It is with a heavy heart that we must give you the news that our friend, colleague and leader Dr. Alex passed away on Thursday, April 8th 2021. We can confirm through his family and the authorities that he was involved in a motor vehicle accident in Thailand that took his life.
All of us at CoSMo and Millicast are in shock. And for anyone who knew him, whether for weeks, months or years, he was a brilliant human being and as memorable a personality as you will meet in life. He will forever have a place in our hearts.
Dr. Alex was among the largest contributors and advocates for WebRTC technology. And although we are still mourning his loss, we will honour his memory by working to fulfill his unique vision for the future of WebRTC.
We are in touch with his family in Singapore and France and we are supporting them as best as we can during this difficult time.
Dr. Alex loved Twitter, and we have posted @rtc_cosmo where you are welcome to share your memories of him:
And if anything represents who Dr. Alex was as a human being, it’s this:
AV1 real-time encoding in standalone webrtc and MilliCast platform was already available since April 2020, as we already covered in previous posts. For those who wanted to use it by themselves in a web app, however, you had to recompile Chrome. While we provided pre-compiled binaries for the community and the happy few brave enough to test it that early, it was a single layer implementation and did not support SVC.
As usage of codec evolves from closed circuits and dedicated lines to be more and more over the public internet, codecs themselves evolves and adopt feature to make media experience over public internet better. A late Annex of H264 (Annex G), SVC has evolved as a mandatory to have feature for any modern codecs. AV1 is the first codec to supports SVC by default. For those interested in more details about how SVC helps, Dr Alex E. wrote a great explanatory blog post back in 2016. Written about VP9, most of the points stay valid for AV1.
For all of last year, the Real-Time Group at AOMEDIA (part of the code group), was hard at work to finish the RTP payload specification which allow for RTP end points to leverage all the codec SVC features, but also for intermediate SFU to be better, stronger and faster. Cosmo Software spearheaded the implementation of all the tests and a reference SFU. The AV1 RTP payload specification is now almost final, tested up to 95%+.
Now is a good time to revisit why AV1 is more important to real-time media beyond just improved compression efficiency. We will also provide details about what to expect in terms of performance.
Millicast has been using #WebRTC for large scale streaming for many years now. There is a request that comes back very often: “Can I add latency and keep the quality of the media as high as possible?”. To answer that question, one need to look at the concept of reliability, and how it varies depending on the protocol of choice.
It’s Xmas! Or, depending on your time zone, it’s about to be Christmas. It’s the season to be jolly, and CoSMo would like to bring you a few gifts.
While we have been hard at work in the background to make sure #Webrtc gets better (some overview of that here), we have put a lot of effort in the last year into remote collaboration workflows for content production and post production.
Which is why we are releasing multiple products and services in time for Christmas, bringing Broadcast Quality to Real-Time streaming across devices.
Thanks to a collaborative work between Millicast and Teradek engineering teams, Teradek products have now best in class support of the MilliCast.com platform. This shows the dedication of Teradek to position themselves as the best provider for live and real-time encoders, and MilliCast to extend their support of capture devices and Hardware encoders.
From the broadcasting industry perspective, WebRTC is not “complete”. It can’t be implemented once and forgotten, like many other protocols before. It lacks a standard signalling protocol to go along. From the web industry perspective, it’s a wanted feature, and it did allow the protocol to be used for vastly different use cases than originally anticipated or designed for. That situation has been frozen in place for many years, as neither the web community (we have what we want), nor the broadcasting community (who needs realtime anyway, VOD will rule forever), seem to be interested in jumping in and filling the gap. Until COVID-19 that is ….
I’m a little bit late on this one, but in May 2019 Microsoft had its “Build” event, and disclosed the new iteration of their windows native webrtc Library. This is the third iteration, and it s remarkable in many ways, especially for Gaming and Hardware Acceleration, so let’s dig into the history and current support of libwebrtc on windows, backed by Microsoft!
CoSMo provided the H264 simulcast implementation to chrome and safari (based on earlier patch by highfive, kudos to them). We helped Intel and Apple work together to put H265 in libwebrtc. AOMedia members, we also were among the first to have a realtime implementation of AV1 in libwebrtc, and have been regularly speaking publicly at different conferences about it. Today, some of this work is becoming available in consumer versions of the browser. Let us give you through enabling it, and taking it out for a ride.
Around came up with a big dream: being able to have a meeting in a room where other people would have a meeting, without earpiece, and without echo! Surfing the Work From Home wave, they came out of stealth mode a few weeks back, but they had been at work for months with a team of very gifted engineers and WebRTC experts alike.
With COVID-19 out there, people have to reinvent the way they live and the way they work, remotely from the office but also remotely from each other. Webrtc technology being rooted in conferencing and collaboration, those topic understandingly take the front line.
However, this is not the only space being disrupted by WebRTC.
For a certain time, webrtc has been pushing the boundaries of can be done in real-time streaming, and the pandemic is only accelerating this. This blog post is a follow-up of previous posts and show the evolution of the situation, and how the pandemic is actually creating new use cases and transforming the streaming market.