ISM Alliance

The Internet Streaming Media Alliance

What's This?

What's This?

Hi there – Looking for the Internet Streaming Media Alliance? Well, you're in the right place, but it's been a long time and a lot has changed. Long story short, the ISMA merged with other collectives and changed names a few times, and it's now operating as the Hybrid broadcast broadband TV (HbbTV for short); you can visit the official website here. Alternatively, you can also check out other related and relevant websites to it right here on this page before you go, if you'd like.

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Alternative Websites

OpenStand: Principles For The Modern Standard Paradigm

OpenStand is dedicated to promoting and encouraging market-driven standards that are global and open, which drives innovation for the benefit of humanity at large – standards which have led to the Internet and the Web as we know it today. Learn more about why this matters for you, for your organization, and the people you serve; get access to resources such as presentations, videos, whitepapers, and infographics, and learn what you can do to get involved.

Open Mobile Alliance

Established in 2002, the OMA is a non-profit organization that is focused on developing and promoting interoperable services that work across platforms, devices, and geographical boundaries, encouraging wider and easier innovation, development, and adoption of new technologies such as mobile services and the Internet of Things (IoT). Get the latest news and events; look up specifications, standards, and technologies; and see how you can benefit by becoming a member. You can also get in touch with the Open Mobile Alliance on Facebook, Twitter, Linkedin, and YouTube.

DASH Industry Forum

The DASH Industry Forum is a collective of companies such as Apple, Microsoft, and Qualcomm (and more) dedicated to the promotion, adoption, and continued development of MPEG-DASH as the adaptive streaming standard of choice for the world. Learn more about the value and importance of MPEG DASH and what it means for end-users, content creators, and companies in both experience and cost-benefits. You can also find the DASH Industry Forum on Twitter.

Streaming Media provides the latest news for industry professionals, including audio and video content, research, upcoming events and conferences, and a variety of other features and services. You can also connect to Streaming Media on Facebook, Twitter, Linkedin, Google+, and YouTube. is focused on being the most complete source of information for startups and emerging companies regarding standards, standard setting, and open source software and its value and benefits. This is also a site that serves academics, journalists, policy makers, and anyone looking to form, manage, or participate in organizations that fall within the above scope.


Internet privacy rules: What you need to know

The Hill's David McCade breaks down what the new, proposed Internet privacy rules the FCC is looking to consider cover and what they might mean for everybody involved.

Will the First Amendment survive the information age?

Poynter's Anders Gyllenhaal considers five key questions and what these might mean for today's Internet-using public and the companies that rely on big data and connectivity for business.

Net Neutrality Is in More Danger Than Ever

Despite support from the FCC, the battle for net neutrality is far from over – and it may even be in more danger one year later; Wired's Klint Finley reports.

Ignoring cable industry protest, FCC says it will “unlock the set-top box”

Ars Technica's Jon Brodkin writes about the FCC's plans to push forward with empowering consumers with more choice when it comes to Cable Television.

The FCC wants to blow up the cable box. Here's what its proposal will (and won’t) do

TechHive's Jared Newman breaks down what the FCC's Cable TV consumer-empowering proposal involves and what it could mean for end users in the United States.

You and I live in an age where technology is an inescapable – essentially inextricable – part of life. We rely on technology in just about everything we do: from the seemingly mundane day-to-day things such as cooking meals or using light, down to the mobile phones and devices that we can seemingly no longer do without (try going without a mobile phone for an hour or so and have someone count how often your hand drifts down to your pocket to grab it without your even thinking about it!).

Technology and Us, Past and Present

The technological affordances that we all enjoy today where at some point in time thought up and developed by one or a group of brilliant minds attempting to solve a problem or make an existing solution more efficient: we all benefited when we went from candlelight to electrically-powered light; as the decades of the last century went by, video content went from low-quality and on a blink-and-you-miss-it schedule to ridiculously high-definition and on-demand; and we've gone from single-purpose, immovable telephones for long-distance communication to pocketable computers with the ability to help us communicate with others in a wide variety of ways (let's face it, what we call smartphones are actually proper computers with an out-of-the-box app that lets us make phone calls).

How Many Times Will The Wheel Have To Be Reinvented?

Now think about this for a moment: we are able to connect with just about anyone, anywhere, using many devices, devices made by different companies with different philosophies and ways of doing things (who also happen to be competing with each other, for the most part).

In the past, there have been quite a number of instances where everyone had apparently had the same brilliant idea and developed the next big thing in technology and have had to have words with each other about the entire thing (just to oversimplify it). When the telephone was invented, there were disputes between Antonio Meucci, Johann Philipp Reis, Alexander Graham Bell, and a few others as to who actually invented it first, with Bell eventually being granted the master patent in the United States; everything began to settle down around that, and today we enjoy “voice transmissions over a wire” [and beyond] ubiquitously. Years after the initial disputes, everything gradually got sorted, and people settled on what ways to do which things with that technology, and now it all works quite nicely.

Fast-forward to the 1990's, when the Internet was slowly making its way into homes and offices around the globe. The standards for the network infrastructure had by then been settled. On the user end of things, though, in order to connect to the Internet, you had to pick a browser, and unlike today, it makes more than just a small difference what browser you picked – back then it was practically a battle between Microsoft's Internet Explorer and Netscape Navigator. If you used one, some websites wouldn't render properly because it was designed to be seen on the other, and vice-versa. This meant that it was twice as hard to build a good webpage that serves all users an equally good experience – it would cost more, take more time, and was just painful to do.

This went on for a while, then some in the industry decided that this wasn't the best way to go about doing things, and they went on to get everyone involved to settle on a standard way of doing things so that everyone could save time, money, and energy and still be able to deliver a good web browsing experience where everybody wins; they came together and decided to develop standards – Open Standards.

Regarding standards, Dave Kjendal writes:

“Standards ultimately allow us to build solutions more rapidly, with better pricing structures and better longevity in the market.”

As the Internet grew, so did the number of people, companies, and countries relying on it on a day-to-day basis. Many realized the need for open standards, which would make developing great devices, applications, and services that you and I use easy, and that these could communicate with any other of their competitors without any problems. It would be good for the users – the clients – and it would make it easier for companies and governments to continue to develop and improve all of these and roll the benefits out to everyone involved.

Some of the biggest companies in the world came together with their competitors in order to find and develop mutually beneficial ways of doing things that allow them to continue to innovate without risking having redundant, competing technologies that do the same thing yet fragment the market.

With what result?

Open Standards – Good For Business Because These Are Good For Users

Today, it's become easier to create and experience beautiful web sites and pages, regardless of what device or web browser you use, thanks to the work of the World Wide Web Consortium (W3C). We're now also having an easier time watching high-resolution videos on the Internet on-demand, right away, thanks to the work of the Internet Streaming Media Alliance (a non-profit founded by Apple Computer, Cisco Systems, Sun Microsystems, and others) and its successors (the most recent being Hybrid broadcast broadband TV). It used to be the case that before standardization was set, you needed to download a different set of plugins and go through a few hoops and whatnot before being able to watch or play a video, all of these varying from website to website (remember Realplayer, Quicktime, and a bunch of other ways video could be played online back then?); today, you just head over to a website, click play, and you sit back and watch – done.

These are just some of the bigger examples that show open standards at work. It makes everything easier: it's easier to create and develop new things using open standards; it's easier to scale up if you need to support growth; and it's easier to connect and enable interconnection between devices, services, companies, and countries, which means the users benefit, which also usually means the businesses benefit. We are able to innovate and refine faster, because we have more minds coming together to work and solve problems and develop solutions together.

So the next time you make a Skype call from your desktop to a phone somewhere else in the world, or the next time you click play on a YouTube or Vimeo video, be it on a tablet or a laptop, remember how much easier it is now, thanks to the power of working with open standards – and let's all make sure to keep advocating for and working with 'em.

About the Author: Andre Salvatierra is a freelance writer who loves culture, technology, well-designed things, and great experiences. You can find him on Medium and Twitter.