Introducing our new codec: AF14

af14

While WebRTC has been innovating at an impressively rapid rate, the users of the web and mobile apps have been delighted with lots of new experiences. We’ve started connecting to people across different timezones, countries, and even continents in real time, on just about every sort of device. But when we ask developers, the people who dream up the next wave of crazy ideas, what they need in order to keep delighting their users we hear a few things over and over.

One of the most requested features of the platform that developers are patiently waiting for is WebRTC broadcasts at scale. The technical challenge is about getting the right stream (with the right bitrate, and the right encoding) out to all the different types of people who are watching, with their vastly different networks and bandwidth capabilities.

Today, TokBox is announcing our latest innovation for the platform: a new codec called AF14. It is specifically designed to encode video signals at such a low bit rate that many of the users on the hardest-to-reach networks can enjoy superior video quality. Don’t just take our word for it, take it for a spin yourselves:

DEMO

The current state of the codec space for WebRTC has mainly been dominated by two big contenders: H.264 and VP8/9. They both have their unique advantages in different applications and conditions. So the standards bodies have wisely opted to not to chose an MTI (Mandatory to Implement) codec(s) for the standard (it’s totally not political). That gap leaves room for even more innovation in the space, like AF14, which TokBox is introducing today.

We hope you all enjoy the demo, and if you are a developer that wants to start working with this groundbreaking technology for you next application, contact us in the comments for access to our beta program.

  • Andrew Lai

    sounds great, how do you get onto the beta program?

  • http://www.linkedin.com/in/lawrencebyrd Lawrence Byrd

    Awesome – such a good day for this. It is good to see TokBox tacking the codec problem with more codecs. The previous “standard” approach of trying for less codecs clearly hasn’t worked and new thinking is needed. I found the demo even enhanced my looks as an extra benefit!

    • http://www.linkedin.com/in/lawrencebyrd Lawrence Byrd

      For example, I was using what is supposed to be the latest and best, Google Hangouts, this morning between California and Ireland, and getting noticeable and confusing lag between my video and audio. With AF14′s performance there is no problem about seeing my lips out of sync, or at all.

      • Badri

        Thanks Lawrence for your vote of confidence. Now we just need to get this in front of the standards committee and AF14 can pave the way for the future.

      • http://www.linkedin.com/in/lawrencebyrd Lawrence Byrd

        No no, Badri, you are missing the deep magic of the new @tokbox approach – NO standards. They just keep adding more and more new WebRTC codecs until the IETF working group surrenders! #AF14

  • sainathshenoy

    looking forward to the interop between my nokia feature phone with 1.2MP Camera and my iPhone. When are you planning to release the Symbian/J2ME sample code?

  • Mike Kelleher

    Ankur, I like how this looks, but I have a few concerns with the underlying architecture.
    1.) The publisher bitrate is still extremely high, can we control that with some IQC API?
    2.) While archiving works with the ‘streams’, the end result is not very satisfying. Much too life-like.
    3.) Are you planning on updating the code regularly (say AF15, perhaps) or is this codec Absolutely Feature complete?