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Streaming Media Consortium Offers ISMA 2.0 Specification

(April 17, 2005)

The Internet Streaming Media Alliance (ISMA), the global organization whose mission it is to accelerate the adoption and deployment of open standards for streaming rich media over Internet protocols, today made publicly available the final version of its next generation specification, ISMA 2.0. A draft of the specification was announced earlier this year for public review and comment.

   ISMA 2.0 incorporates advanced codec technology for audio and video applications, Internet protocols for streaming and file formats for storage. The specification defines a standards-based approach to developing products for the streaming multimedia market. Following the widely adopted ISMA 1.0 specification, ISMA 2.0 is yet another step in constructing a set of industry-approved protocols to promote product interoperability throughout the content delivery chain, and eliminate confusion in the marketplace. 

   Improved Quality, Greater Scalability, Reliable Protocols 

   For video, ISMA 2.0 has adopted MPEG-4 part 10, also known as ITU H.264 or AVC. AVC guarantees greater quality at various bit rates and over multiple connection types, making it the most advanced video encoding and decoding technology available. This is evidenced by the myriad applications world-wide using AVC technology to broadcast live video and deliver content over devices ranging from mobile handhelds to set-top boxes to personal computers, over a broad spectrum of bandwidths.

   Also adopted in ISMA 2.0 is the High Efficiency AAC audio codec, or HE AAC, which offers multi-channel support and the best quality available for very low bit rates. When used together, AVC and HE AAC offer endless possibilities across the digital spectrum, from IPTV to mobile devices. In addition to new codec technology, ISMA 2.0 integrates proven, reliable formats for both content delivery over IP -- utilizing RTP/RTSP -- and multimedia file storage, endorsing the industry standard MP4 file format. 

   Interoperability Across the Entire Video Ecosystem 

   "The ISMA family of multimedia streaming specifications forms an ecosystem for the content delivery solution, from content creators to media players," said Yuval Fisher, ISMA Technical Integration Board Member from Envivio. "The specification cuts through confusing choices for audio and video codec profiles and levels, the multiple choices for network protocols and signaling, and establishes the interoperability points to assure robust delivery of audio and video over IP in a multi-vendor environment." Ultimately, compliance to the specifications gives consumers a better experience in terms of audio and video quality, network delivery, and multi-vendor choice.

   ISMA member companies participated in extensive interoperability testing, known within the alliance as plug-fests, to ensure their products comply with the new specification. The alliance promotes a formal certification program, the ISMA Conformance Program, and will issue a call for participants for the next test cycle to validate compliance with ISMA 2.0. Fisher states, "We believe a critical part of promoting a standard is to offer an accessible forum for testing the solutions we support. In the end, we gain from greater transparency and more choice for our vendors and customers, while we move the industry forward in a direction that benefits everyone, not just one or two companies."

   The ISMA 2.0 specification is available for download at

   More information about ISMA and its recent initiatives may be found during an all-day conference session at NAB 2005 entitled "The Video Ecosystem" on April 17, in the Las Vegas Convention Center, room S220. ISMA is also a sponsor of the New Media Reception, which will be held on Monday evening, April 18, from 6:00-8:00 p.m. 

   About the Internet Streaming Media Alliance (ISMA) 

   Founded in December 2000, the Internet Streaming Media Alliance is a non-profit corporation whose mission is to accelerate the adoption and deployment of open standards for streaming rich media content such as video, audio, and associated data, over Internet protocols. ISMA is a diverse alliance with representatives from all points of the streaming workflow. Members include Act, Inc., America Online, Analog Devices, Apple Computer, California State University at Fresno, Case Western Reserve University, Cisco Systems, Coding Technologies, ContentGuard, DMDsecure, Dolby Laboratories, Envivio, France Telecom, Fraunhofer Institute, Fujitsu, Hewlett-Packard, Hitachi, IBM, Inka Entworks, Philips Electronics, Standby Program, Sun Microsystems, Telecom Italia, University of Washington, VBrick Systems, Widevine Technologies, and WIS Technologies. For more information visit the ISMA website at


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Related Keywords:Internet Streaming Media Alliance, ISMA 2.0


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