Real-time Transport Protocol

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The Real-time Transport Protocol (RTP) defines a standardized packet format for delivering audio and video over IP networks. RTP is used extensively in communication and entertainment systems that involve streaming media, such as telephony, video teleconference applications and web-based push-to-talk features.

RTP is used in conjunction with the RTP Control Protocol (RTCP). While RTP carries the media streams (e.g., audio and video), RTCP is used to monitor transmission statistics and quality of service (QoS) and aids synchronization of multiple streams. When both protocols are used in conjunction, RTP is originated and received on even port numbers and the associated RTCP communication uses the next higher odd port number.

It is one of the technical foundations of Voice over IP and in this context is often used in conjunction with a signaling protocol which assists in setting up connections across the network. RTP was developed by the Audio-Video Transport Working Group of the Internet Engineering Task Force (IETF) and first published in 1996 as RFC 1889, superseded by RFC 3550 in 2003.

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