Video: Is WebRTC the Silver Bullet for Network Latency?

Watch the full panel discussion from Live Streaming Summit, Latency Still Sucks! So What Can You Do About It?, on the Streaming Media Conference Video Portal.

Read the complete transcript of this clip:

Jason Thibeault: There are really two kinds of latency. There's network-based latency, and there's process-based latency. Let's talk about both of those independently. Let's start off with network latency.

At this conference, there have been a couple of presentations on WebRTC. Is that a silver bullet for some of this network latency, or is it just another protocol that's gonna come and go and we'll have something better in a few years?

Charley Thomas: Web RTC fixes a big thing. A big thing that that fixes is client issues. Support in the browsers. Be able to get everywhere. With Flash kind of going away from a client standpoint, there's a gap. You need to have something that's installed across all the browsers and the platforms. You need to have something that's secure, and can scale.

I don't know that it necessarily fixes latency, and if anything it actually poses a bit of a risk. You improve it with UDP, which gives you a little bit more buffer. But anytime you're shortening the time to live, so with the testing we've done, we see sub-second delay from pane to pane, with WebRTC. But whenever you shorten that down, you run the risk when you're on an unstable network connection that you can get rebuffers.

It fixes a problem. I don't think latency is the problem it's fixing, though.

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