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What to hope for from the Alliance for Open Media

Topic of the month covered by WebRTC “activists”

For this month the topic is: With the announcement of the Alliance for Open Media what do you hope to see as the outcome of this and what do you view as a practical one.

Open Media

Starting with my opinion on this topic.

Amir Zmora

Link: TheNewDialTone

In April Dan Burnett & I talked about the NETVC initiative at the IETF. Now the Alliance for Open Media was announced and given the participating company it is fair to have hopes for good things to come out of it. Real-time communications and WebRTC specifically are just a narrow view of this much bigger thing, how will video run on the Web.

The challenge with video codes is twofold:

Business – avoiding the royalties and patent licensing costs. This is mandatory in today’s Web world as the cost may just kill new innovation that involve masses of users

Technical – having multiple codecs and support for only some of them based on camps (usually big companies) means there is a need for heavy lifting video transcoding

This is a good initiative but change will not come overnight.

Alan Quayle

Link: Alan Quayle

Fingers crossed for AOMedia, it may short-circuit the ‘Civil War’ WebRTC was facing in the coming years. In my work with telcos I make this point often, “the web has won, now get with the program.” Video transmission has a long history, hence there are lots of legacy business models. AOMedia has the potential to “get the video business with the web program.” And regardless, the video services I use are in AOMedia, so it really doesn’t matter what the legacy guys try to do, they have go where their customers go. The web has won.

Tsahi Levent-Levi

Link: BlogGeek.me

The Alliance for Open Media is a surprising and positive development. Who would have thought these rivals could come to terms about about something like video coding, doing it with a free royalties model attached to it. In order to make a dent, this alliance must attract the chipset manufacturers – they are the ones with the real work here as they need to include hardware acceleration for this new video codec in the process – something that Google’s VP8 was always criticized of lacking. I wrote a longer analysis of this topic here: https://bloggeek.me/webrtc-codec-wars-rebooted/

 Sorell Slaymaker

Link: Gartner

An opensource, royalty free, video codec that is robust and efficient is what the industry is looking for and the objective of this alliance.  While there is a high probability that this alliance will be successful, it will take 5-7 years to significantly displace the existing video codecs.  This is a long time in web years, so the industry will continue to have video interoperability challenges, which some businesses profit from.  The alliance should expand into areas outside of technology companies and include industries such as adult entertainment to help drive quicker adoption.

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Things We Talked About at WebRTC 2014

Many things were discussed last week at the WebRTC Conference & Expo. One thing I noticed when doing show of hands was a beginning of expansion of the audience from telecom only to other areas. To my surprise, a non-neglectable number of hands were raised when I asked to know who are not coming from telecom oriented companies but rather from Web companies.

Topics discussed covered a range of areas from general WebRTC standard and technology to Telecom and enterprise specific ones.

TAKE THE CONFERENCE FEEDBACK SURVEY NOW!

I included some of these topics in the audience survey and closing panel. The presentation with the survey results can be fond below. I would like to discuss 2 out of these topics.

 

The panel moderated by myself included: Chad Hart (WebRTC Hacks & Dialogic), Douglas Tait (Oracle), Gilles Duboué (Alcatel-Lucent), Chris Koehncke (&yet), Sebastian Schumann (Slovak Telekom)

Are there still WebRTC roadblocks?

It was interesting to see the audience response compared to the opinion of the panel.

The question was designed to be controversial by intention as I put several of the issues discussed during the conference in one option. The audience played along and almost 80% voted for this option.

The panel on the other hand didn’t fall for this and followed the line of, there will always be issues, this can’t be a reason to hold back. In this case, I agree with the panel. There are always issues; ORTC was one of the topics brought up by many people as a concern. This and the video codec came up in several discussions I had with customers. Having said that, these concerns will be solved as issues will arise, they can’t be an excuse why not to use the technology.

Are there any roadblocks for WebRTC to be ubiquitous

Is WebRTC ready for mobile?

WebRTC for mobile is still a concern of many people. There are several options how to tackle this, options differ based on specific needs and device OS. This is why I decided to give a presentation about this at the conference (details of it will be published on Tuesday on my blog TheNewDialTone).

Most of the audience replied to this question either saying iOS is still an issue or that an SDK is the right option to take.

How do you view the readiness of WebRTC for Android and iOS

I believe it is less important what is the “correct” answer but rather to understand the general perception people have on WebRTC for mobile.

WebRTC support on mobile devices is a topic that needs to be solved in a better way during 2015.

More about the conference can be found in my summary.

Looking forward to hearing your feedback about the conference and what are your expectations for next year.

TAKE THE CONFERENCE FEEDBACK SURVEY NOW!

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WebRTC Survey – Results Are Here

Many views are expressed about WebRTC; What is the killer app? What is it that stops its proliferation? Which should be the mandatory video codec?…

Lately, TheNewDialTone together with Upperside, we came out with a survey to learn more about the WebRTC market status. Now is the time to share the results.

I’ll start off with an apology, the survey was closed last week and this post was going live, then we discovered that someone has played with the results by inserting a large amount of responses in a way that made it clear that these are not authentic responses. Unfortunately Survey Monkey doesn’t have any basic security means like Captcha or identification of strange response behaviors. Maybe it was that Amazon Gift Card that was tempting this person or maybe just a strong desire to play with the survey results. Anyway, all fake results had to be manually removed, something that took a bit of time.

The complete and detailed results can be found in this presentation. In this post I would like to take a closer look at a few of them.

Making it easy to add voice & video communication to applications

If you dumb down WebRTC to the very basic thing that it brings, that is a great media engine. Anyone who had to go through the experience of building a voice & video client or service knows all the headaches it takes, and it is a never-ending story as you need to improve quality continuously. The first question of the survey was looking at what companies have used before WebRTC was available.

WebRTC Survey Results Q1

There were different approaches used to build voice and video communications into an application, self development was less common as it required to license some components, develop others and integrate them into one nicely working client. Hard work.

Putting aside the move to the Web and no download, compiling WebRTC into your application is a savior.

Where will WebRTC have the most significant impact?

The interesting thing is not so much what people voted for but rather what they didn’t vote for and that is service provider. I believe that the webification of communications will impact service providers in 2 ways:

  • It will move communication previously handled by the service provider to other places
  • Those that will jump on the WebRTC wagon will be able to create services and platforms that will enable them to build new asymmetric business models.

WebRTC Survey Results Q3

Microsoft & WebRTC

The survey came out just after Microsoft announced their plans to support WebRTC (ORTC, H.264) so it was interesting to hear people’s thought about this and the video codec.

Since then, Skype for Web was announced and things moved on in the IEFT toward a decision (or a decision not to decide to compromise).

People were really worried about the fragmentation in video codec and preferred both to be supported. Should they still be worried? That really depends on how this decision will be implemented in browsers and mobile devices. My guess, we haven’t seen the end of it yet.

WebRTC Survey Results Q4

WebRTC Survey Results Q5

There are more interesting results so make sure to take a look at this presentation with the complete information.

I do want to touch 2 more questions that will be reviewed by Tsahi and myself in December during the WebRTC conference in Paris.

WebRTC API Platforms

We had a Webinar about this topic and Tsahi will be moderating a panel about the topic during the conference.

The response to the question – In what cases would you choose to use a WebRTC API platform? – was not a big surprise. I was hoping to have more votes for the third option, specific services in the cloud. Now, after Twilio announcing their network traversal service it will be interesting to hear what people have to say about this option on the panel.

WebRTC Survey Results Q7

WebRTC for mobile

In the response to the question about the readiness of WebRTC for mobile devices there was a strong consensus that there is still some way to go until it will be easy to tackle this one, mainly for iOS. During the conference we will review the complexities and give examples of how companies have solved the mobile challenge.

WebRTC Survey Results Q8

For more information about these and other questions take a look at the detailed results presentation.

Last but not least. An email will be sent by Upperside to the 2 winners of the Amazon Gift Card.

Your thoughts about the survey results will be happily received at the comments section below.

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