About DASH Streaming

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MPEG-DASH (Short for “Dynamic Adaptive Streaming over HTTP) is an HTML5-based streaming standard that is supported by JW Player 7 Premium licenses and higher.1 More information on this standard and its functionality is available here.

1DRM only available in Enterprise or Ads licenses.

Similar to other streaming technologies like HLS, DASH relies on manifest files. Rather than using M3U8 files, DASH uses XML-based MPD manifests. These MPD files then direct the DASH provider to the different pieces of a particular media stream, which are then selectively chosen and played. This selection is based on criteria such as available user bandwidth.

These MPD files also allow for great flexibility in regards to independent quality of video and audio. Bandwidth and quality information is also stored within MPD manifests to assist with adaptive selection by the DASH provider.

It is worth also noting that MPEG DASH is codec-agnostic, and will therefore work with files encoded in h.264/AAC or vp8/vorbis. The ability to play these streams in HTML5 therefore rests in the browser itself. This document will be referring to DASH 264, as it is more widespread across desktop and mobile. Browsers that support MPEG DASH 264 via HTML5

  Desktop Browsers Mobile Browsers
Chrome 23+ 34+ (Android 4.2+)
Firefox*** 45+ -
Internet Explorer* 11+ 8.1+
Safari** - -
Android Browser N/A -

*Requires Windows 8.1+
**Support Pending

***Requires JW Player 7.4.2, or higher

Features currently supported with JW Player 7 DASH:

  • Byte Range Requests - While it is possible to split a stream into multiple short fragmented files similar to HLS, DASH also supports quality changes across single larger files with Byte Range requests. Note: This is only supported with VOD and not with live content.
  • DRM - As of version 7.3, JW Player has support for both Widevine and Playready DRM options.
    • Widevine: A Chrome-specific DRM option that is supported by JW Player 7.0+
    • PlayReady: Microsoft's DRM solution, supported by Internet Explorer 11 and Edge in JW Player 7.3+
    For more information on DRM configuration, please see our article using MPEG DASH.

Upcoming features with JW Player 7 DASH:

  • Captions - JW Player 7.0 supports captions with sideloaded VTT files for VOD sources. Embedding captions into a VOD/Live manifest itself will be supported in a future release.
  • Multiple Audio tracks - Currently, different audio tracks can not be manually selected. This feature will be coming in a future release.

Additional tools and information

  • Manifest Validator - A third party tool that checks that a DASH manifest or video file is correctly structured and encoded. In order to get a stream functional JW Player 7, it should validate here.
  • How to do MPEG DASH Streaming - A helpful guide from Wowza about getting your stream encoded and playing in the DASH format.

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