On the October 2021 episode of WebRTC Live, Arin welcomed Google Senior Software Engineer and co-editor of the WebCodecs and MediaCapabilities web specifications, Chris Cunningham, to explore what WebRTC developers need to know about WebCodecs.
Chris’ presentation centered around defining WebCodecs, where you can find it, what types of real-time communications apps it is useful for and at what scale, where it is not so useful, and where the API is heading.
WebCodecs is currently available in Chrome94 and Edge. Firefox is planning on introducing it in the current year. No word yet on Safari!
Like any media API on the web, the codec support is going to vary across browsers and to some extent across the platform even for a common browser. His presentation includes a chart of the current state of codec support for Chrome.
Chris helped us understand the motivating uses for WebRTC, including:
- You want more control over the way WebRTC does quality adaptation for network/CPU fluctuations.
- You want to configure specific encoder settings, for example a specific flavor of SVC or if you wanted to customize the latency of the encoder
Questions from the viewers included real world use cases, frame size, video overlays using canvas vs WebCodecs, and WebGPU.
At the end of the episode, Chris encouraged everyone to take a look at the spec and identify gaps. He knows the work is not done. “File a bug!” he enthused.
For more more about the code behind WebCodecs, watch WebRTC and Real-Time Applications Web Codecs and the Next Generation of Web Media APIs, from the 2021 Real Time Communications Conference at IIT.
Save the date for WebRTC Live #61 on November 10 with Varun Singh!
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