The Open Video Chat project started in March 2010. The primary goal was to
develop a wholly Free/Open Source video chat program using an unencumbered
video codec, Theora. We also needed to make the program run at 15 FPS or
better in order to provide smooth enough video to communicate with American
Since reaching our 15+ FPS goal we have been working to improve the program
and add features. Except for some minor tweaks our attempts have
consistently been blocked by a bug with RTP. Right now we do not have a
reliable way to ensure that the header packets will reach their destination.
TCP would ensure packet delivery but would bog down the XO's too much. Our
current system with UDP is too unreliable. If we were to stop the stream to
change settings there is no guarantee that the stream will successfully
connect again. RTP would provide the best of both worlds. It would ensure
the header packets get through like TCP but then provide the streaming speed
of UDP. Unfortunately we can't get RTP working with open codecs.
Currently there is a bug in Gstreamer that does not support passing
configuration data inband with RTP and Theora
Our other option is to use Telepathy-Farsight but this has also given us
problems. We have been able to get Farsight to work inconsistently with
closed codecs but we could not get it to work at all with Theora which is a
requirement of our project.
So at this point we need help from the upstream. Without either the
Gstreamer bug fixed or some help using Farsight we are at an impasse. We
would appreciate any help from upstream community members. Feel free to
pull our repo and check out our code. If you're unfamiliar with the XO's
you should know that the code requires the Sugar environment to run.
We have begun planning an OVC/Telepathy hackfest at OLPC headquarters in
Boston the week of July 12th. We'll send out a mailing list blast once
we've secured a time and place. More information can be found at
Project Wiki: http://www.fedorahosted.org/OpenVideoChat
IRC Channel: #rit-innovation
Users: decause, jlew, trose, krimpet
OVC Devel Team
Ovc mailing list