Introducing the Video conference common standard protocols

  • What are the video conferencing protocols?
  • Video conference vendors competing with Protocols.

The H.323 and SIP Video conference Standard Protocols

What is video conference Protocol? Video conferencing brands follow standard protocol set by ITU-T but also add protocols that set differentiators of them among other brands in the market. Known Video conference vendors such as Cisco, Polycom, Lifesize, Avaya Scopia and Huawei all follow same umbrella protocols that allows call possible with each other Though the still at best is to have same brand on the system for perfect call experience.


What are the video conferencing protocols?

A Protocol usually define as set of rules or standards between network devices to communicate. This makes a common system in place and allow integration. In an analogy. This is like a common Language use by people from different origin to talk to each other without having language barrier such as the English language for example since this is a widely accepted business language.

In the video conference environment the commonly use protocols use in a video conference environment is still H.323 as the umbrella protocol. Second mostly use is the SIP. The standards are regulated by The ITU Telecommunication Standardization Sector (ITU-T). So long as the device can communicate with this standards they most likely can inter call with each other, with the possible consideration of licensing requirement by the brand if any which is more common with SIP brands.

Under the umbrella protocol, there are sub protocols that are also supported that provide different role in the communication process, This sub protocols may vary from each vendor but most of the time the basic are always supported Such as the H.261, a very old video compression protocol that allows backward compatibility among all standard video conference devices.

Other know protocols are the H.264 for latest video compression. G-series protocols such as the G.711, G.729 for audio compression, H.239 for content sharing without the need for video switching.

For a call initiate and maintain, the video conference device send and receive the signaling and media traffic in a compress and decompress it upon arrival on the other end. The device that handle this is call the CODEC (compression and decompression), this are the main computer of video conference device that may be a standing tower type box or flat laptop-like form when you purchase your device such as the Polycom HDX and group series, Cisco SX series.

Video Conference CISCO sx20


Video conference vendors competing with Protocols

With many video conference vendors out in the market from much known brands, most competes with either or both the architectural advantage and protocol supported. The architectural advantage talks about the scalability and features as you keep on improving and investing a growing video conference system which includes MCU, servers and call control concepts.

For requirements that is less likely to grow and point-to-point calls and minimum multipoint call are simple is what needed, it normally falls down to the battle of compression techniques supported by brands.

The Type of protocol normally affects the quality video and network utilization as well specially in limited bandwidth. As compression techniques advance, compression results to higher resolution better quality and lesser bandwidth requirement. Today for a High definition 720p30 resolution we have H.264 that requires 76k kbps, H.264 HP (High Profile) and H.265 requires 512kbpsH.265, and SVC (Scalable Video coding) provides automatic adjustment of the video quality base on the given network resources on the device for a more smooth video.

Protocols and its application will vary per brand. As time goes better protocols can be supported and out date the protocols stated on this blog, but will most likely still be backwards compatible with the current protocols to allow call with older models.









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