Real Time Collaboration: Fast Question and Answer about Low-Latency

July 28th, 2017 by ali Leave a reply »

Let’s understand what low latency is and why it is so important in real time collaboration

Adepts of real time collaboration know very well how important low-latency is. In this fast question and answer session, we will try to answer four most common questions about low-latency.

What is latency? The delay between the time a camera captures a fact and the time you see it through your live-streaming tool.The cause of latency is that it takes some time to process the huge quantity of data that are eventually delivered in the form of the video that you are actually watching.

What is low latency? Nobody likes a high latency, as it would mean that real streaming loses much of its utility. This is the reason why low-latency is so much desired. Ideally, there should not be any delay at all; practically, a latency of 30-40 seconds is considered as acceptable in most situations.

When and why low-latency is important? In some cases, particularly in business, the delay is crucial.  For example, in video-chats: imagine that you are participating to a video chat and the speaker is interviewing an off-camera person in real time: waiting even just 30 seconds for hearing the answers can be annoying for most participants.

Another example is online auctions: any delay could alter bid registrations. In telepresence, when there are multiple screens that display the same person speaking, the delays of each individual screen must have all the same length in order to avoid problems of synchronization.

How can you get low-latency? The answer is immediate, it is through technology. Today, there are several solutions that assure you low-latency.

  • R-HUB`s live streaming servers ( ). The latest product of R-HUB`s video conferencing server suite, they have been purposely designed for real time collaboration. Latency breaks down to 3 -18 seconds depending on the network conditions, which makes R-HUB`s servers a great solution for organizations that need a good tool which enhances interactivity to host their virtual meetings.
  • The effectiveness of the communication is ensured by displaying the content on the entire desktop along with HD webcam videos from multiple meeting panelists that can be located anywhere in the world.
  • Apple HS is an http-based protocol very used for streaming. Latency is about 30-40 seconds, which makes Apple HS inadequate for ultra-low-latency scenarios like real time collaboration. The problem here is the size of each data chunk that is quite big, and thus it takes time for the processing.
  • RMPT (Real Time Messaging Protocol) and WebRTC (Web-Real-Time Communications) are regarded as the standard for low-latency streaming. The first has the disadvantage of being based on Flash, meaning no support on iOS devices; the second works without Flash and is decisively more cross-platform and performing.

Other aspects to consider are the quality of yours and your audience screens and cameras, and the power of your streaming server or cloud service. As a rule of thumb, you’d better choose solutions that assure you full control over latency and audio and video quality, but without neglecting some important aspects like the presence of the necessary functionalities to ensure engaging and highly interactive virtual meetings.

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