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ORTC Sender / Receiver Capabilities Proposal is a big deal for SVC

ORTC Logo

There is a some interesting activity regarding Sender / Receivers on both the WebRTC WG and the ORTC CG.  Robin Raymond of Hookflash (ORTC CG Editor and Chair), submitted this beauty over an hour ago. To me, this is where we begin to see some real benefits offered by an Object model that is not encumbered by SDP O/A.

Hint: SVC (Scalable Video Coding or Scalable Video Codec) becomes the norm, not the exception.

From Robin’s proposal…

Introduction After attempting to write out some use cases using the existing RTCRtpSender and RTCRtpReceiver objects and parameters for ORTC, some issues were discovered. Specifically, the application developer would need to have a fair amount of knowledge on exactly how to tweak low level parameters for anything beyond very simple use cases. For example, setting up an SVC (Scalable Video Codec) would have required knowing about what codecs support SVC, how the layering is setup for particular codecs, and finally setting up specific geometric (or temporal) attributes and layering relationship details by an application developer.

Robin also includes some great SVC use cases..

Alice wants to use a SVC (Scalable Video Codec) to send to Bob

This is for illustration purposes only. Typical benefits of SVC are
greater in conference scenarios rather than traditional point to point
scenarios. However, this scenario can presume that an intermedia
conferencing bridge would be between Alice and Bob.

Current Parameter Based API

Step 1: (Alice)

var senderCaps = RTCRtpSender.getCapabilities();

mySignal(senderCaps);

Step 2: (Bob)

var senderCaps = mysignal();

var receiverCaps = RTPRtcReceiver.getCapabilities();

Read the rest here…

H.264 has won the WebRTC codec debate

H.264 AVC for WebRTC
A few things have happened that lead me to believe that H.264 has already won the WebRTC codec debate, regardless of what was not decided in the IETF RTCWEB or W3C WGs…

 

– Cisco delivers Open Source H.264 Codec via OpenH264.org

– Google and Cisco demonstrate H.264 interop in Chrome

– WebRTC Source Code for H.264 implementation surfaces in the WebRTC Developer mail list

So it looks like Chrome will end up supporting H.264 = they will support both VP8 & 264

Mozilla / Firefox already said they will support both.

Apple seems to be getting more involved, my guess is that they will announce some level of WebRTC support for Safari at WWDC. If they do, they will also favor H.264.

Since ORTC will be compatible with WebRTC to some degree,  IE modern APIs group has indicated that ORTC is “under consideration”. Microsoft also seems to favor H.264.

That covers all the major browsers.

It feels like the MTI Video codec issue is a non-issue.

ORTC, WebRTC & Doohickeys

The ORTC CG is making great progress on many fronts and it looks like the conversation around RTPSenders & Receivers (formerly known as Doohickeys) is taking more shape in the WebRTC WG. They even have a name there now: RTCRTPSenders / Receivers. The WebRTC WG teleconference call today was far less controversial than I am used to, it felt like everyone is trying harder to get things done.

I am not convinced we need Constraints at all in 1.0, by the rumblings on the calls it seems as though I am not alone. You can see that conversation taking shape in the Working Group here:

http://lists.w3.org/Archives/Public/public-webrtc/2014Apr/

Here is a decent summary on the recent ORTC API update.

ORTC API – Editors Draft Update

ORTC - Object RTC

Current editor’s draft of the ORTC API has been published: http://ortc.org/wp-content/uploads/2014/04/ortc.html

The next ORTC CG meeting is scheduled for April 17, 2014 at 10am Pacific. For more information on the W3C ORTC Community Group meeting you will need to join the Community Group here.

 

The first ORCA CG meeting!

Here are the ORCA Community Group meeting details for our very first CG meeting.

Time: Thursday, February 20, 2014 10am Pacific (UTC−08:00)

Location: Hangouts

Agenda
===============
• Introduction to the CG
• Quick review of progress to date
• Overview of meeting objectives
– Existing proposals review
– New proposals & review
– API discussion
• Closing remarks
• Action items

NOTE: If you are on the public mail list but have not yet joined the Community Group but would like to attend the meeting you may certainly do so. However, if you are planning on making a contribution you will need to join the CG and make those contributions on the mail list.

Here is the link to the current CG participants and a link to join:
http://www.w3.org/community/orca/participants

Looking forward to seeing you!
/Erik

WebRTC, ORTC and OTT Comm

Too many phones!

There’s a lot of noise and plenty of dust getting kicked up around WebRTC these days. Every hour it seems there is another company announcing support for WebRTC or have built an app that uses the technology. In many cases it’s an extension to the existing offer, where WebRTC is leveraged as a web-based SIP softphone for instance.

For the love of Pete, does the world need yet another phone?

What does excite me is when I start thinking about the effects that WebRTC and ORTC will have on rich media OTT (Over The Top) communications moving forward.

If we look at the success of apps like Whatsapp, Tango, Viber, Voxer, Facebook Messenger etc etc these are all OTT applications that have already won in mobile communications. Placing a phone call, is nearly the last thing a teen or twenty-something user is looking to do with their phone. Just by pure observation, we can see this demographic using mobiles devices for messaging and now video chat more and more. Btw, this is the generation that will be leading our Enterprise companies in the not so distant future.

We know this, but we still insist on integrating old tech that does not seem to be accelerating in growth. Why? To answer my own question, “because lots of us continue to buy VoIP phones and SIP PBXs for our business”. And to that I say, good for you! But that is not the real opportunity for those developers who embrace WebRTC and ORTC.

WebRTC & ORTC will allow us to push the envelope and do things we can’t do today. And to do things we can do today but in a much more efficient and enjoyable manner.  Maybe RTC will find its way into social news, citizen journalism, or maybe media rich banking, healthcare and CRM apps, in your TV, mobile devices, browsers et al. The possibilities are nearly endless but one thing is quite clear, it’s not going to happen unless we change our current approach.

In order for WebRTC to win, in mobile, web and server-side. We will need a JavaScript friendly object model, not an Offer/Answer model based on telecom of old.  Even if you don’t share the same opinion, you owe it to yourself to take a look at what’s happening in the W3C ORCA Community Group.  For me, (and a bunch of others) there lies the future of WebRTC.

 

/Erik

For disclosure purposes, I am a co-author on the ORTC API and a co-founder at Hookflash .

H.264 / VP8 Debate & Object RTC Interview

Recently had an interview with Dave Michels on the MTI video codec debate and Object RTC. Greatly appreciate it Dave, thanks!

When I have questions about codecs and IETF standards, I turn to Erik Lagerway. I caught him in the midst of packing for his trip to the upcoming IETF 88 meeting. Erik was a co-founder of Xten Networks (now a part of CounterPath). His current endeavor, Hookflash, is right in the center of WebRTC. Erik co-wrote WEBRTC Object API, an IETF Informational Draft, and the Draft Report W3C ORTC.

More at TalkingPointz.com

Robin Raymond - Object RTC API Walkthrough

Robin did a bang-up job at the Object RTC Walkthrough yesterday, check out the slides and video recordings here.

Thanks again to Microsoft Open Technologies for sponsoring the room and refreshments!

ORTC Live Demo at IIT RTC Expo

IIT RTC Expo

Last week marked the first time the ORTC API was demonstrated in public.  Bernard Aboba (Microsoft) was joined by Robin Raymond (Hookflash) as they demonstrated an early prototype built on the ORTC API at the IIT RTC Expo in Chicago.

Adalberto Foresti (Principal Program Manager, Microsoft Open Technologies, Inc.) had this to say about ORTC…

Microsoft Open Technologies has re-worked our previous prototype and demo code to use ORTC. The prototype demonstrates how to support H.264/AVC video without SDP, by building the appropriate JavaScript code and without introducing any changes in the relevant parts of the ORTC specification. To be very clear, this is a first stab at an implementation, and better/faster/more stable versions are upcoming. The main objective is to determine that the W3C ORTC spec is easily implementable on top of existing stacks and usable by real Web developers.

You can get involved by downloading the prototype here, or join the discussion in the W3C ORTC Community Group and contribute code to implementations in the ORTC GitHub repository. We’re interested in your feedback on how to best achieve the industry’s shared goals for web-based realtime communications in the browser.

Microsoft joined the ORTC community and fully supports the ORTC approach, which is very consistent with our original CU-RTC-Web proposal.

In conclusion, the realtime communications over the Web community is moving toward the shared goal of simple, reliable, plugin-free real-time communications in the browser, and this prototype is an important step in the journey. It’s a first step, and we’ll continue to work with the community to improve its functionality, performance and stability.

read more…

Join the W3C Community Group and help cultivate open web concepts in RTC models.

First Draft: ORTC – Object API for WebRTC

ORTC API - Draft

The first ORTC API reference draft has been published as a report in the ORCA W3C Community Group today. This is the first step, one of many, in helping the WebRTC community understand the benefits of an object based API for WebRTC.  It is still early but we do hope this web-centric approach will be taken seriously by all looking to the future of WebRTC.  We welcome any and all feedback.

Robin Raymond, Chair of the ORCA Community Group – will be speaking on RTC Identity models at IIT RTC in Chicago next week.  If you are attending please check the agenda for the correct timing of this panel. Robin is always up for some good conversation around ORTC, Federated Identities & Open Peer.

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