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What is WebRTC?

Hamit Demir
Technology and internet lover! Working to level up live streaming world.
・5 min read

WebRTC stands for web real-time communications. WebRTC is a very exciting, powerful, and highly disruptive cutting-edge technology and streaming protocol.

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WebRTC is HTML5 compatible and you can use it to add real-time media communications directly between browser and devices. And you can do that without the need for any prerequisite of plugins to be installed in the browser. Webrtc is progressively becoming supported by all major modern browser vendors including Safari, Google Chrome, Firefox, Opera, and others.

Thanks to WebRTC video streaming technology, you can embed the real-time video directly into your browser-based solution to create an engaging and interactive streaming experience for your audience without worrying about the delay. WebRTC video streaming is just changing the way of engagement in the new normal.

History of WebRTC

One of the most important challenges for the web is to enable human communication through voice and video: real-time communication or RTC for short. Especially after Covid-19, we all need to communicate with each other regardless of distances and location. So, RTC is our new way to communicate.

Once upon a time, RTC was complex, requiring expensive audio and video technologies to be licensed or developed in-house. Integrating RTC technology with existing content, data, and services has been difficult and time-consuming, particularly on the web.

Google joined the video chat market with Gmail video chat in 2008. In 2011, Google introduced Hangouts and it was originally a feature of Google+, Hangouts became a stand-alone product in 2013. Google loved RTC technologies. It acquired GIPS, a company that develops many components required for RTC, such as codecs and echo cancellation techniques. Google open-sourced the technologies developed by GIPS and engaged with relevant standards bodies at the Internet Engineering Task Force (IETF) and World Wide Web Consortium (W3C) to ensure industry consensus. In May 2011, Ericsson built the first implementation of WebRTC. Ericsson created the first implementation of WebRTC in May 2011. And this started the future of the communication industry.

The purpose of WebRTC was so clear, building a communication method for real-time, plugin-free video, audio, and data communication.

Many web services used RTC such as Skype, Facebook, and Hangouts but to use them, downloads, native apps, or plugins were needed. Downloading, installing, or updating plugins is complex. Usually, some error occurs and the plugins don't work properly. Using plugins may require some expensive licenses or technologies. It is also really hard to make people download a plugin or something.

WebRTC emerged based on these principles that its APIs should be open source, free, standardized, built into web browsers.

Highly Scalable Real-Time Video Streaming Solution, Ant Media Server

Ant Media provides ready-to-use, highly scalable real-time video streaming solutions for live video streaming needs. Based on customer requirements and preferences, it enables a live video streaming solution to be deployed easily and quickly on-premises or on public cloud networks such as Alibaba Cloud.

Ant Media’s well-known product, called Ant Media Server, is a video streaming platform and technology enabler, providing highly scalable, Ultra-Low Latency (WebRTC) and Low Latency (CMAF & HLS) video streaming solutions supported with operational management utilities. Ant Media Server is one of the fastest-growing and popular WebRTC Servers.

Ant Media Server in a cluster mode dynamically scales up and down to enable our customers to serve from tens to millions of viewers in an automated and controlled way.

Ant Media Server provides compatibility to be played in any Web Browser. In addition, WebRTC SDKs for iOS, Android, and JS are provided freely to enable customers to expand their reach to a broader audience. Thanks to the adaptive bitrate streaming feature that allows any video to be played at any bandwidth on mobile devices.

Ant Media has been serving a growing number of customers in 120+ countries all around the world. Customers from different segments such as Education, Live Auctions, Radio and TV Broadcasts, Enterprises, Service Providers, Government Agencies, Gaming Companies, and Mobile / Web App Developers enhance their business by using Ant Media Server and benefiting from its capabilities. Hence the usage scenarios for Ant Media Server are growing fast. Here are the top usage scenarios,

Education
Ant Media Server can provide virtual classrooms with teachers as many as it is required and it might be presented and viewed separately with ultra-low latency (sub second).

IP camera streaming
IP camera streaming made easy with Ant Media Server. Watch and Monitor IP Cameras with Ultra Low Latency on Web Browser with Ant Media Server. You can embed ONVIF IP camera streams into your websites and mobile applications.

Webinar and Video Conferencing
Ant Media Server supports N-N live video/audio conferencing by using WebRTC protocol that allows you to achieve ultra-low latency (sub second). Ant Media Server also provides scalability that can help you to scale up and down your solution dynamically.

Mobile Streaming Application
Easy to Integrate and Scalable Streaming Infrastructure Solutions for your Mobile Application Projects. You can build fast and stable streaming applications with Ant Media API’s and SDK’s.

Live Game Show
Scale Number of Viewers As Much As You Need. Live Video Experience has a significant role in Live Game Shows’ success. It must be scalable and has low latency and adaptive bitrate capability. Ant Media Server provides highly scalable, ultra-low latency (sub-second) and adaptive streaming.

E-sports Betting
Due to the biggest growth at E-sports, there is a tremendous demand for betting more than normal sports, and video streaming with ultra-low latency is a game-changer for that industry.

Auction and Bidding Streaming
Live Auction should be streamed with ultra-low latency (sub-second) in order to get bids on time. Otherwise, your items get sold for a lower price. Ant Media Server provides sub-second latency streaming.

Video Game Streaming
Gamers are generally complaining about interaction problems while streaming their games. Ant Media Server resolves this problem by ultra-low latency streaming (sub-second) via WebRTC.

Click to also learn about WebRTC Servers.

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