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Happy World Standards Day 2019 from Everyone at Bitmovin!

Co- Founder Feature: Happy World Standards Day 2019 – Video Standards Create a Global Stage

Today, October 14, 2019, we celebrate the World Standards Day, “the day honors the efforts of the thousands of experts who develop voluntary standards within standards development organizations” (SDOs). Many SDOs such as W3CIETFITUISO (incl. JPEG and MPEG) celebrate this with individual statements, highlighting the importance of standards and interoperability in today’s information and communication technology landscape. Interestingly, this year’s topic for the World Standards Day within ISO is about video standards creating a global stage. Similarly, national bodies of ISO provide such statements within their own country, e.g., the A.S.I. statement can be found here (note: in German). I have also blogged about the World Standards Day in 2017.

The numbers for video content created, distributed (incl. delivery, streaming, …), processed, consumed, etc. increases tremendously and, actually, more than 60 percent of today’s world-wide internet traffic is attributed to video streaming. For example, almost 700,000 hours of video are watched on Netflix and 4.5 million videos are viewed on YouTube within a single internet minute in 2019. Videos are typically compressed (or encoded) prior to distribution and are decompressed (or decoded) before rendering on potentially a plethora of heterogeneous devices. Such codecs (portmanteau of coder-decoder) are subject to standardization and with AVC and HEVC (jointly developed by ISO/IEC MPEG and ITU-T VCEG) we have two successful standards which even have been honored with Primetime Engineering Emmy Awards.

Img Source: Sandvine, Sep 10, 2019.

With this vast industry (and growing) looking to adopt standards to drive the future, we celebrate the creators, the innovators, and those looking for global digital solutions! Within Austria, we at Bitmovin drive to help this innovation – most recently earning the award for Living Standards in 2017 for our contribution to the MPEG-DASH standard, which enables dynamic adaptive streaming over HTTP. This standard (4th iteration to launch any day!) is now heavily deployed and has been adopted within massive products and services such as Netflix, Amazon Prime Video, YouTube, etc.

Standardization can be both source for and sink of research activities, i.e., development of efficient algorithms conforming to existing standards or research efforts leading to new standards. One example of such research efforts just recently started at the Institute of Information Technology (ITEC) at Alpen-Adria-Universität Klagenfurt (AAU) as part of the ATHENA (AdapTive Streaming over HTTP and Emerging Networked MultimediA Services) project. The aim of this project is to research and develop novel paradigms, approaches, (prototype) tools and evaluation results for the phases (i) multimedia content provisioning (video coding), (ii) content delivery (video networking), (iii) content consumption (player) in the media delivery chain, and (iv) end-to-end aspects, with a focus on, but not being limited to, HTTP Adaptive Streaming (HAS).

The SDO behind these standards is MPEG (officially ISO/IEC JTC 1/SC 29/WG 11), which has a proven track record of producing very successful standards (not only those mentioned as examples above) and Bitmovin is happy to be part of these efforts resulting into innovative products and services

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For other great reads about the state of the industry and video standards, check out the following links:

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Dr. Christian Timmerer is the Head of Research and a co-founder at Bitmovin. His work focuses on cutting edge video streaming solutions for the web, like MPEG-DASH and HEVC, and making higher resolution video, like Ultra-HD, easily accessible to the consumers. Timmerer is an active member of ISO/IEC MPEG and editor for the MPEG-21, MPEG-M, MPEG-V, and MPEG-DASH standard, and thus has also a wide range of knowledge, overview and contacts within the international technology market. In his position of Associate Professor at the Alpen-Adria University Klagenfurt he had published more than 200 papers at international conferences and journals.