How to switch between two (or more) RTP streams?

I’m actively looking for advice on how to manage transitions between several RTP streams as efficiently as possible, especially in instances involving intricate configurations with two or more video sources. My goal is to make sure that these transitions run smoothly and effectively because they are essential to providing a seamless viewing experience.

Any advice on how can I switch between several RTP streams easily, especially when working with two or more video sources? I’m trying to figure out how to efficiently control this switching process in a multimedia streaming arrangement.


Switching between several Real-Time Transport Protocol (RTP) streams necessitates the use of various technologies and methodologies. RTP is frequently used in applications like video conferencing, media streaming, and Voice over IP (VoIP) to send audio and video streams over networks.

Here is an approach to speed up the switching process:

  1. Use a Media Server or Mixer
    A media server or mixer can be used to manage RTP stream switching in a realistic way. These dedicated servers are excellent at switching and mixing streams for real-time media. They are able to mix multiple receiving RTP streams simultaneously, broadcast a single stream, or switch between streams as necessary.

  2. Utilise RTSP to Control Multiple RTP Streams
    RTSP, or Real-Time Streaming Protocol, can be used to manage multiple RTP streams. A precise selection of streams from a media source is allowed by some RTSP servers, and RTSP offers tools to control the delivery of media streams. You can request various RTP streams and switch between them smoothly by issuing the appropriate RTSP commands.

  3. Implement SIP for VoIP situations
    The Session Initiation Protocol (SIP) is used in VoIP situations for creating and managing multimedia sessions. SIP makes it easier to negotiate the establishment of RTP streams for both audio and video communication. SIP communication is used to update session settings when switching between streams.

  4. Create Custom Applications
    Depending on your particular needs, you might need to create a custom application to manage RTP stream switching. Receiving incoming RTP streams, buffering them if necessary, and then sending the desired stream to the output channel constitute this.

  5. Harness WebRTC
    WebRTC (Web Real-Time Communication) provides APIs for processing audio and video streams in scenarios involving browser-based real-time communication. By reconfiguring the connection and indicating the preferred streams for transmission, WebRTC stream switching is carried out.

  6. Think about hardware options
    Transition management for video RTP streams may benefit from hardware solutions like video switchers. These tools, which allow seamless switching between several camera feeds, are frequently used in live event production.

These are the few methods on how to switch between two RTP streams. Let me know if you have further queries.

Thank you


Got your points, one query: Can we manage potential disruptions or artifacts during the transition between RTP streams, especially in scenarios involving different codecs or bitrates?

Yes, differences in bitrate or codec may cause disruptions or artifacts. Select codecs with similar or compatible qualities with care to control this. If transcoding streams is required, make sure all the settings are the same by using FFmpeg.
To further minimize interruptions and facilitate seamless transitions during the transfer, think about putting in place a buffering mechanism. Finding and fixing any problems relating to the switching between RTP streams can be aided by routine testing and observation.