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Video Streamers Will Row Together

A group of distributors, vendors and content providers are putting their collective weight behind the Streaming Video Alliance, a group that will strive to create an open architecture for online video, including benchmarks for video quality and product interoperability.

The initial group that ’s backing the SVA comprises highly recognizable names from the pay TV industry, including Comcast, Viacom, Charter Communications and Liberty Global (see sidebar), but a couple from the online video world — primarily Netlfix and Google — are noticeably absent.

While the SVA will focus on architecture creation, best practices and recommending standards designed to facilitate the scaling of online video, it’s “not looking to be a standards body,” Dan Rayburn, a founding member of the SVA and an executive at StreamingMedia.com, said.

Rayburn said the SVA is starting to pore over pieces of the video ecosystem and expects to make some decisions by early 2015 about which elements to focus on first. Some potential candidates include best practices around metadata and 4K streaming.

Rayburn also expects that the SVA will announce additional members, including more content owners, in January.

SVA membership won’t be free. The group will publish its fee schedule early next year.

Whether Netflix, Google and YouTube, which tend to do their own thing, will eventually join the SVA crew is hard to say.

“We’ve had discussions with them,” said Rayburn, a recognized streaming-video industry expert who is on board to help promote the organization and communicate its aims. “We’ve had conversations with pretty much all of the largest content owners you can think of.”

On Board With the SVA

The initial membership slate of the Streaming Video Alliance represents various parts of the ecosystem.

Alcatel-Lucent
Charter Communications
Cisco Systems
Comcast
Epix
Fox Networks
KT
Level 3 Communications
Liberty Global
Limelight Networks
MLB Advanced Media
Qwilt
Telecom Italia
Telstra
Ustream
Wowza Media Systems
Yahoo