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Video: HLS vs. MPEG-DASH in 2017

Viacom's Jeff Tapper, Sinclair's Ben Miller, Brightcove's Matt Smith, and Float Left's Kirby Grines discuss the current state of MPEG-DASH adoption, and why HLS still holds sway in vast swaths of the online and OTT video universe in this clip from their panel discussion at Streaming Media West 2016.

Read the complete transcript of this video:

Jeff Tapper, Viacom: I'm very bullish on DASH. However, currently Viacom is an HLS-everywhere shop. I am working to adjust the direction of the big ship, but we don't move that fast. It just takes a little while to get us to turn.

Ben Miller, Sinclair: We're very much where Viacom is, we're an HLS-everywhere shop. That's because that's where the audience is, that's where the addressable audience is. Not only that, but beyond the video delivery protocol and format, there's a massive ecosystem, and we rely heavily on advertising-based revenue. The advertising space makes this more complicated. We have challenges really moving between V-paid and DASH on the advertising side. It works great with HLS. HLS is this manifest-driven technology that allows us to do things that literally alter the manifest on top of the HLS stream to get a better experience on a per-device basis.

We're very, very focused on how much of the experience, how much of the technology can we move left in the process. We have a whole initiative at Sinclair Digital called Shift Left, which is basically like how far left in the process, how far server-side can we push every decision so that we don't have to rely on client-side players, and client-side adoption and client-side technologies because one of those is scalable, and the other one is not. One of those is manageable, and the other one is not.

As much as I love the promise of these from a technology standpoint, and I'm an engineer by trade, and by training, but I've learned that you need adoption or there's no audience for what you build. That has been our philosophy. We're getting much, much better at driving that forward. We're hitting 99 plus percent of our audience with HLS today.

Kirby Grines, Float Left: I like the promises of reducing cost and streamlining workflow. I think we'll get to a place where you see more people going full-on with Dash, but I mean, right now it really depends on the end-clients being able to support it and trying to launch somebody across a bunch of different devices, a lot of which are end-use legacy platforms that don't support DASH. Most of our clients are still using HLS to see those streams across all the platforms.

Matt Smith, Brightcove: It seems it's almost there's a subset here of the device manufacturers, right? Is it incentivize Apple to support DASH? I think a lot of us would say that the answer is no, but they inch closer and closer. Does Google support it? Do these other device manufacturers, and these guys who make the silicon, are they invested in this, or is it all just about grabbing audience and content?

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