FFMpeg and H.323

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FFMpeg and H.323

Simon Brown
Hi,
Is it possible for ffmpeg to produce a stream conforming to H.323?  As I
understand it H.323 supports H.264 video and G.711 or OPUS audio.  I have
an H.264 video stream, so would need to re-encode the audio, but then it
needs packaging as H.323 and I haven't found anything on the web that does
this yet.

Any pointers gratefully received.

Regards,
Simon
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Re: FFMpeg and H.323

kumowoon1025
Hi,

> Is it possible for ffmpeg to produce a stream conforming to H.323?  As I
> understand it H.323 supports H.264 video and G.711 or OPUS audio.  I have
> an H.264 video stream, so would need to re-encode the audio, but then it
> needs packaging as H.323 and I haven't found anything on the web that does
> this yet.

I’m not surprised, H.323 covers infrastructure at a scope that is on a different level than ffmpeg, or any other single application for that matter.

Since it’s not a single standard I don’t really know what to say it supports, but it stipulates all endpoint (terminal) equipment be capable of both G.711 as a minimum, and H.261 if it has video capability. Any additional codec support is H.245 negotiated by connecting equipment. H.264 is commonly implemented, as well as speex (which I think you mean when you say opus) but neither capability is required.

Can you tell us more about the situation where you need to encode AV streams usable in a H.323 system out of band? There isn’t really a “packaging” step to speak of, and If you are creating a software based implementation the most ffmpeg is going to be of help to you is RTP. H.323 is more of a protocol than format.

Speaking generally, I guess you could say ffmpeg can produce a stream that conforms to H.323, (by encoding mu-law/a-law and optionally H.261 and using RTP) but anything else is going to depend on (all) the equipment facilitating session communication.

Regards,
Ted Park

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Re: FFMpeg and H.323

Simon Brown
>
>
> Hi,
>
> > Is it possible for ffmpeg to produce a stream conforming to H.323?  As I
> > understand it H.323 supports H.264 video and G.711 or OPUS audio.  I have
> > an H.264 video stream, so would need to re-encode the audio, but then it
> > needs packaging as H.323 and I haven't found anything on the web that
> does
> > this yet.
>
> I’m not surprised, H.323 covers infrastructure at a scope that is on a
> different level than ffmpeg, or any other single application for that
> matter.
>
> Since it’s not a single standard I don’t really know what to say it
> supports, but it stipulates all endpoint (terminal) equipment be capable of
> both G.711 as a minimum, and H.261 if it has video capability. Any
> additional codec support is H.245 negotiated by connecting equipment. H.264
> is commonly implemented, as well as speex (which I think you mean when you
> say opus) but neither capability is required.
>
> Can you tell us more about the situation where you need to encode AV
> streams usable in a H.323 system out of band? There isn’t really a
> “packaging” step to speak of, and If you are creating a software based
> implementation the most ffmpeg is going to be of help to you is RTP. H.323
> is more of a protocol than format.
>
> Speaking generally, I guess you could say ffmpeg can produce a stream that
> conforms to H.323, (by encoding mu-law/a-law and optionally H.261 and using
> RTP) but anything else is going to depend on (all) the equipment
> facilitating session communication.
>
> Regards,
> Ted Park
>
>
> Hi Ted,
Many thanks for your quick reply.
I thought H.323 was a packaging a bit like HLS might be, or Fragmented
MP4.  The hope is to be able to integrate a camera system generating H.264
into Zoom and other web-conferencing systems which require H.323 to work.

So what you're saying is I'd need to generate my own communications handler
that manages the H.323 traffic, and passing the H.264 stream to that
handler to pass on to the endpoint?

Cheers,
Simon
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Re: FFMpeg and H.323

Carl Eugen Hoyos-2
Am Di., 17. März 2020 um 16:20 Uhr schrieb Simon Brown
<[hidden email]>:

>
> >
> >
> > Hi,
> >
> > > Is it possible for ffmpeg to produce a stream conforming to H.323?  As I
> > > understand it H.323 supports H.264 video and G.711 or OPUS audio.  I have
> > > an H.264 video stream, so would need to re-encode the audio, but then it
> > > needs packaging as H.323 and I haven't found anything on the web that
> > > does this yet.
> >
> > I’m not surprised, H.323 covers infrastructure at a scope that is on a
> > different level than ffmpeg, or any other single application for that
> > matter.
> >
> > Since it’s not a single standard I don’t really know what to say it
> > supports, but it stipulates all endpoint (terminal) equipment be capable of
> > both G.711 as a minimum, and H.261 if it has video capability. Any
> > additional codec support is H.245 negotiated by connecting equipment. H.264
> > is commonly implemented, as well as speex (which I think you mean when you
> > say opus) but neither capability is required.
> >
> > Can you tell us more about the situation where you need to encode AV
> > streams usable in a H.323 system out of band? There isn’t really a
> > “packaging” step to speak of, and If you are creating a software based
> > implementation the most ffmpeg is going to be of help to you is RTP. H.323
> > is more of a protocol than format.
> >
> > Speaking generally, I guess you could say ffmpeg can produce a stream that
> > conforms to H.323, (by encoding mu-law/a-law and optionally H.261 and using
> > RTP) but anything else is going to depend on (all) the equipment
> > facilitating session communication.

> Many thanks for your quick reply.
> I thought H.323 was a packaging a bit like HLS might be, or Fragmented
> MP4.  The hope is to be able to integrate a camera system generating H.264
> into Zoom and other web-conferencing systems which require H.323 to work.
>
> So what you're saying is I'd need to generate my own communications handler
> that manages the H.323 traffic, and passing the H.264 stream to that
> handler to pass on to the endpoint?

At least some of the "communication" can be done by libavformat but
nothing in FFmpeg is (by itself) a videoconferencing software.

Carl Eugen
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Re: FFMpeg and H.323

kumowoon1025
Hi,

> nothing in FFmpeg is (by itself) a videoconferencing software.

Ah, right thank you, I couldn’t think of the word “videoconferencing,” was on the tip of my tongue (or fingers).

It makes it easier to explain the context as an analogy to regular telephone, which happens to be described by, H.324. The H.3xx series all describe how audiovisual terminals network with each other.

H.323 describes the videoconferencing equivalent of the PSTN for telephones. It specifies how addresses are resolved to route the call, the signaling protocol used to set up the connection, etc. It doesn’t specify how the media is packaged, it describes how terminals negotiate those details.

> I thought H.323 was a packaging a bit like HLS might be, or Fragmented
> MP4.  The hope is to be able to integrate a camera system generating H.264
> into Zoom and other web-conferencing systems which require H.323 to work.
So you have a camera system with built in H.264. ffmpeg could compress/transcode the required audio and stream RTP.

Everything else is beyond ffmpeg. H.323 configuration commands show up in stuff like branch routers with application/service integration, dedicated conferencing gateways, and more recently, software implementations on general servers.

> So what you're saying is I'd need to generate my own communications handler
> that manages the H.323 traffic, and passing the H.264 stream to that
> handler to pass on to the endpoint?
Not that you need to build one yourself, that would be a pretty big project, but yes, a video stream is only a small part of the system. You mentioned Zoom, that’s a possible vendor that could provide the “everything else”. Tandberg (Cisco) is also a big name.

Regards,
Ted Park

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Re: FFMpeg and H.323

Carl Eugen Hoyos-2
Am Di., 17. März 2020 um 22:04 Uhr schrieb Ted Park <[hidden email]>:

> > nothing in FFmpeg is (by itself) a videoconferencing software.
>
> Ah, right thank you, I couldn’t think of the word “videoconferencing,” was on the tip of my tongue (or fingers).

I found it in the English Wikipedia googling for H323.

Note that I was forced to accept ticket #2463 ;-)

Carl Eugen
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Re: FFMpeg and H.323

Paul B Mahol
On 3/17/20, Carl Eugen Hoyos <[hidden email]> wrote:

> Am Di., 17. März 2020 um 22:04 Uhr schrieb Ted Park
> <[hidden email]>:
>
>> > nothing in FFmpeg is (by itself) a videoconferencing software.
>>
>> Ah, right thank you, I couldn’t think of the word “videoconferencing,” was
>> on the tip of my tongue (or fingers).
>
> I found it in the English Wikipedia googling for H323.
>
> Note that I was forced to accept ticket #2463 ;-)

Yes, that ticket is 1000% legit.
FFmpeg should be used for video conferencing ASAP!
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