MPEG-DASH Live Stream Proxy
Bianor’s MPEG-DASH live stream proxy solution enables the content/streaming service provider to perform MPEG-DASH stream modifications and relocation.
Intro to Adaptive bitrate streaming and MPEG-DASH Protocol
Adaptive bitrate streaming (ABR) is one of the fundamentals for smooth user experience (UX) in today’s video streaming world. Excellent UX is the decisive factor for the success or failure of a video streaming enterprise, and ABR is a crucial component for positive UX. There are a few protocols that handle the ABR. One of the most popular adaptive bitrate streaming protocols is MPEG-DASH, where DASH stands for Dynamic Adaptive Streaming over HTTP. It is the successor of Apple’s HTTP Live Streaming (HLS) streaming protocol. MPEG-DASH offers more advanced control of the stream delivery and can serve both Live and VOD content delivery, supporting both unencrypted and DRM-protected streaming.
MPEG-DASH stream insights
MPEG-DASH stream can be produced by either an encoder that performs full transcoding of source material or a packager, which serves re-multiplexing of already encoded multiple layers. MPEG-DASH and VOD mode is used to deliver pre-recorded content, while the Live mode is for live streaming of video content. The Live mode can come with DVR (Digital Video Recording) capability, allowing the consumers to seek back and forth in the stream, accessing random points in the produced stream timeline. Of course, MPEG-DASH can be created without DVR capability, providing the consumers only with the ability to playback the media edge.
MPEG-DASH stream issue
Working on a comprehensive OTT video streaming platform for a large multi-platform media and technology company, we encountered a significant issue concerning the MPEG-DASH. The problem we faced was related to MPEG-DASH’s disadvantage: once its stream production is set up, it is pretty static and cannot be adjusted or relocated. It is impossible to alter the DVR window size, which corresponds to the time frame the consumers can seek back in a live stream. Once the encoder or packager starts producing the stream, the user cannot change the output resolutions and the live edge. All these resulted in a poor user experience related to buffering and even freezing of the stream.
MPEG-DASH live stream proxy solution
Although we have utilized one of the most popular and reliable OTT streaming platforms when developing this solution, even the shared efforts with its experienced tech crew did not give positive results. It took us multiple attempts and considerable time to figure out a workaround that proved to be very successful. We are pleased to introduce our MPEG-DASH live stream proxy solution, which enables the content/streaming service provider to perform MPEG-DASH stream modifications and relocation.
MPEG-DASH live stream proxy functionalities
The primary purpose of Bianor’s solution is to perform the relocation of an existing live MPEG-DASH stream. The relocation involves progressively downloading the latest MPEG-DASH manifest and fragments to a new location and modifying the manifest.
The relocation and manifest manipulation enable the tool with the following functionalities:
- Download and proxy existing MPEG-DASH stream, working in live/dynamic mode, to a new location: makes a copy of an existing live MPEG-DASH stream.
- Introduction of DVR window, if there is no DVR in the original MPEG-DASH stream: allows seeking back and forth in the new proxy stream.
- Adjustment of the DVR window: increasing or decreasing the DVR window to an unlimited size.
- Time-shift of MPEG-DASH stream: Implementation of +1, +2, +3, … hours time-shift of live MPEG-DASH
- Resolution/layer selection: include only a predefined set of resolutions in the proxy stream (to be implemented).
Bianor’s MPEG-DASH Live Stream Proxy solution is among the first to offer manipulation and relocation of the MPEG-DASH live stream. We can integrate the tool with some of the most popular streaming engines. Other non-functional features of the solution are:
- Support of non-protected MPEG-DASH stream;
- Support of AES-128 encrypted MPEG-DASH stream;
- Support DRM-protected MPEG-DASH stream – Widevine (Google) and PlayReady (Microsoft);
- Automated recovery/restart on stream discontinuity.
Video streaming has grown exponentially in the last few years, as has the development dynamics of video streaming solutions. This fast motion requires multi-disciplinary expertise and out-of-the-box thinking for smartly overcoming the hurdles. We believe that creativity and technical competence are two of our most significant assets.
Bianor’s team possesses considerable know-how and experience in building custom software solutions, specializing in video and image processing, video streaming, real-time broadcasting, encryption/decryption of video signals, analyses, recommendations, and data transfer. If you would like to learn more about Bianor’s expertise, do not hesitate to contact our team.
Click here to learn more about another commonly related to the MPEG-DASH stream issue – asynchronous Audio and Video. Read our step-by-step guide for determining, testing, and exploring asynchronous audio and video in the MPEG-DASH stream.
About the author
Tsviatko Jongov is a specialist in the area of digital multimedia technologies with more than 20 years of experience in the field. He started his career as a software developer, designing and building software solutions for the television broadcast industry, serving broadcasters around the globe. In 2008 he started his own software company providing digital media analysis and television automation solutions with customers such as HBO, Microsoft, Adobe, SpaceX, Dolby, and more. Now he is part of Bianor to help in the growth of the company.
MPEG-DASH Live Stream Proxy Specification
Download Bianor’s MPEG-DASH Live Stream Proxy Specification to learn more details about the solution.