Choosing the right architecture for face to face video chat

  • Hi guys,

    I am French entrepreneur building a website which aims at helping people find teachers for private live face to face guitar lessons via webcam (ONE teacher and ONE student). Lessons would be 100% in browser (I don't want the users to download a software or install any plugin).
    During the lessons themsleves, teachers should be able to display chords, tabs etc. to the user, next to the video and also be able to text chat.
    I would like the quality to be at least 720p with a minimum of 25fps.
    I think I won't have more than 20 simultaneous lessons.
    Ideally, the stream would be P2P (From my understanding, if it's not P2P I am going to have a bad time paying for the bandwidth of the servers).
    I am assuming the teacher and the student have optical-fiber connection with 100 Mbits/s bandwitdth downstream and 10 Mbits/s upstream.

    I am looking for the right technology/architecture and that's why I am posting here.
    At first sight, WebRTC sounded like a good option. So, I contacted which offer a WebRTC based solution. Their support team told the best I could get whith such a solution would be 640*480 with fps in the neighborhood of 10 - 15 fps.
    So this definitly not a good option for me.
    I also looked at Red5 and Flash Media Server but I am not a technical guy and I have no idea what quality I can expect here.

    What technology / architecture do you think I sould use ?
    Let me know If you need me to provide you with more details.

    Thanks for your help

  • At the moment the RTMP/RTMFP technology and Flash is an outstanding solution for what you are looking for. There are other technologies that may outcome what we have now like HTML5 or Mobile apps (Java) but at the moment this is how you will reach the biggest audience and let's not forget the fracture of the development costs, compared to the above.

    The 20 simultaneous connections will cause problems, I would not go over 6-8 (pls. Google why if you need to know the details). But you can always stream the outgoing video with a delay and have P2P connection with 1-8 people at a time, just matter of architecture.

    What you are looking for is achievable, in fact we have it done. However it is not production ready. If you did not find any better solution, please stop by in a couple of months.

    Regarding Red5 vs AFMS, Red5 is not P2P, you will bare the costs of used bandwidth. After 2+ years of experience I would still go with Adobe. There are other reasons why Adobe is a better choice, reasons I am not sure I can post here, yet. Have to try first if works in a heavy traffic environment and if it really does what says.

  • Thanks for this quick answer Govido.
    I'll call Adobe sales guy. I'll let you know what they tell me !

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