DVB Approves Next Step For Standardization of Adaptive Bit Rate Streaming For Live Applications

At its most recent meeting, The DVB Steering Board approved initial specifications for the Commercial Requirements for ABR (Adaptive Bit Rate) Multicast. It also approved the latest specification for Ultra High Definition Television, called UHD-1 Phase 2.

In the area of ABR, the DVB Steering Board will now work on a Technical Module to produce a final specification. This scope of the work will pave the way to providing a harmonized solution to the problem of transmitting linear video at scale across IP-based networks.

In today’s environment, operators and content providers are under increasing demand to deliver video content anytime, anywhere, over any network to any device. The DVB said the purpose of its latest work is to help meet the growing consumer demand for superior quality OTT multiscreen services.

The technical specification resulting from these Commercial Requirements will be applicable to both managed and unmanaged networks. The aim is to leverage existing media workflows and transmission infrastructure while retaining support for security and stream manipulation features.

“The broadcast industry faces the challenges of serving multiple devices across broadcast and broadband networks,” said Peter MacAvock, DVB Chairman. “It’s essential to have a good set of tools to help, and DVB’s work in adaptive bitrate streaming continues to be a cornerstone of industry efforts in this area.”

Peter MacAvock, DVB Chairman

Peter MacAvock, DVB Chairman

Thierry Fautier of the Ad Hoc Sub-Group of CM-AVC, which is tasked with defining the Commercial Requirements for ABR Multicast, said “Adaptive bitrate streaming delivered over the top on managed networks is based on unicast technology, making it difficult to scale for live applications. To resolve this issue, the DVB has decided to develop a specification that will enable ABR multicast distribution via any bidirectional IP network, including telco, cable, and mobile.”

At the same DVB Steering Board meeting, the organization’s 84th annual event, the latest specification for Ultra High Definition Television, UHD-1 Phase 2, was approved. The DVB said the new specification guarantees interoperability and enables broadcasters and CE manufacturers to provide UHD-1 Phase 2 products and services. This could mean that the first DVB UHD-1 Phase 2 services, that include the new features, would be available next year.

The specification covers various elements for the improvement of video and audio quality for broadcast TV services including High Dynamic Range (HDR) that significantly increase the contrast ratio and results in pictures with enhanced color detail. The DVB solution supports Hybrid Log Gamma (HLG) and PQ (Perceptual Quantizer). In addition, the new specification defines Higher Frame Rates (HFR), going beyond the current 50/60 Hz. (HFR offers sharper images of moving objects.) When it comes to audio, DVB has added the latest Next Generation Audio (NGA) schemes supporting object- or scene-based audio. These new features can be combined with HD and UHD resolutions. The specification will be published as BlueBook A157 and will be passed to ETSI for formal publication as TS 101 154 v2.3.1.

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