Why MPEG-DASH and Adaptive Streaming Is Right for the Web
Before he explained how to create a DASH-264 player at the recent Streaming Media West conference in Los Angeles, Mike Labriola, a senior consultant for Digital Primates, explained why DASH was a better solution for online video.
"In the DASH world, we're talking about adaptive streaming," Labriola began. "Adaptive streaming is really interesting in the sense of a couple things. First of all, it puts a bit more onus on the client than it does on the server. In an adaptive streaming metaphor, it's up to the client to be able to go and retrieve the next bytes, to be able to get the next part of the segments, the next part that it needs down from the server."
By going to a pull system, rather than a push system, video publishers are creating a more natural method for online delivery.
"In going back to the client, we can begin to use the infrastructure of the web in the way that it was originally intended again. We can begin to make things about requests, about making the requests for a given piece of information," Labriola said. "Why is that important? We've gone from -- we've defined all this infrastructure of origin servers and these sorts of things in order to replicate information out, in order to move information out to multiple points where we can see them. But the thing is is that the web actually has really good infrastructure for doing those things to begin with. A web server's actually quite adept at being able to make and answer multiple requests."
For more about the value of adaptive streaming, as well has instructions on creating a DASH-264 player, watch the video below.
HOW-TO: Creating a DASH-264 Player
With all the device fragmentation in the market, it is getting increasingly difficult to provide content to all of them equally. The MPEG-DASH specification promises to unify the field and provide a ubiquitous format, which can be used by most devices. Within the DASH specification, several different Codec's can potentially be supported, but among the most promising is DASH-264, which uses H.264 within the DASH standard. This technical session explores how to build a DASH-264 player using OSMF. This will be most useful for ActionScript developers familiar with Adobe's Open Source Media Framework.
Speaker: Mike Labriola, Senior Consultant, Digital Primates
The problem MPEG-DASH solves isn't that big a deal, and it's not going to make anyone's life simpler in the short term.
With DASH operators can provision for mean video usage, rather than peak usage, which will lead to financial savings.
DASH-264 is almost here, and it will bring the specifics needed for interoperability and widespread use of MPEG DASH.
MPEG DASH holds promise for simplifying the fractured world of online video delivery, but it's not quite ready for primetime.