[foms] MPEG TS streams and patents

Mark Watson watsonm at netflix.com
Mon Dec 13 09:38:55 PST 2010


I would not recommend using Transport Streams - and not just because of the possible IPR.

MPEG DASH supports both MPEG2 TS and MP4 file formats. It doesn't mandate either and you could easily specify how the DASH manifest could be used with a different file format such as WebM, provided the file format has the necessary features. There is also nothing mandated in DASH which is specific to a particular media codec, though obviously MPEG tries hardest to provide support for MPEG codecs.

In any adaptive streaming standard, manifest format, media file format and media codecs should be decoupled as far as possible.

Most important for adaptive streaming is agreement on the file format and general data model. Specific manifest format is secondary, because if you have an agreed data model it can easily be mapped into your favorite format.

IMO, a good way for someone to completely kill MPEG DASH would be to attempt to charge royalties - there are "free" alternatives. Everyone I have spoken to on the committee understands this and I have not heard any talk about folding DASH into any patent pools (existing or new).

I can't say for certain that noone will, but it makes no sense for people to invest in developing a standard and then to take action which they know will kill it. I think it very likely it will end up with the same status as ISO Base Media File format, which is widely used without IPR issues.

Obviously, though, you have to make your own judgements: "Mark thinks it is very likely..." means exactly what it says.


On Dec 13, 2010, at 5:21 AM, Jeroen Wijering wrote:

> Hello all,
> Just to be sure, a transport stream is also a patent encumbered format, correct? So packing up VP8 / Vorbis into TS fragments for adaptive streaming would not be an open solution? It looks like transport streams are part of either the MPEG2 or MPEG2 Systems pool from MPEG-LA. See the PTS/DTS/PAT/PMT references: 
> http://www.mpegla.com/main/programs/m2/Documents/m2CrossRefChart.pdf
> http://www.mpegla.com/main/programs/m2s/Documents/m2sCrossRefChart.pdf 
> Thinking forward, would this mean MPEG DASH is also a no-go as an adaptive streaming standard? It seems to rely heavily on TS / MP4 / AVC. In turn, DASH might also be folded into one of the MPEG LA pools. Does anybody know more about this?
> Kind regards,
> Jeroen
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