Microsoft Explains the History and Future of Streaming and DASH

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The recent Video Infrastructure Summit in London wrapped up with a fascinating look at the history of online media streaming, and the future of MPEG-DASH. Delivered by Alex Zambelli, then a senior technical evangelist in Microsoft's developer and platform evangelism division, it surveyed the history of DASH, explained what DASH means for CDNs, and gave insight into Windows Azure Media Services' roadmap for DASH.

"Internet streaming really was pioneered in the '90s," Zambelli began. "That was when companies started experimenting with delivery of media over the internet. Does anybody here remember which company did the first live streaming event and what year it was?… To the best of my knowledge it was '95 and it was Progressive Networks, which later became RealNetworks."

Media streaming started with audio and then moved to video, and started with proprietary protocols and later moved to standardized formats, many of which are still in use today, Zambelli said. He then explained why adaptive streaming is necessary.

"Why did we suddenly start doing adaptive streaming? How did that all come about?" Zambelli asked. "Traditional streaming, as I said, really came about in the second half of the '90s. Just to give you an example, in 1998 when RTSP was standardized, there were about 100 million internet users in the world. Today, there are about 2.5 billion internet users in the world. The internet, in terms of audience size, has grown about 25 times since 1998. That has had an impact on the scalability of streaming."

Internet streaming wasn't designed to scale or to fit into an HTTP-based infrastructure, he continued.

For more on adaptive streaming and DASH, watch the full presentation below. For Zambelli's talk, start about 25 minutes in.


MPEG DASH – Origin, Development, and Deployment Strategies for CDNs.

Alex Zambelli, Media Platform Evangelist, Developer & Platform Evangelism, Microsoft Corporation

MPEG DASH is hot news. Widely anticipated to become the ‘de facto’ delivery standard, this session is part presentation – to bring you up to speed on what MPEG DASH is – and part opportunity to ask questions of one of the instigators of the standard about how to deploy MPEG-DASH within your delivery eco-system.

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