WebRTC Expert Feature

June 12, 2013

Content: The Real Fork in the Road for WebRTC

I am delighted to see the Telecom part of my brain find a codec that will be embraced by browsers, and amazed at how many ICE, STUN and TURN conversations there are considering the browser does not need them.

As previously stated, I expect that the real story on WebRTC is the game-changing impact it is sure to have on content and on video distribution, and I have no doubt that Silverlight, h.248 and other video codecs are going to find themselves poorly represented as content moves to VP8. This, however, may not be WebRTC’s most significant impact, as it is quite possible that it will give birth to video distribution content forks. To illustrate, imagine a version of those popular dinner-and-a-movie shows on TV where the hosts talk not only about the menu and the movie, but also about the DVD add-ons (which you able to explore).

In theory, WebRTC will be able to provide these streams as a fork-in experience, thus enabling premiums to be placed on dialogues and other interactive videos. Perhaps we’ll see movie premieres that take place solely on the web. At a virtual Grauman’s Chinese Theatre, the Red Carpet could be quite interactive! Or, maybe Wikipedia will continue to replace IMDB with a dialogue from film historians - a sort of "The Movie Channel meets YouTube." Now, despite what Telecom would have you think, WebRTC is more than a phone call. Much more.

Today the VP8 vs. H.248 discussion can seem relevant, but the war has already been won. Sure, the battles currently being fought seem important to those engaged, but in the long run the web will inevitably win. And the content side will continue to evolve as well. YouTube has hosted some quality content, however putting a time stamp on content and dialogue add-value. 

A canary in this coal mine of development is the use of VTT, the HMTL5 standard solution for time and text additions to video. As that protocol becomes associated with WebRTC , we are sure to see more than just a little noteworthy innovation.

If you are doing something with WebRTC and/or VTT, I invite you to let me know, and I am available to engage in a requirements discussion as well.

I expect the WebRTC World demos will leave me impressed at how Telecom is adopting, however the folks I am most interested to encounter will be those who are changing the game.

Edited by Stefania Viscusi
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