TrueConf Provides Scalable Video Coding (SVC) Technology for the VP8 (WebM) Video Codec

TrueConf, a Russian developer and manufacturer of video conferencing systems, released the new version of its software-based video conferencing server TrueConf Server 3.3. The new version supports scalable video coding (SVC) technology, operating from the VP8 video codec (WebM). TrueConf implemented VP8 in 2010, and was the first company in the world to introduce SVC support for it.

The introduction of SVC technology for TrueConf’s video conferencing solutions has helped to provide stable high-quality streaming during multipoint video conferencing sessions for participants using different video terminals (PCs, hardware-based video conferencing systems, tablets, and smartphones) with different bandwidths, processors and speeds.
In addition, SVC technology opens up new possibilities for developers to use the VP8 video codec to improve the quality of data streaming operations.

SVC is a supplement to the data transfer rate adjustment mechanism, which is already implemented in TrueConf Server. SVC serves to change frame frequency and resolution during streaming without transcoding on the server, unlike the Multipoint Control Unit (MCU) used prior to SVC. This feature of SVC technology makes it possible to conduct many group video conferences on a standard server. The transcoding of video steams inherent in MCU required considerable computing power and expensive specialized servers, a cost which was passed to consumers.

The introduction of SVC fundamentally changes the power requirements of video streaming and allows clients to participate in video conferences from mobile devices. Prior to the use of SVC technology, users were limited by reduced computer processing power, and could only receive videos with lower resolutions on most systems.

TrueConf developers upgraded both the channel tracking module and intellectual module, which regulates data transfer rates between conference devices, and introduced an updated version of the VP8 video codec.

“TrueConf is the first company to provide SVC technology for the VP8 video codec. This technological innovation is a significant step in the evolution of our company,” reports Michael Gotalsky, CEO at TrueConf. “What we observe today is more and more frequent use of mobile devices for business purposes, and this ‘Bring Your Own Device’ trend will definitely continue developing in corporate environments and will affect video conferencing markets as well.”

“SVC stands for the new approach to multipoint video conferencing. We implemented all required upgrades of our software to introduce this technology. The only external technology we used was the VP8 (WebM) video codec,” says Stas Soldatov, Technical Director at TrueConf. “Previously, the channel rate was regulated simultaneously for all participants depending on the weakest conference device. As a result all participants received the lowest quality video. Introduction of SVC technology makes it possible to set individual data transfer rates for each conference participant, which helps to disregard influence of low-performance devices on the rest of the participants.”

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