Posts

The role of Real Time Communications in the Multiverse

Image
Recently many companies have been talking about something that they usually call the metaverse .   There is no single clear definition of what the metaverse is but something like this sounds close enough: "A highly connected environment with lots of interactive players and complex simulation creating rich experiences, something more than a game but less than the real world" ( What is the metaverse, and why is it worth so much money? ) For me, the easiest way to understand it is to think about something similar to the world shown in the Ready Player One movie where users can interact with each other in a digital environment making use of virtual reality devices and sensors. Perhaps the biggest company speaking publicly about the metaverse is Facebook and is betting hard on it saying that they want to move from being a "social company to a metaverse company" but there are also many gaming companies working on that direction or at least talking about it.  In this blo

WebRTC Video Codecs performance evaluation

Image
The standard and most popular codecs in WebRTC are VP8 and H.264 but those are not the only options we have.   VP9 has been available for a while and some  big services are using it  and AV1 support has been recently added to Chrome . When comparing codecs there are interesting considerations like interoperability and licensing but probably the most important factors are how good the codec is in terms of compression and how cheap the codec is in terms of cpu&memory usage. The compression ratio is usually the first thing we look at and there are many comparisons available for that, but the resource consumption is equally important if we want to be able to use the codecs for real time use cases. Given that AV1 is available in the Chrome Canary versions I decided to run some tests to get estimation of where we stand in terms of cpu usage for the 4 available codecs in WebRTC ecosystem.   The idea of the test is to compare the whole video pipeline with those 4 codecs and not just the co