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BBC tests adaptive HD streaming to connected devices - 22-June-2011, 13:40

As it looks to support to support a wider range of connected devices for iPlayer streams, the BBC has revealed that is has embarked on testing high definition HTTP adaptive bit rate video streaming.

The aim of the test is to provide a better service for iPlayer over the top (OTT) online video users and make its infrastructure simpler and more efficient and according to a blog by Andy Armstrong , Technical Architect for Programmes and On Demand, adaptive bit rate HTTP streaming may be the candidate technology that supports this aim.

The test will be based on feeds of the Wimbledon tennis tournament and the BBC will be using Adobe HTTP Dynamic Streaming supporting bit rates of 416k, 624k, 944k, 1408k, 2112k and 3168k and a maximum resolution of 1280x720 (720p HD).

Live events, and sports particular, is regarded as a good test bed for such activity given that the media player has to adapts to the available bandwidth and display the highest possible quality video without lagging too far behind the live action as it tries to buffer downloaded video.

The BBC has been testing the adaptive streaming technology since February and has now advanced to the stage where it needs an external representative audience to conclude its findings. To this end it has constructed a test page from which it is welcoming feedback.


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