What Are The Common Video Streaming Protocols? 

Video streaming has become a regular part of our life. Although this technology comes easy to us yet it is not that simple. A big contribution to making online videos accessible is the arrival of video streaming protocols. Video streaming protocols are the technical processes that help in transferring hefty video files. It majorly helps in breaking up the video files into small chunks, delivering them to the viewers, and then reassembling them for the end users.

Video Streaming Protocols

Today, video consumers have become more inclined to online video streaming. This continuous demand for streaming led to growth in streaming platforms. Previously streaming was mainly restricted to sports broadcasting. The technology started gaining popularity with the introduction of Flash and RTMP-based streaming.

Along with the growth of streaming platforms, there is immense development seen in the technological arena where streaming protocols have also many arrivals. Every streaming protocol has its own benefits and losses. We will try to understand some of the most common video streaming protocols used to deliver the video to the end users. With this, we will try to understand why creators go with different streaming protocols.

Common Video Streaming Protocols

Many video streaming protocols are available in the present streaming sphere. The choice of which to use solely depends on the features you focus on and the targeted audience you want to reach. Some of the streaming protocols are still in their legacy standard while others are regularly evolving. While there are some other new streaming protocols available, it will take time to get them into mainstream adoption. Let’s dive into the most common video streaming protocols of the time.

HTTP Live Streaming (HLS) 

HLS is one of the common video streaming protocols and is the most widely used one as well. Originally released by Apple, the protocol arrived as a part of dropping Flash from iPhones in 2009. This is the most commonly used protocol for streaming since it is compatible with many devices including Android and iOS mobile phones, desktop browsers, smart TVs, and even HTML5 video players. In short, it has the ability to reach a wider audience. Apart from being accessible on different streaming devices, HLS also bolsters adaptive bitrate streaming. It helps in making the delivery impeccable and the experience memorable.

Yet there are several loopholes as well. The major drawback of the HLS protocol is the high latency that it brings. 

MPEG-DASH (Dynamic Adaptive Streaming over HTTP) 

Developed by the Moving Pictures Expert Group (MPEG), MPEG-DASH is one of the recent protocols. It is an open-source standard that is developed as an alternative to HLS. It helps in fixing some of the technical issues related to compression and delivery of the video content.

The best thing about MPEG-DASH is that it supports adaptive-bitrate streaming. It means viewers can have the best video quality as per their internet connection.


WebRTC, an open-source project, aims to deliver video with the least latency. It was initially developed for chat-based apps and VoIP platforms. Video chats and conference applications came into the picture when Google gets the whole control of it. Some of the most common consumer-facing apps such as Google Meet, WhatsApp, Discord, Messenger, etc. use WebRTC. Peer-to-peer streaming makes it unique from any other streaming protocol.

Secure Reliable Transport (SRT)

Secure Reliable Transport/SRT is a streaming protocol developed by Haivision. It is an open-source streaming protocol that is publically accessible. This protocol is the preferred network for the SRT Alliance, a group of companies including telecommunication and technology providers. It provides security, reliability, and low-latency video delivery. This protocol is capable of delivering high-quality video delivery even when the network is inconsistent. It also does not rely on any one codec but rather allows one to use it with any video and audio codec. 

Real-Time Messaging Protocol (RTMP)

Developed by Adobe primarily to transfer audio and video files between Adobe Flash Player and a streaming server. After it was phased out of Flash Player, it received a downfall. Now it has less to do with user experience and more with content ingestion through an encoder (RTMP-enabled). It means that the video is transferred to the streaming platform via RTMP. Thereafter it is delivered to the end user through the HLS protocol.    

Real-Time Streaming Protocol (RTSP)

RTSP protocol is primarily used for creating and controlling media sessions. This protocol does not help in transmitting live data on its own. It has to work together with the RTMP and other protocols to stream its content seamlessly. 

Although RTSP supports low-latency streaming, it is not compatible with every known device and browser. Yet it is still in use in surveillance and CCTV systems because of its low-latency streaming.

This is all we have about video streaming protocols for now. To know more about video streaming, visit our website. We will be happy to help you.