Comcast nailed the technique behind using WebRTC.
Bumped into this one recently:
This one is about Comcast, a cable network operator in the US, using WebRTC in its latest addition to their X1 Platform.
The official announcement says nothing about voice or video calling. It deals with some new features related to user experience, and begins with this text:
X1 triple-play customers will soon be able to live stream personal video from their mobile devices, over the Internet, directly to the television.
This would be the equivalent of using Android to stream content to Chromecast – a use case that uses WebRTC somewhere in there. Just instead of Chromecast, there’s the set top box you have connected to the TV at all times (unless you are a cord cutter).
The quote to explain this new capability?
“Imagine you’re in Philadelphia and can live stream your son’s tee-ball game to his grandparents’ TV in San Francisco,” said Marcien Jenckes, Executive Vice President of Consumer Services for Comcast Cable.
Besides that tweet, and previous tweets by employees of Comcast, there is no indication that it uses WebRTC; though it is quite likely to be the case – The X1 platform is HTML5 based, so getting it “acquiainted” with WebRTC is the best approach. To make things even simpler, X1 is based on Comcast’s RDK which uses WebKit for rendering HTML5 – again, a place where WebRTC existed until Google decided to depart the WebKit effort (but Apple is doing some work on aligning with Blink’s WebRTC implementation).
Why is this important?
There is so much more to WebRTC besides the video call, and this is a great example that doesn’t even make use of the data channel.
Remember that there are 3 API sets for WebRTC:
- GetUserMedia – useful on its own if you think of what MailChimp has done with it
- DataChannel – which I obsess about as where creativity will come from
- PeerConnection – the obvious (and now boring) voice and video calling
Using PeerConnection for something other than voice and video by someone other than Google – and in this case a huge service provider – isn’t to be taken lightly.
Stop with obvious. Go for solving areal problem. Preferably one that isn’t obvious 🙂
Kudos for Comcast on this one. Can’t wait to see it working.