Software Defined Networks (SDN), when combined with Network Function Virtualization (NFV) represents a paradigm shift in how future networks will behave and be managed. SDN’s are expected to provide the underpinning technologies for future innovations such as 5G mobile networks and the Internet of Everything. The SDN architecture offers features that facilitate an abstracted and centralized global network view in which packet forwarding or dropping decisions are based on application flows. Software Defined Networks facilitate a wide range of network management tasks, including the adaptation of real-time video streams as they traverse the network. SHVC, the scalable extension to the recent H.265 standard is a new video encoding standard that supports ultra-high definition video streams with spatial resolutions of up to 7680×4320 and frame rates of 60fps or more. The massive increase in bandwidth required to deliver these U-HD video streams dwarfs the bandwidth requirements of current high definition (HD) video. Such large bandwidth increases pose very significant challenges for network operators. In this paper we go substantially beyond the limited number of existing implementations and proposals for video streaming in SDN’s all of which have primarily focused on traffic engineering solutions such as load balancing. By implementing and empirically evaluating an SDN enabled Media Adaptation Network Entity (MANE) we provide a valuable empirical insight into the benefits and limitations of SDN enabled video adaptation for real time video applications. The SDN-MANE is the video adaptation component of our Video Quality Assurance Manager (VQAM) SDN control plane application, which also includes an SDN monitoring component to acquire network metrics and a decision making engine using algorithms to determine the optimum adaptation strategy for any real time video application flow given the current network conditions. Our proposed VQAM application has been implemented and evaluated on an SDN allowing us to provide important benchmarks for video streaming over SDN and for SDN control plane latency.