Gone are the days of old physical gatherings; people around the world have redefined the word ‘meeting’. With millions of people working from home, students taking online classes, people catching up with friends on virtual hangouts, video conferencing is now a slice of our daily lives. However, amidst the increasing clamour of ‘virtual’, we have almost ignored its impact on the mobile battery lifespan.
Therefore, power efficiency becomes a crucial parameter for selecting a meeting app. To find out which meeting app is more power-efficient, we pitted a leading CPaaS (WebRTC SDK) provider with EnableX meeting app.
We conducted three tests with five participants using different devices and browsers. We compared the performance of the two apps in all test scenarios, which are given below:
We found that the EnableX meeting app drained out only 12%-15% battery in 10 minutes with 5 participants, while the rival app drained more than 20% in similar scenario. However, it is critical to know why EnableX performed better over the rival meeting app in similar test scenarios. Here are three important reasons:
1.Tight Binding Between Publishers and Subscribers
Most SFU architecture-based platforms use local optimisation for adjusting stream quality dynamically between endpoint participants.
However, there is a problem with this approach. The lack of a tight algorithmic loop between server-side and client-side acts as a significant handicap to conduct multivariate optimisation to adjust the conference behaviour resulting in more battery drain. On the other hand, the EnableX platform relies on a tight algorithmic loop to achieve the same goal more efficiently.
The purpose of video codecs is to compress video files into a manageable size. It has two primary components: encoder and decoder.
The function of an encoder is to compress a video file at one end, and the decoder decompresses this compressed file at the other end for playback.
EnableX platform supports VP8 as a default video codec, a widely endorsed WebRTC compliant video codec. A big plus with the VP8 codec is that it completes the encryption/decryption (or encoding/decoding) operation in lesser CPU cycles consuming less mobile battery power. It intelligently uses endpoint codecs configurations to optimise battery lifespan without compromising session quality.
Compared to its rival, EnableX video streaming requires a lower bitrate which means it needs less quantum of data to perform encoding and decoding operations.
It continuously keeps an eye on the conference session behaviour by observing various metadata: the number of participants, uplink and downlink bandwidth of each participant, type of device being used by different participants, and stream count subscribed at each endpoint etc. It helps to perform local and global level optimisations continuously at the session-level.
The purpose of this test is to broadly demonstrate the power efficiency of the two platforms and educate users to help them make an informed decision while selecting a meeting platform.
It is not an exhaustive empirical comparison of mobile battery performances of two platforms and we require more data to form a conclusive opinion.
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