DASH stands for Dynamic Adaptive Streaming over HTTP, and it’s MPEG spec that was unanimously ratified on December 2, 2011. What is DASH? As I open in my article What is MPEG DASH for Streaming Media Magazine:
MPEG DASH (Dynamic Adaptive Streaming over HTTP) is a developing ISO Standard (ISO/IEC 23009-1) that should be finalized by early 2012. As the name suggests, DASH is a standard for adaptive streaming over HTTP that has the potential to replace existing proprietary technologies like Microsoft Smooth Streaming, Adobe Dynamic Streaming, and Apple HTTP Live Streaming (HLS). A unified standard would be a boon to content publishers, who could produce one set of files that play on all DASH-compatible devices.
What’s this mean now that DASH is ratified? Hard to tell, since Apple and Adobe haven’t disclosed whether they’ll support it, and browser vendor Mozilla has said they will not-so much for simplifying adaptive streaming to HTML5 browsers. It’s also unclear whether using DASH will give rise to royalties. You can read all about the issues that I found in the What is MPEG DASH article.
My editor at Streaming Media, Eric Schumacher-Rasmussen, wrote a great summary of MPEG DASH’s future in his column, MPEG DASH’s Future: Unified Format or DASHed Hopes? It’s a great way to get up to speed on all the technical and practical issues surrounding DASH.