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Streaming Forum: Are MPEG-DASH and HEVC Overhyped?
Real promise or smoke and mirrors? MainConcept shows why an efficient video standard is like a car engine.

For future standards, MPEG-DASH and HEVC are getting a lot of present-day publicity? But are they getting too much attention? Are they, in fact, more hype than reality?

Answering that question was a second day panel at Streaming Forum 2013 in London. In the opinion of the panel, both standards offer real promise and will play important roles, but not for years to come.

A new codec is like a car engine, said Thomas Kramer, vice President of product management for MainConcept, a subsidiary of Rovi. While a company can build a better engine, how do they bring it to market? First they need to build a car around it. Without wheels, brakes, gas, and more, that engine isn’t good for much.

HEVC is that engine, Kramer said. It’s an efficient codec, but it needs DASH, DRM and a variety of other things to make it usable by clients.

CDNs need to add both MPEG-DASH and HEVC, Kramer said, and they should simply so they can offer them as differentiating features. HEVC adoption won’t reduce the amount of video data streamed, though. Instead, content providers will add new channels to use that saved space.

HEVC is now in an early stage, but Rovi is trying to drive adoption, Kramer said. Everything currently is software-based. Now developers need to build up the delivery chain. Rovi is working to build hardware and software support, he said. As soon as the standard is easy to use for consumers, he expects adoption to happen quickly.

In the end, the panelists didn’t think HEVC or DASH were overhyped, but did think widespread use was a long ways off. A survey of the audience found they felt the same.

Watch the full presentation below:

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