Blog: Cross-platform video streaming using RTSP

Remote cameras can be used in various application solutions. Usually, this technology helps with building a local monitoring system for home or office (for example, a baby monitoring system). Besides that, remote cameras can come in handy for the fun and games industry: you can attach the compatible device to drones or other radio controlled toys and control them using a live view from the remote camera.

The live video broadcast from one mobile device to another can be carried out in different ways. For example, you can use the common Real Time Streaming Protocol (RTSP). It supports direct video broadcast and doesn’t require an intermediate server. In fact, the streaming device automatically becomes the server.

We used the RTSP to build an application prototype, which allows watching live video from the smartphone’s camera on the screen of a connected device. This application works in 2 modes: a server and a client. In the first one, the smartphone becomes a server broadcasting the video. And in the second mode, the application acts as a client receiving the video from the server and displaying it on the screen.

Watch the following video to learn more about the RTSP application, developed by DB Best.

Key benefits of RTSP protocol

First of all, we should mention that RTSP is a cross-platform solution and it works simultaneously on all major platforms, such as iOS, Android, Mac or PC. Our team has developed mobile applications for iOS and Android devices. Also, you can use any of the RTSP compatible video players to watch the video stream on Mac or PC.

The architecture of RTSP protocol intends using 1 device as a broadcasting server. At the same time, you can watch the broadcast on multiple devices (although, you can use just one device).

RTSP allows broadcasting not only the live video stream but also the audio stream as well. This option may come in handy if you are developing a baby monitoring system, for example.

Also, you can manage the settings of the server device via the mobile application. For example, you can turn off the sound or switch the flashlight on.

And the last, but not the least benefit of RTSP protocol is that it can be leveraged even on rather old mobile devices. So, you don’t need to use the latest smartphone as a broadcasting device. Instead, you can install the application on an old (and relatively useless) smartphone.

Moreover, you can install a compatible RTSP camera and simply use the client part of the DB Best powered application on the mobile device to watch the broadcast.

Application features

You have to select the working mode (whether your device will be used as a server or as a client) at the start of the application. The live video broadcast starts at the very moment when the client connects to the server.

You can configure the connection of compatible devices pretty quickly and easily. That’s because our developers have used the Bonjour technology. It enables fast connection of two devices, working on the same Wi-Fi network.

Also, our developers have implemented a small buffer to make the video broadcast smooth enough. This buffer brings a time lag (around 2-3 seconds) into the broadcast, but at the same time, it ensures that the users would not see any artifacts even if the Wi-Fi connection speed is slow. Although we can minimize this lag and enable the direct video broadcast, the lack of buffer may result in low video quality with noticeable artifacting.

We use the RTSP server with video and audio codecs to bring the sound into the broadcast. So, the users can hear what’s happening near the mobile device being used as a server. This makes the usage of the application even more intuitive.

video streaming app structure

In summary, the general application diagram includes a camera as a streaming source, the RTSP server as a heart of the Wi-Fi broadcasting, and one or several RTSP clients.

Start building the app of your dream today!

The DB Best powered RTSP cross-platform application is just one of many examples proving that our developers have hands-on experience working with video streams on mobile devices. We can use this proven solution as a part of your application or even customized for your business needs.

If you’re considering a mobile application development, be sure to contact DB Best today. Our developers will be happy to build an application for you under a cost-effective project.