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Video: Is CMAF the One Packaging Format to Rule Them All?

Learn more about CMAF and stream packaging at Streaming Media's next event.

Watch the complete panel, T104. The Cutting Edge of Packing Strategies, in the Streaming Media Conference Video Portal.

Read the complete transcript of this clip:

David Sayed: Being pragmatic, you know, it's going to depend on devices aging out. Customers are going to want to deliver content to all of the devices they need to support. That tends to depend on the geographies that they're serving, and there are definitely going to be some devices out there that aren't able to consume CMAF content and so they will continue to need non-CMAF formats. However, I think like everyone else here, being that we're seeing a groundswell of interest in CMAF because people delivering media at scale see the economies of scale that CMAF is actually able to provide, especially in terms of having to deal with the multiple DRM formats because, typically, if you're dealing with premium media, premium content that needs to be encrypted with different DRM formats that need to be native for the specific device for power efficiency and performance and so on, as well as sometimes the licensing content, licensing requirements. CMAF really helps to solve that. Again, in the fullness of time, with the different encryption specifications that Will just mentioned earlier. CMAF, I think, is going to become the predominant format, but depending on the customer that we're talking to, some of those customers will continue to need the more legacy formats that exist today.

David Heppe: I think it's a super good thing for the industry. It's going to help drive cost down, make things more operationally efficient. With my business hat on, I kind of shed a tear a bit because we made a little bit of money on packaging over the years and that need is not going away immediately, as David said, but it will be dampened. I think CMAF just makes a lot more sense functionally and it's the right direction for the industry to go.

Will Law: I think we're naive if we're thinking CMAF is gonna take away all need to prepare some strange derivative. That's going to stick with us forever. Because there are codecs, and in Silicon Valley you can do CMAF all day of this week. But down in Brazil? It's not going to happen for several years. You got a lot of old TVs, they all love Smooth, actually. Smooth is one of the biggest formats in Brazil. So there's a lot of regional requirements to prepare things. You can never--people come to me and say, "CMAF's not working because the world's not 100% on it." It's never going to be that way. If it can get to 80% of the world's on it, that's a win, and that's as good it's gonna get, because after that we're go into codec diversity. Now we start making silos of stuff all over again. We're never gonna get down to one copy for everyone.

David Sayed: If I can add to that, I think that's one of the areas where dynamic packaging, coupled with, potentially technologies like device detection actually end up being interesting because with device detection you could then determine, "Okay, this device is requesting my content, it's a legacy iPhone that only can play back an older version of HLS but I need to be able deliver my content with the original English language but also French subtitles and maybe English subtitles as well." Great. How do I do that in that older format version of HLS? Well, I need to package for that particular device. And so having the ability to dynamically do that, especially if the content is longtail, and be able to provide the specific format that that device actually requires is very helpful in terms of securing device coverages, coverage that OTT platforms, for example, actually need.

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