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Real-Time Communication with WebRTC by Simon Pietro Romano, Salvatore Loreto

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Chapter 6. An Introduction to WebRTC API’s Advanced Features

In the previous chapters, we described and discussed a simple scenario: a browser talking directly to another browser. The WebRTC APIs are designed around the one-to-one communication scenario, which represents the easiest to manage and deploy. As we illustrated in previous chapters, the basic WebRTC features are sufficient to implement the one-to-one scenario since the built-in audio and video engines of the browser are responsible for optimizing the delivery of the media streams by adapting them to match the available bandwidth and to fit the current network conditions.

In this last chapter we will briefly talk about the conferencing scenario and then list other advanced WebRTC features and mechanisms that are still under active discussion and development within the W3C WebRTC working group (at the time of writing in early 2014).

Conferencing

In a WebRTC conferencing scenario (or N-way call), each browser has to receive and handle the media streams generated by the other N-1 browsers, as well as deliver its own generated media streams to N-1 browsers (i.e., the application-level topology is a mesh network). While this is a quite straightforward scenario, it is nonetheless difficult to manage for a browser and at the same time calls for linearly increasing network bandwidth availability.

For these reasons, video conferencing systems usually rely upon a star topology where each peer connects to a dedicated server that is simultaneously ...

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