Late last year I ran a survey asking respondents to choose whether DASH or HLS was the best ABR format going forward. The poll results are in and are shown below. Basically, a small majority preferred DASH over HLS. The reasons why are even more illuminating, and are presented below the survey results.
“Not sure why i wouldnt cover both options.”
“DASH also doesn’t work on OTT boxes like AppleTV and Roku, where HLS does. DASH does have support for VP9 though, which is a great quality / cost saver. We’ll see about HEVC in the future…”
“Its not a selection question there is a need to use both for complete coverage and it costs almost nothing to add one on top of the other when using cloud based encoding and delivery (CDN) services.”
“Don’t choose just one. choose wowza and be ready for all formats!” (editor’s note: not from a Wowza email address)
“DASH, but what I’d really like is MP4 fragments with a simpler manifest format than DASH.”
My take, which was incorporated into a column for Streaming media magazine that has not yet published, is very much in line with the first comment; Why not cover both options? It’s very simple these days to either repackage to both formats during encoding, or to use a product like Wowza Streaming Engine and package streams on the fly as necessary for the client. While issues like captioning and DRAM complicate these operations, for those using neither, packaging for both formats is relatively straightforward. So why not cover both options and send the best stream to each client?
Here’s a link to the original article with the pros and cons for both formats. Thanks to everybody who participated by either leaving a comment or by taking the survey.