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Real-time Transport Control Protocol

(also RTCP)

Real-time Transport Control Protocol definition

The Real-time Transport Control Protocol is a networking protocol. It works alongside the Real-time Transport Protocol (RTP) that handles the delivery of audio and video over the internet. Meanwhile, RTCP manages these audio and video streams.

See also: session layer

Where is the Real-time Transport Control Protocol used?

  • Video conferencing and live streaming. In video conferencing applications, RTCP monitors the quality of audio and video streams. The feedback helps adjust the bitrate and resolve synchronization issues.
  • Voice over Internet Protocol (VoIP). The protocol provides metrics like packet loss and jitter for smooth voice communication.
  • Online gaming. RTCP helps in multiplayer online gaming, especially those with voice chat features.

Types of RTCP packets

  • Sender Report (SR). These packets come from the primary source of the stream. They contain details like how much data has been sent, timestamps, and the number of packets.
  • Receiver Report (RR). Sent by the devices receiving the stream. These packets provide feedback about how the stream is being received.
  • Source Description (SDES). These packets contain information about the participants in the streaming session.
  • Goodbye (BYE). These packets signal that a user is leaving the session.
  • Application-Specific (APP). Packets that let developers add extra features unique to their applications.