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New Industry Group Will Promote MPEG's DASH Standard

A wide cross section of major tech companies have created a new industry group, the DASH Promoters Group, that will push for the adoption of the MPEG's DASH (dynamic adaptive streaming over HTTP) standard.

As the usage of online video has skyrocketed in recent years, the DASH standard, which was ratified in November 2011, was created to provide companies with a universal delivery format that would both improve the consumer viewing experience and make it easier for companies to deliver more video streams to more devices.

Members of the DASH Promoters Group include a significant cross section of major players, with Microsoft, Netflix, and Qualcomm involved as founding members. Other members currently include Adobe, AEG Digital Media, Akamai, BuyDRM, Digital Rapids, Digital TV Labs, Dolby, EBU-UER, Elemental, Envivio, Ericsson, Harmonic, Intertrust, NDS, Packet Ship, Path1, RGB Networks, Samsung, Thomson, University of Klagenfurt and ZiXi.

As part of their efforts to accelerate DASH adoption, the Promoters Group will be demonstrating DASH streaming video at Mobile World Congress 2012 in Qualcomm's exhibit. The demo will feature a live video stream encoded for DASH ISO-Base Live Profile by Harmonic, which will be ingested to Akamai's Content Delivery Network and delivered to a Snapdragon processor-based mobile development platform from Qualcomm for playback.

"Demonstrating the live ingest of DASH content and the dynamic synthesis of DASH manifests and segments is the first step toward DASH leveraging the benefits of capacity, efficiency, and security brought by the Akamai Intelligent Platform," said Will Law, principal architect, Media Division, Akamai in a statement. "Public interoperability demonstrations among encoders, media delivery systems and playback clients inspire market confidence for this new format. DASH brings the promise of convergence in media delivery, as well as improvements in encoding and distribution efficiency, rights management and the overall consumer viewing experience."

"Harmonic is very committed to the DASH technology," added Thierry Fautier, senior director of convergence solutions at Harmonic Inc. in another statement. "We believe DASH is the only way to effectively scale video over the Internet."

In addition to promoting broad adoption of DASH, the Promoters Group will focus on ongoing DASH standards development, promoting the use of common profiles by various industry organizations, and facilitating interoperability tests.