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DASH Has Left the Starting Gate

On your mark. If you haven’t seen a DASH demo at an industry conference yet, you’ve got a lucky second chance in Las Vegas at NAB (National Association of Broadcasters), April 16th-19th. What’s DASH? It’s a new, better way to stream video because it adapts the stream to your viewing conditions to produce a smooth, enjoyable viewing experience. The very first demonstration of an end-to-end live DASH stream was a hit in Barcelona at Mobile World Congress (MWC) and it was made possible by a variety of world-class industry partners. The demo featured a feed from BBC World News, encoded for DASH’s ISOBFF Live Profile by Harmonic, ingested to Akamai’s CDN and delivered to a Snapdragon 8960 tablet, running Android Ice Cream Sandwich. All components that demonstrate DASH are ready for prime-time this year.

After MWC, we received many requests from companies for our DASH-enabled Snapdragon devices for both interop testing and demonstrations. We’re happy to report that we’re adding Android support for DASH, starting with the Snapdragon™ S4 MSM8960 processor.

MWC was also the setting for two important DASH announcements.

The first was about the formation of the DASH Promoter’s Group. Along with Microsoft and Netflix, Qualcomm is proud to be one of the founding members. Our small group of three has grown to over 40 in less than one year. It now includes not only chipset manufacturers, content owners and OS vendors, but also OEMs, operators, CDNs and encoder vendors. Our common goal is to promote DASH as a widely available solution for adaptive streaming and build support into our individual products is starting to yield results in 2012.

The second announcement came from another DASH PG member, Adobe. Kevin Towes, senior product manager at Adobe Systems Inc. posted on Adobe’s blog, “Adobe’s video solutions will adopt the emerging video standard, MPEG-DASH across our video streaming, playback, protection and monetization technologies.” It’s encouraging to see yet another leader in video publicly state their product support for the MPEG-DASH standard. Stay tuned, we predict more product announcements on the horizon.

Get set. At NAB, many of our fellow DASH PG members will again be showcasing their DASH-capable products – CDNs, encoder vendors and client developers to name a few. Qualcomm will be providing support to some of the booths at NAB with our developer platforms and we’re also sponsoring a session on DASH, specifically for mobile. Drop by Room N231 on April 17 at 1 p.m. for “DASH: Dynamic Adaptive Streaming for Better Mobile Video User Experience.” We have brought together a panel of video industry experts to talk about the challenges of video streaming on mobile devices and answer your questions on DASH.

We are rapidly approaching the next phase in DASH’s evolution. It has been ratified as a standard, interop testing is being defined, it has promotion & support from a large body of companies and it’s being demonstrated at a variety of industry events in different user scenarios. DASH commercialization is on the horizon and all set to Go.

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