EBU Initiates First Large Scale MPEG-DASH Trial For London Olympics

Tuesday, July 31st, 2012 

Belgian EBU Member VRT is offering its audience the chance to experience the London Olympic Games live on their personal devices via MPEG-DASH

The commercial deployment of the MPEG-DASH (dynamic adaptive streaming over HTTP) standard is one step closer with the first live public trial, presented by Belgian public broadcaster VRT. The DASH Promoters Group, supported by the European Broadcasting Union, is facilitating live MPEG-DASH streaming of the 2012 London Olympics, with DRM content protection, to demonstrate the benefits of this unifying standard for adaptive streaming.

This proof of concept was initiated by the EBU, which strongly supports the development of MPEG-DASH as it is a key enabler allowing broadcasters to use a single file and streaming format to deliver content to multiple devices on multiple platforms. “The EBU strives for open, efficient and interoperable broadcast services and we believe MPEG-DASH is a means to these goals,” said Lieven Vermaele, EBU Director of Technology & Innovation. “On a daily basis, our members face the challenge of distributing large libraries of audio and video to an audience that uses a multitude of devices and technologies. MPEG-DASH is a comprehensive solution for them.”

The demonstration features a live video stream encoded using the MPEG-DASH ISO Base Media File Format Live Profile, delivered through Belgacom’s Content Delivery Network to a range of device categories including tablets, smartphones and PCs running iOS, Android and Windows operating systems. This represents the first large-scale multivendor deployment of MPEG-DASH. The demonstration is based on an early version of the DASH-264 interoperability guidelines, specifically developed by the DASH Promoters Group for interoperable deployment of the MPEG-DASH standard. DASH-264 provides a general interoperability framework aligned with the HbbTV 1.5 specification and other consortia recommendations. HbbTV 1.5 will be widely used by European broadcasters for interactive services on connected televisions.

The MPEG DASH trial will be available for the duration of the London Olympic games on the VRT Sporza website. Due to copyright restrictions this content is not available outside the Belgian territory.

Trial Supporters

This trial is supported by a number of DASH Promoters Group members. Encoding is provided by Elemental, Harmonic and Media Excel; streaming origins are courtesy of Wowza and CodeShop, who is also providing encryption; web clients for PC and Android are supplied by Adobe; and BuyDRM is providing applications for iOS and Android, incorporating its DRM solution.