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MainConcept SDK Creates Manifest Files for HEVC/H.264 HLS Video

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Anyone who’s produced HLS content knows that one of the most complicated tasks is creating the necessary manifest files. With the introduction of HEVC into HTTP Live Streaming (HLS), and mixed codec encoding ladders, this just got tougher. Fortunately for developers who want to stream HEVC/H.264 content to HLS endpoints when this becomes available, MainConcept’s latest codec software development kit (SDK), version 10.5, can create manifest files in addition to the encoded bitstreams.

The new SDK, which is available now, can output H.264 in MPEG-2 transport stream or fragmented MP4, and HEVC in the required fragmented MP4 format. Once these files are created, tools within the SDK can create both the variant and master playlists in compliance with Apple’s updated spec.

Commenting on the importance of Apple’s announcement, Thomas Kramer, vice president of product management at MainConcept GmbH, said, "Apple's adding HEVC with AVC into a single HLS package was the missing bridge between the well-established streaming format and the next generation compression technology for Apple devices. What MPEG DASH already supports on other platforms will soon be possible with Apple's updated specification, allowing content providers and delivery networks to produce live and VOD video in one step for legacy as well as latest and future consumer devices.”

Regarding the impetus for supporting manifest file creation, which is a new feature in the MainConcept SDK, Kramer added, “MainConcept built the tools for software vendors, production houses, and CDN providers to add the complete encoding, packaging, and playlist pipeline to their workflows, so our customers don’t have to deal with the details of Apple's specification."

Other noteworthy features of the new SDK include AVC/H.264 Levels 6.0 to 6.2 for higher resolutions and frame rates, unlimited resolution encoding for 360/VR encoding in AVC/H.264 Encoder, and HLG and PQ (including SMPTE 2086 metadata) support for HDR encoding in AVC/H.264. 

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