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The Best Frameworks For Building A Video Streaming App

Live video streaming is becoming increasingly common in apps across diverse industries - telemedicine, customer support, field service, education, enterprise communications etc. Maybe you've built an app, and want to add video streaming capability to it. Or, maybe you need a standalone video conferencing solution that integrates with your existing enterprise infrastructure.Whatever the case, you will most likely be looking for a solution that lets you enable live video streaming from your app with minimal lines of code/effort. We have a list of video streaming frameworks that address this very problem.Based on the approach, we're splitting the options into three broad categories:1. Using Real Time Protocols`2. Using Platforms3. Using Prepackaged SolutionsWe will attempt to list the unique advantages of each and talk about the vendors who offer these services.

Using Real Time Protocols - like WebRTC

WebRTC is an open project that provides browsers and mobile applications with Real-Time Communications (RTC) capabilities via simple APIs. It is currently maintained by Google and has become very popular among the dev community lately since it:

  • Is a plugin-free RTC
  • Is peer to peer
  • Is High-quality
  • Offers support for mobile, browser and IoT devices
  • Offers communication via a common set of protocols
  • Makes encryption mandatory
  • Is a free, open software project

There are a number of popular software vendors who have embraced WebRTC and have built wrappers around it for simple mobile integration. Some of them are:

  • Hookflash - Enterprise RTC solution recommended by Microsoft and Google. They are the pioneers of implementing WebRTC and making it a viable option for others considering RTC.
  • OpenTok from TokBox - Very popular choice for integrating WebRTC with mobile apps. They offer a fully customizable integration with tools for analytics, managing infrastructure etc.
  • OpenWebRTC - Mobile-first wrapper around WebRTC and the easiest way to integrate. It is open-source too. Was developed by Ericsson who were also one of the first to embrace WebRTC.
  • Sinch - provides SDK for integrating audio and video calling from apps. It is also quite cheap in terms of pricing. A lot of production-quality apps have used Sinch.
  • Quickblox - A popular chat framework that enables video and audio calling.
  • VoxImplant - Feature-rich cloud offering with support for mobile and web integrations.
  • Twilio - A popular SMS platform has a great in-built support for video calls as well.
  • Pvilo - Similar to Twilio and with mobile and web SDKs.
  • Red5Pro - A popular choice for screen sharing features, also has full fledged SDKs for supporting video calling with WebRTC.

There are also other protocols that enable multi-platform RTC like HTTP Live Streaming (HLS) and Real Time Streaming Protocol (RTSP with RTP). If you want info on how to leverage these instead, talk to us!

Using Platforms - like VSee, Vidyo

Vidyo was one of the pioneers in getting software-endpoints in place of hardware-endpoint solutions for video conferencing. At one point, even Google used Vidyo for Google Hangouts. They boast of a extremely scalable, secure and high quality infrastructure that drive their diverse video offerings. They also have extensible APIs that helps to embed point-point and multi-point communications. Their mobile offering is an app that brings in the goodness of Vidyo across iOS and Android platforms.VSee is fast becoming the leader for telemedicine and secure communication integrations. They offer a lot of telemedicine services and a mobile SDK for enabling multi-way video communication. They compare well against competition by providing a secure, simple and low bandwidth service. It prides in having no complicated infrastructure setups like Vidyo. NASA chose VSee as its official communication platform aboard the International Space Station!

Using Prepackaged Solutions - like from Microsoft, Cisco

If the need is for a stand-alone communication platform that could connect with your enterprise set up - the popular options are Microsoft Lync, Skype, Cisco, Polycom, Zoom.Microsoft’s Lync or Skype for Business platform is great for IM, Outlook and traditional telephony support. It is an excellent option for video conferencing if you are on a good network, want to connect from different devices and don’t bother much about data security. It enables to even make phone calls to recipients on traditional telephone networks. The Skype Developer Site provides tools and frameworks for integration.Cisco offers multiple video collaboration options - Cisco Meeting Server, TelePresence Server and TelePresence Conductor. The services are scalable, cloud-based and secure. They also have tools to record and stream video, analyze views and enable multi-source conferencing.Polycom is another provider with immersive telepresence and mobile offerings. They offer both on premise and cloud deployments of their different services.BlueJeans was built as a cloud-based video service to enable people to connect with each other any time, any place and from any device. It is used by a lot of industry leaders for their enterprise video conferencing solution, for example, Facebook, Netflix, Pandora, RedHat etc.

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