Wednesday, November 3, 2010

New feature: Peer-2-Peer (P2P) Streaming

This new version now supports both Client/Server and Peer-2-Peer (P2P) topologies.  You can mix and match them.  That is, user A, who has limited uplink bandwidth, can choose to send his webcam video to the Server, which will distribute it to user B and user C.  Meanwhile, user B, with unlimited uplink bandwidth, can choose to send his webcam video directly to user A and user C (using P2P), bypassing the Server.  In this case, user B doubles his uplink bandwidth usage, but his stream gets to user A and user C faster.

If you are in a 2-party conversation, P2P is the best option, because it will be faster and your bandwidth usage is the same as Client/Server mode.  If there are more than 2, you would need to consider your uplink bandwidth before choosing P2P.

The third option, Peer-Assisted Streaming, is currently in the works.  This mode allows user A to send his webcam video stream directly to user B, who has unlimited uplink bandwidth, would forward user A's video stream to user C.  The Server is not used, and user A didn't double his uplink bandwidth usage.

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