MPEG-DASH sample streams and HLS test streams or m3u8 streams as they are often called, are important tools that you should have available throughout your development process.
It’s good to have a variety of streams available when you are testing your adaptive streaming solution to ensure you are covering all aspects of your playback. We have collected the following list of publicly available and free MPEG-DASH and HLS examples, test streams and datasets to help you through your development process:
DASH Industry Forum: MPEG-DASH Test Vectors
These MPEG-DASH examples are provided by the DASH Industry Forum and its members to validate conformance to the DASH264 profile of the DASH-IF. They contain a broad variety of streams, e.g. SD only, HD streams, multichannel audio extensions, negative test vectors, single and multi-bitrate MPDs, multi-resolutions, multiple audio representations, addition of timed text, multiple periods, encrypted streams including key rotation, dynamic segment offering and MPD updates, tick modes, etc.
These streams provide you a great set of tools for thoroughly testing your player and environment.
HLS .m3u8 streams for testing
HLS test streams (.m3u8 streams) are a little harder to come by due to the nature of the technology. HLS, which is also known as HTTP Live Streaming, is an HTTP-based protocol implemented by Apple. It is not an open standard like MPEG-DASH and so it does not have as many community generated content and resources. Having said that, we have created a small list of streams that we have tested, and of course have prepared a few of our own with various encoding profiles and functions, such as subtitles and multi-language options.
360 and VR test streams
Bitmovin was one of the first movers in the area of 360° playback and our player is still leading the market in emersive video support. We have two test streams available that are encoded specifically for playing on a 360 enables player. You can see these streams playing in our player on our VR & 360° HTML5 Player demonstration page.
Bitmovin’s Teststreams from the Most Popular Encoders and Streaming Servers
As part of our demo section, we provide a wide range of test-streams from the most popular encoders and streaming servers on the market to ensure compatibility and integration. We also provide our test live-streams which showcase time-shift/DVR functionalities and which are produced by our Bitmovin encoding system. You can also find High-Frame-Rate (HFR) content, as well as MPEG-CENC compliant Microsoft PlayReady, Apple Fairply, Adobe PrimeTime or Google Widevine content.
You can find the Bitmovin encoding and streaming server demonstration page here. You may also find our DRM test player useful for when you start working on your protected content.
University Klagenfurt, ITEC: DASH Dataset
This was the first MPEG-DASH dataset available, which was also updated to the current status of MPEG-DASH. It consists of full-movie-length content in up to 15 different quality representations with resolution up to 1080p. The content is available in different segment length versions from 1 to 15 seconds. As mentioned in our blog post on the optimal segment length, that is an important parameter in adaptive streaming systems.
Telecom ParisTech, GPAC: UHD HEVC DASH Dataset
This is a great UHD HEVC dataset, which includes several sequences shot during the 4Ever project. The DASH sequences provide HEVC encoding ranging from 720p30 @ 2Mbps up to 2160p60 @ 20 Mbps, with one 1080p60 and one 2160p60 in 10 bits.
University Klagenfurt, ITEC: Distributed DASH Dataset
This dataset takes some of the content from the DASH Dataset of ITEC, and makes it available on different mirrors worldwide. Currently there are 8 mirrors active around the world, which makes it possible to test multi-origin/multi-CDN, fail-over, multi-BaseURL, etc. scenarios.
YouTube, MPEG-DASH Sample Media
As previously mentioned, Youtube widely uses MPEG-DASH. The interesting thing here is that YouTube also uses WebM-based MPEG-DASH, therefore we can also find such test streams on their page. They also provide DRM protected content using MPEG-CENC and Widevine.
BBC R&D: MPEG-DASH Teststreams
The BBC is one of the first-movers on the MPEG-DASH side and have a very active development team. They also provide some test streams on their R&D website. The BBC has been using MPEG-DASh in production for several years now.
Bento4 sample MPEG-DASH streams
Also the popular open-source packaging software, bento4, provides some test streams produced by the software, using multiple qualities of the well-known Tears of Steel movie.
Microsoft Azure Teststreams
Microsoft and the Azure Media Services team are also very active in the DASH field, and support MPEG-DASH in their products such as Azure Media Services, IE11, etc. They also provide different test streams.
GPAC MPEG-DASH Dataset
This is a second MPEG-DASH dataset of the GPAC group at Telecom ParisTech. It includes MPEG-DASH test content using both ISO Base Media File Format as well as MPEG2-TS containers. This content is really convenient for testing audio/video sync.
Bitmovin’s OnDemand and Live MPEG-DASH & HLS Demostreams
With the Bitmovin cloud-encoding platform everybody can simply and easily create MPEG-DASH content within a few minutes. You can try it out by registering on the website. You get 10 encodings / 2.5 GB per month free encoding volume, that’s more than enough for generating a range of teststreams. You can also find a lot of teststreams on the website, e.g. High-Frame-Rate (HFR) content as well as Test-Livestreams.
We hope that this list provides you with a good overview of the available MPEG-DASH example test streams and datasets and helps you in your development and testing phase. Please feel free to send us additional MPEG-DASH test content sources. We are happy to extend the list and let it grow. Please also let us know if one of the sites is no longer online, so that we can remove it from the list.
Encode MPEG-DASH & HLS Content
Encode your content with the same technology as Netflix and YouTube in a way that it plays everywhere with low startup delay and no buffering. The Bitmovin cloud encoding server is not only the fastest in the industry, but it has a full set of capabilities including DRM, Multi-language, ads, subtitles 360° and much more. Sign up for a free trial and test it today.
This blog post was originally posted in April 2015, and was checked and updated with more streams and on the 10th November 2016.
Thanks and best,
Stefan from the Bitmovin Team
- Video Developer Report 2019
- DRM Whitepaper
- Cloud Encoding Datasheet
- Video Player Datasheet
- AV1 Datasheet