Wowza Media Systems, which originally introduced a low cost server to support Flash video, subsequently extended to support a wide variety of devices and displays, is the latest company to back the MPEG-DASH streaming standard. This attempts to avoid the fragmentation of adaptive bitrate streaming formats, one of the major challenges facing online video providers, through a unified standard that can support multiple encryption schemes. Demonstrated at the NAB Show in Las Vegas, the latest release of the popular Wowza Media Server includes a network recorder add on and the ability to add dynamic overlays on transcoded video.

Wowza Media Server 3.1 supports streaming live and on-demand media in many formats, including Adobe Flash, Microsoft Smooth Streaming and Apple HLS, to a wide variety of network connected devices and displays. Wowza is also planning to back the MPEG-DASH standard for dynamic adaptive streaming over hypertext transfer protocols.

The Wowza nDVR AddOn, now out of beta, is a live stream cache that stores media in a normalised format accessible to Wowza Media Server for time-shifted delivery to any supported screen. It includes trick-play features such as live stream pause, rewind and resume, and enables media publishers and service providers to develop catchup services.

A new dynamic transcoder overlay feature supports compositing of text, images, motion graphics and secondary video sources onto streams passing through the Wowza Transcoder AddOn, enabling dynamic insertion of advertising, titling, graphics or picture-in-picture video.

An audio only option also allows lower cost transcoding of incoming streams into multiple adaptive bitrate stream sets and other streaming formats.

“Wowza continues to focus media delivery by reducing the complexity and expense resulting from a multitude of client-specific platforms, adaptive bitrate technologies, and proprietary media players,” said Dave Stubenvoll, the chief executive and co-founder of the company, based in Evergreen, Colorado.

Wowza has become a member of the MPEG-DASH Promoters Group, a new industry consortium promoting the adoption of the international standard.

Dash-PG believes the use of this open international standard will enable interoperability between content preparation tools, servers, content distribution networks and end devices and so reduce the cost of delivery and accelerate the growth of the online video market.

Other Dash-PG members demonstrating MPEG-DASH solutions at NAB include Akamai, Dolby, Envivio, Ericsson, Harmonic, RGB Networks and Thomson Video Networks.