The Eternal WebRTC Video Codec Debate – Consensus Finally!

Snail crossing finish line“Real life is, to most men, a long second-best, a perpetual compromise between the ideal and the possible.”  - Bertrand Russell

The world has indeed changed in the last year as WebRTC has made massive strides both from a standardization and from a market adoption point of view. A whole host of innovative applications are succeeding on mobile and desktop end-points.

But despite another 12 months of progress, one of the key points of contention that remained stubbornly unresolved was the great video codec debate: Should VP8 or H.264 be the Mandatory-to-Implement Video Codec for WebRTC? It was a welcome and surprising move that led the IETF Working Group to finally arrive at the following consensus just last week:

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The TokBox Team at WebRTC Conference & Expo

Screen Shot 2014-11-12 at 11.07.53 AMHere at TokBox we are preparing for the fifth WebRTC expo, taking place in San Jose next week from 18-20 November.

Since the last WebRTC expo in June, there has been a lot of action in the market;

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Why do we care about ORTC?

ORTCFor those who might not know (and are still interested in the topic?) ORTC, Object RTC, is an initiative that was started one year ago by a group of people who were not comfortable with the approach taken for the design of the WebRTC APIs.  This group recently published the first official draft of an alternative API including support from very relevant people from Google and Microsoft.

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Firefox Hello: Mozilla enhances OpenTok-powered video chat service

mozilla beta logoMozilla has today released some additional capabilities into the WebRTC communications feature beta it first released a couple months ago and unveiled its name for the first time – Firefox Hello. As always, we’re delighted that OpenTok is the platform of choice for companies building innovative services such as this that are able to scale up to hundreds of thousands of users.

New features of Firefox Hello being released in Firefox Beta today include:

  • New Call Options: One of the key benefits of Firefox Hello is that you don’t need an account to make a call. However, if there are people that you connect with regularly, you can all sign up for a Firefox Account. That enables you to initiate calls directly from your contact list without needing to share a callback link first.
  • Contacts integration: Contacts management has been added for the first time, with functionality for manual input or importing through a Google account. This will make it far easier to call these contacts from within Firefox.

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As Mozilla rolls out Firefox Beta to users over the next few weeks, they will be able to connect with anyone using a WebRTC-enabled browser (such as Firefox, Chrome or Opera) with no need to download software or plugins. These are just a few of the improvements that have been made since the last release.

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TokBox Guide to Consumers and Video Communications

man on phoneIf you’re thinking about integrating real-time communications into your website, service or mobile application, there are a number of things you need to consider with regards to when, where and how consumers will use your product.  Based on observed consumer behaviors to date, this series aims to identify a range of these influencing factors, providing you with key considerations to keep in mind during development.

The first installment of the series looks at locations and devices: where and how video communication are used and the impact of this on consumer expectations and behavior.

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