Keepixo and IRT plan to conduct a joint demonstration of the CMAF streaming video format at the NAB Show in Las Vegas. IRT is the research center of the public broadcasters in Germany, Austria and Switzerland.
CMAF, MPEG's Common Media Application Format, aims to unify Apple's HLS and MPEG-DASH. Technically, with CMAF, both HLS playlists and DASH manifests are allowed to reference the same fragmented MP4 (fMP4) chunks to allow any recent Apple device (iOS10, tvOS, MacOS) to play back the exact same media segments as DASH players.
CMAF is intended to provide a number of benefits:
- Light packaging infrastructure: Only one OTT packaging system is required, and only one flavor of media chunks needs to be built.
- Better viewer experience: HTTP caches in the delivery network are much more efficient, as only fMP4 chunks need to be cached, instead of both MPEG-TS and ISOBMFF. The same fMP4 can be shared for viewers on Apple devices or Android smartphones, PCs or tablets.
- Lower storage costs: If the operator offers any delinearized services such as nPVR, timeshift, or start-over, storage needs are divided by two, with no later "re-packaging" infrastructure needed.
- Improved cross-platform delivery of subtitles and captions in one package.
CMAF also provides a number of technical improvements to HLS devices over legacy TS chunks, such as a framework for Common Encryption (CENC), and extended text- or image-based subtitling modes.
"At Keepixo, we're always striving to add the latest features that the TV industry needs," said Jerome Blanc, COO of Keepixo. "The recent addition of CMAF to our OTT packager is the perfect example of how we can address the entire OTT TV spectrum, and help operators reduce their costs and improve their subscribers' experience."
Keepixo's live OTT packager can be provided as a stand-alone solution or integrated within Keepixo's live multirate OTT transcoder.
"IRT investigates alternative streaming methods to legacy HLS or MPEG-DASH-delivery to find more efficient and thus less expensive workflows while targeting broadcast quality also for IP-based distribution." said Thomas Schierbaum, head of public relations at IRT. "Besides well-adopted mechanisms for adaptive media transport, also the joined carriage of program-associated data like subtitles is evaluated. In this context, CMAF provides a lot of promising options."
The NAB demo will feature Keepixo's OTT encoder-packager with CMAF content playing on iPhone SE, Android tablet and Windows PC.