Product Manager of the Helix Community at RealNetworks, Inc. was on the panel to key into their latest efforts in the open source world. The Helix system was probably the biggest demo on the show floor as well, where attendees could see the benefits of streaming all formats from their one open source server. Besides describing the Helix DNA platform in more technical detail than you could get at their booth, Rob also emphasized the complexity of streaming media formats and platforms as it stands today with an incredible list of acronyms and such that developers need to support.
The audience was naturally discouraged by the level of acceptance of MPEG-4 today and concerned for its future, but the panelists were quick to point out that outside of the U.S., and especially in Asia, wireless delivery of MPEG-4 is happening on a wide scale basis, and each of the companies represented on the panel are involved in those efforts. In addition, slow adoption is not a recipe for failure, as was pointed out by the ever-growing market in DVDs today. Let's hope they continue their efforts to make this a standard that delivers on its promise of device independent, highly scalable delivery of rich media content.
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Companies and Suppliers Mentioned