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Video: Can MPEG-DASH and HLS Coexist in the Current Video Delivery Ecosystem?

Akamai's Will Law explains how and why the CDN is supporting both HLS and DASH equally, acclaims the virtues of both, and reveals why he is so excited about the imminent arrival of the Common Media Application Format (CMAF). 

Learn more about emerging codecs at Streaming Media East.

Read the complete transcript of this video:

Will Law: On DASH and CMAF, I'm biased. I vice-chair the DASH Industry Forum. I've been involved with DASH for a long time, but I'm also practical. At Akamai we did our largest live event ever two months ago, 7.1 terabits per second. We did that with HLS, but Akamai is supporting HLS and DASH equally, so all new features coming out support both formats, because we think both have a place in the delivery ecosystem.

DASH has some technical advantages over HLS. It's playing a VOD asset, HLS you have to load two manifests to start playback. DASH you only load one. Live streaming with HLS with a DVR window, you're constantly loading a list of assets, only to discover with the last new one is. That's relatively inefficient.

On its plus side, HLS, as has been mentioned, is deployed. It has a robust advertising solution out there right now, and I think that in many cases trumps deployment decisions for many people, so until DASH gets its advertising act to the same level as HLS is, you're going to see a lot of HLS deployments.

CMAF, I think, is a wonderful invention. It's unicorn and ice cream cake time for our industry. Again, we dynamically make TS at MP4 on the edge because of this problem we've had historically between HLS and ISO branch of containers that all the other streaming formats support, and when you don't need to do that, managing two manifests, which are just little text files. We can do that dynamically all day and so will everybody else. No one's complaining about making that, storing that, or manipulating that, or delivering that. We just care about the heavy video files, and the faster we can centralize on CMAF from encoding to distribution of players the better off everybody is. I think there's going to be a tremendously fast adoption of that technology.

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