Unified Streaming’s research and development department kept things humming along nicely in 2022.

When they weren’t busy developing prototypes, Unified R&D team members were busy writing papers. And when they weren’t busy writing papers, they were doing presentations, contributing to standards, and chairing standards working groups. So, yes: they had plenty on their streaming research plates.

Here’s a summary of what they accomplished this year.

Presentations given

On the presentation front, Dr Rufael Mekuria, PhD, Head of Research and Standardization at Unified Streaming, teamed up with Comcast’s Yasser Syed for a special DASH-IF session on interoperable ad slot signaling for DASH, according to DVB and SCTE.

Dr Mekuria also presented a paper he got accepted at Mile High Video Conference 2022 in March. In June, Mekuria traveled to Streaming Tech Sweden to deliver a talk on 24/7 live OTT encoder synchronization and content archiving, which he followed by speaking at Fraunhofer FOKUS Media Web Symposium in Berlin on insertion of SCTE 35 markers.

Papers submitted

Mekuria has shipped three papers to be considered for the Mile High Video Conference 2023, hosted in Denver.

Standards edited

Standards editing is a different beast than papers and presentations, and helps shape specifications that video streaming organizations abide by.

In this sphere, Mekuria worked on texts for the DVB-DASH bluebook, the DVB-TA bluebook, and for ISO/IEC standards here and here, among other work. The DVB specifications now include better support for ad slot signaling using SCTE 35, and new codecs to improve media delivery, including support for VVC and AVS3.

Unified Streaming contributions to MPEG … contributed

In the field of multimedia and streaming, MPEG is still the most relevant standardization body out there. Unified Streaming remains a regular contributor.

This year our contributions mainly targeted redundant DASH distribution, for which there is not yet explicit support in MPEG-DASH. Together with other DASH-IF members, we responded to the Redundant Encoding and Packaging specification Call for Proposals, and contributed several technologies for using DASH and CMAF in redundant media workflows. Which included media formats for redundant encoding and redundant packaging, standardized under ISO/IEC 23009 – 9 (a standardization in progress) as a separate part to DASH (but HLS techniques are also included).

Also, Unified Streaming worked with Apple and Ateme on test files for timed metadata tracks that have been included in CMAF 3rd edition 2022 (clause 13). This includes an implementation of event message track format (publicly available on our github page), standardized in ISO/IEC 23001 – 18

Prototyping done

Unified has also developed several prototypes for implementation.

Manifest Edit, Unified Streaming’s tool to boost compatibility with players, devices, legacy smart TVs, and other third-party components, got a polish.

For Unified Validator, the team developed a beta version of a video test suite for AVC/HEVC formats, and a metadata track validation for metadata tracks to cross check Apple.

An example implementation of the event message track (MPEG‑B part 18) was made available on github event message track implementation.

Last, a prototype of a CTA-WAVE CTA 5006 CMSD origin was developed for Origin CMSD. [Origin CMSD is an experimental project for testing CTA-WAVE’s Common Media Server Data (CMSD) proposal.]

Standards working groups chaired

Apart from contributing and prototyping, Unified showed up on the standards chairing front. It led the calls on work in AhG on encoder and packager synch in MPEG, DVB TM-STREAM, DVB TM-TA, and DASH-IF live media ingest TF. This way Unified helps these groups moving forward work for the industry and new specifications.

Summary summed up

The Unified Streaming team prides itself not only on its solid software, but also on the outsize role it plays in research and development, and standards and specs. This year has been busy for Unified R&D, and 2023 will be busier still.

For more information on our research work, please visit our research page or get in touch.