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Media & Entertainment Activity

The Open Web Platform is Transforming Media Consumption

HTML5 logoThe Open Web Platform offers tremendous potential as the driver behind the transformation of the media industry. The platform forms the foundation of how video and audio is increasingly consumed and will continue to be in the future. The Media and Entertainment Interest Group was established to help affected parties shape this transformation and maintain a competitive advantage.

The Media & Entertainment Industry is Shaping the Web at W3C

With the creation of the Media and Entertainment Interest Group, W3C has brought stakeholders together to not just face these challenges but to help set the direction in which technological progress is made. The expertise of the members has resulted in requirements that have been adopted by the relevant Working Groups. This has led to innovative enhancements to the specifications that browser vendors and other Web implementors rely on, including:

  • HTML5 adaptive streaming: proposed and contributed to enabling adaptive streaming for HTML5 video, resulting in the Media Source Extensions (MSE) standard.
  • Protected content: proposed and contributed to enabling the delivery of protected content on the Web, resulting in the Encrypted Media Extensions (EME) specification.
  • Emmy award winning Captioning for the Web: Continuously improved captioning support on the Web through work on the Timed Text Markup Language (TTML) specification and profiles. This work received an Emmy ® Award in 2016.
  • Home networking: Explored network service discovery scenarios and helped related work in Second Screen WG on the Presentation API and Remote Playback specification.
  • HDR: Raised need to extend color support on the Web to take advantage of High-Dynamic Range (HDR) media content and Wide gamut color space.

Now is the time you can influence how media technologies on the Web evolve

Contact W3C to learn more about the benefits of W3C Membership, and join W3C Members that shape the way media is created, controlled and consumed on the Web:

  • Broadcasters
  • Cable, telecom, multiple service operators
  • Chipset and device manufacturers
  • Browser and software vendors
  • Technology providers and research labs
  • Content providers and movie studios
  • … and others!

What's next for media and entertainment on the Web

  • Baseline for media applications

    TVs are tested and certified as a matter of course. The Web platform evolves on a continuous basis. What is the baseline that device implementations need to support at a given point in time to be part of the Open Web? The Web Media API Community Group, initiated by the CTA WAVE project, develops such a baseline.

  • Audio support

    Media elements in HTML5 and the Web Audio API enable audio processing and rendering on the Web. They need to be extended e.g. to address advanced spatialization scenarios, in particular with the advent of Head Mounted Displays used in Virtual Reality. The Audio Working Group discusses version 2.0 of the Web Audio API.

  • Improved Media distribution

    Cross-browser support for the Media Source Extensions (MSE) standard means unicast has become the main mechanism to distribute media content on the Web. The upcoming version of MSE, under incubation in the Web Platform Incubator Community Group, adds support for codec switching, which will notably enable ad-insertion scenarios.

    Other distribution mechanisms are being used or tested to lower distribution latency, improve scaling, and/or reduce streaming costs, including the use of WebRTC technologies (e.g. in peer-to-peer CDN) or push mechanisms to enable multicast distribution. The Media and Entertainment Interest Group discusses the scope of potential renewed standardization efforts in that area.

  • Second screen support

    The Presentation API and the Remote Playback API expose second screens to web applications but interoperability between screens can only be achieved provided the industry agrees on a common set of protocols for second screen support. The Second Screen Community Group discusses such an Open Screen Protocol.

  • HDR / Wide gamut color space support

    As HDR devices become widespread, the Web platform needs to allow use of extended color spaces across the board (in CSS, Canvas and media playback) to take advantage of these capabilities. The Color on the Web Community Group was created to explore use cases and inform W3C specification work.

  • Immersive Web

    With the advent of Head Mounted Displays and the popularity of 360° and 3D cameras, media scenarios naturally extend to immersive scenarios that give the user additional degrees of freedom. The Immersive Web Community Group develops specifications to expose XR devices to Web applications.

  • Games on the Web

    WebAssembly exposes brings C++ power to Web applications. The GPU for the Web Community Group develops a modern interface between the Web platform and so-called video cards. The WebXR Device API exposes head-mounted displays. These technologies, combined with the Gamepad API, Pointer Lock, Web technologies behind Progressive Web Applications (PWA), and the ability to make payments on the Web (without having to go through an application store) are turning the Web into a competitive platform for immersive and highly performant games.