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RFC 7160

Support for Multiple Clock Rates in an RTP Session

Pages: 13
Proposed Standard
Updates:  3550

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Internet Engineering Task Force (IETF)                 M. Petit-Huguenin
Request for Comments: 7160                            Impedance Mismatch
Updates: 3550                                               G. Zorn, Ed.
Category: Standards Track                                    Network Zen
ISSN: 2070-1721                                               April 2014


           Support for Multiple Clock Rates in an RTP Session

Abstract

This document clarifies the RTP specification regarding the use of different clock rates in an RTP session. It also provides guidance on how legacy RTP implementations that use multiple clock rates can interoperate with RTP implementations that use the algorithm described in this document. It updates RFC 3550. Status of This Memo This is an Internet Standards Track document. This document is a product of the Internet Engineering Task Force (IETF). It represents the consensus of the IETF community. It has received public review and has been approved for publication by the Internet Engineering Steering Group (IESG). Further information on Internet Standards is available in Section 2 of RFC 5741. Information about the current status of this document, any errata, and how to provide feedback on it may be obtained at http://www.rfc-editor.org/info/rfc7160. Copyright Notice Copyright (c) 2014 IETF Trust and the persons identified as the document authors. All rights reserved. This document is subject to BCP 78 and the IETF Trust's Legal Provisions Relating to IETF Documents (http://trustee.ietf.org/license-info) in effect on the date of publication of this document. Please review these documents carefully, as they describe your rights and restrictions with respect to this document. Code Components extracted from this document must include Simplified BSD License text as described in Section 4.e of the Trust Legal Provisions and are provided without warranty as described in the Simplified BSD License.
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Table of Contents

1. Introduction . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 2 2. Terminology . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 4 3. Legacy RTP . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 4 3.1. Different SSRC . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 4 3.2. Same SSRC . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 5 3.2.1. Monotonic Timestamps . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 5 3.2.2. Non-monotonic Timestamps . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 6 4. Recommendations . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 6 4.1. RTP Sender (with RTCP) . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 6 4.2. RTP Sender (without RTCP) . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 6 4.3. RTP Receiver . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 7 5. Security Considerations . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 7 6. Acknowledgements . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 8 7. References . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 8 7.1. Normative References . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 8 7.2. Informative References . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 8 Appendix A. Example Values . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 10 Appendix B. Using a Fixed Clock Rate . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 12 Appendix C. Behavior of Legacy Implementations . . . . . . . . . 12 C.1. libccrtp 2.0.2 . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 12 C.2. libmediastreamer0 2.6.0 . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 12 C.3. libpjmedia 1.0 . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 13 C.4. Android RTP Stack 4.0.3 . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 13

1. Introduction

The clock rate is a parameter of the payload format as identified in RTP and RTCP (RTP Control Protocol) by the payload type value. It is often defined as being the same as the sampling rate but that is not always the case (see, for example, the G722 and MPA audio codecs [RFC3551]). An RTP sender can switch between different payloads during the lifetime of an RTP session and because clock rates are defined by payload format, it is possible that the clock rate will also vary during an RTP session. Schulzrinne, et al. [RFC3550] lists using multiple clock rates as one of the reasons to not use different payloads on the same Synchronization Source (SSRC). Unfortunately, this advice has not always been followed and some RTP implementations change the payload in the same SSRC, even if the different payloads use different clock rates.
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   This creates three problems:

   o  The method used to calculate the RTP timestamp field in an RTP
      packet is underspecified.

   o  When the same SSRC is used for different clock rates, it is
      difficult to know what clock rate was used for the RTP timestamp
      field in an RTCP Sender Report (SR) packet.

   o  When the same SSRC is used for different clock rates, it is
      difficult to know what clock rate was used for the interarrival
      jitter field in an RTCP Receiver Report (RR) packet.

   Table 1 contains a non-exhaustive list of fields in RTCP packets that
   uses a clock rate as a unit:

          +---------------------+------------------+------------+
          | Field name          | RTCP packet type | Reference  |
          +---------------------+------------------+------------+
          | RTP timestamp       | SR               | [RFC3550]  |
          |                     |                  |            |
          | Interarrival jitter | RR               | [RFC3550]  |
          |                     |                  |            |
          | min_jitter          | XR Summary Block | [RFC3611]  |
          |                     |                  |            |
          | max_jitter          | XR Summary Block | [RFC3611]  |
          |                     |                  |            |
          | mean_jitter         | XR Summary Block | [RFC3611]  |
          |                     |                  |            |
          | dev_jitter          | XR Summary Block | [RFC3611]  |
          |                     |                  |            |
          | Interarrival jitter | IJ               | [RFC5450]  |
          |                     |                  |            |
          | RTP timestamp       | SMPTETC          | [RFC5484]  |
          |                     |                  |            |
          | Jitter              | RSI Jitter Block | [RFC5760]  |
          |                     |                  |            |
          | Median jitter       | RSI Stats Block  | [RFC5760]  |
          +---------------------+------------------+------------+

                                  Table 1

   Section 3 and its subsections try to list all of the algorithms known
   to be used in existing RTP implementations at the time of writing.
   These sections are not normative.

   Section 4 and its subsections recommend a unique algorithm that
   modifies RFC 3550.  These sections are normative.
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2. Terminology

The key words "MUST", "MUST NOT", "REQUIRED", "SHALL", "SHALL NOT", "SHOULD", "SHOULD NOT", "RECOMMENDED", "MAY", and "OPTIONAL" in this document are to be interpreted as described in RFC 2119 [RFC2119]. In addition, this document uses the following terms: Clock rate The multiplier used to convert from a wallclock value in seconds to an equivalent RTP timestamp value (without the fixed random offset). Note that RFC 3550 uses various terms like "clock frequency", "media clock rate", "timestamp unit", "timestamp frequency", and "RTP timestamp clock rate" as synonymous to clock rate. RTP Sender A logical network element that sends RTP packets, sends RTCP SR packets, and receives RTCP reception report blocks. RTP Receiver A logical network element that receives RTP packets, receives RTCP SR packets, and sends RTCP reception report blocks.

3. Legacy RTP

The following sections describe the various ways in which legacy RTP implementations behave when multiple clock rates are used. "Legacy RTP" refers to RFC 3550 without the modifications introduced by this document.

3.1. Different SSRC

One way of managing multiple clock rates is to use a different SSRC for each different clock rate, as in this case there is no ambiguity on the clock rate used by fields in the RTCP packets. This method also seems to be the original intent of RTP as can be deduced from points 2 and 3 of Section 5.2 of RFC 3550. On the other hand, changing the SSRC can be a problem for some implementations designed to work only with unicast IP addresses, where having multiple SSRCs is considered a corner case. Lip synchronization can also be a problem in the interval between the beginning of the new stream and the first RTCP SR packet.
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3.2. Same SSRC

The simplest way to manage multiple clock rates is to use the same SSRC for all of the payload types regardless of the clock rates. Unfortunately, there is no clear definition on how the RTP timestamp should be calculated in this case. The following subsections present the algorithms currently in use.

3.2.1. Monotonic Timestamps

This method of calculating the RTP timestamp ensures that the value increases monotonically. The formula used by this method is as follows: timestamp = previous_timestamp + (current_capture_time - previous_capture_time) * current_clock_rate The problem with this method is that the jitter calculation on the receiving side gives an invalid result during the transition between two clock rates, as shown in Table 2 (Appendix A). The capture and arrival time are measured in seconds, starting at the beginning of the capture of the first packet; clock rate is measured in Hz; the RTP timestamp does not include the random offset; and the transit, jitter, and average jitter use the clock rate as a unit. Calculating the correct transit time on the receiving side can be done by using the following formulas: 1. current_capture_time = (current_timestamp - previous_timestamp) / current_clock_rate + previous_capture_time 2. transit = current_clock_rate * (arrival_time - current_capture_time) 3. previous_capture_time = current_capture_time The main problem with this method, in addition to the fact that the jitter calculation described in RFC 3550 cannot be used, is that it is dependent on the previous RTP packets, which can be reordered or lost in the network.
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3.2.2. Non-monotonic Timestamps

An alternate way of generating the RTP timestamps is to use the following formula: timestamp = capture_time * clock_rate With this formula, the jitter calculation is correct but the RTP timestamp values are no longer increasing monotonically as shown in Table 3 (Appendix A). RFC 3550 states that "[t]he sampling instant MUST be derived from a clock that increments monotonically . . .", but it does not say that the RTP timestamp must increment monotonically. The advantage with this method is that it works with the jitter calculation described in RFC 3550, as long as the correct clock rates are used. It seems that this is what most implementations are using (based on a survey done at SIPit26 and on a survey of open source implementations, see Appendix C).

4. Recommendations

The following subsections describe behavioral recommendations for RTP senders (with and without RTCP) and RTP receivers.

4.1. RTP Sender (with RTCP)

An RTP Sender with RTCP turned on MUST use a different SSRC for each different clock rate. An RTCP BYE MUST be sent and a new SSRC MUST be used if the clock rate switches back to a value already seen in the RTP stream. To accelerate lip synchronization, the next compound RTCP packet sent by the RTP sender MUST contain multiple SR packets, the first one containing the mapping for the current clock rate and the subsequent SR packet(s) containing the mapping for the other clock rates seen during the last period. The RTP extension defined by Perkins & Schierl [RFC6051] MAY be used to accelerate the synchronization.

4.2. RTP Sender (without RTCP)

An RTP Sender with RTCP turned off (i.e., having set the RTP Sender and RTP Receiver bandwidth modifiers [RFC3556] to 0) SHOULD use a different SSRC for each different clock rate but MAY use different clock rates on the same SSRC as long as the RTP timestamp is calculated as explained below:
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   Each time the clock rate changes, the start_offset and capture_start
   values are calculated with the following formulas:

   start_offset += (capture_time - capture_start) * previous_clock_rate
   capture_start = capture_time

   For the first RTP packet, the values are initialized with the
   following values:

                   start_offset = random_initial_offset
                   capture_start = capture_time

   After eventually updating these values, the RTP timestamp is
   calculated with the following formula:

          timestamp = (capture_time - capture_start) * clock_rate
                      + start_offset

   Note that in all the formulas, capture_start is the first instant
   that the new timestamp rate is used.  The output of the above method
   is exemplified in Table 4 (Appendix A).

4.3. RTP Receiver

An RTP Receiver MUST calculate the jitter using the following formula: D(i,j) = (arrival_time_j * clock_rate_i - timestamp_j) - (arrival_time_i * clock_rate_i - timestamp_i) An RTP Receiver MUST be able to handle a compound RTCP packet with multiple SR packets.

5. Security Considerations

When the algorithm described in Section 4.1 is used, the security considerations described in RFC 3550 apply. The algorithm described in Section 4.2 is new and so its security properties were not considered in RFC 3550. Although the RTP timestamp is initialized with a random value like before, the timestamp value depends on the current and previous clock rates; this may or may not introduce a security vulnerability in the protocol.
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6. Acknowledgements

Thanks to Colin Perkins, Ali C. Begen, Harald Alvestrand, Qin Wu, Jonathan Lennox, Barry Leiba, David Harrington, Stephen Farrell, Spencer Dawkins, Wassim Haddad, and Magnus Westerlund for comments, suggestions, and questions that helped to improve this document. Thanks to Bo Burman, who provided the values in Table 4 of Appendix A. Thanks to Robert Sparks and the attendees of SIPit 26 for the survey on multiple clock rates interoperability.

7. References

7.1. Normative References

[RFC2119] Bradner, S., "Key words for use in RFCs to Indicate Requirement Levels", BCP 14, RFC 2119, March 1997. [RFC3550] Schulzrinne, H., Casner, S., Frederick, R., and V. Jacobson, "RTP: A Transport Protocol for Real-Time Applications", STD 64, RFC 3550, July 2003.

7.2. Informative References

[AVT-VAR-RATE] Wenger, S. and C. Perkins, "RTP Timestamp Frequency for Variable Rate Audio Codecs", Work in Progress, October 2004. [RFC3551] Schulzrinne, H. and S. Casner, "RTP Profile for Audio and Video Conferences with Minimal Control", STD 65, RFC 3551, July 2003. [RFC3556] Casner, S., "Session Description Protocol (SDP) Bandwidth Modifiers for RTP Control Protocol (RTCP) Bandwidth", RFC 3556, July 2003. [RFC3611] Friedman, T., Caceres, R., and A. Clark, "RTP Control Protocol Extended Reports (RTCP XR)", RFC 3611, November 2003. [RFC5450] Singer, D. and H. Desineni, "Transmission Time Offsets in RTP Streams", RFC 5450, March 2009. [RFC5484] Singer, D., "Associating Time-Codes with RTP Streams", RFC 5484, March 2009.
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   [RFC5760]  Ott, J., Chesterfield, J., and E. Schooler, "RTP Control
              Protocol (RTCP) Extensions for Single-Source Multicast
              Sessions with Unicast Feedback", RFC 5760, February 2010.

   [RFC6051]  Perkins, C. and T. Schierl, "Rapid Synchronisation of RTP
              Flows", RFC 6051, November 2010.
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Appendix A. Example Values

The following tables illustrate the timestamp and jitter values produced when the various methods discussed in the text are used. The values shown are purely exemplary, illustrative, and non- normative. +-------+-------+-----------+---------+---------+--------+----------+ | Capt. | Clock | RTP | Arrival | Transit | Jitter | Average | | time | rate | timestamp | time | | | jitter | +-------+-------+-----------+---------+---------+--------+----------+ | 0 | 8000 | 0 | 0.1 | 800 | | | | | | | | | | | | 0.02 | 8000 | 160 | 0.12 | 800 | 0 | 0 | | | | | | | | | | 0.04 | 8000 | 320 | 0.14 | 800 | 0 | 0 | | | | | | | | | | 0.06 | 8000 | 480 | 0.16 | 800 | 0 | 0 | | | | | | | | | | 0.08 | 16000 | 800 | 0.18 | 2080 | 480 | 30 | | | | | | | | | | 0.1 | 16000 | 1120 | 0.2 | 2080 | 0 | 28 | | | | | | | | | | 0.12 | 16000 | 1440 | 0.22 | 2080 | 0 | 26 | | | | | | | | | | 0.14 | 8000 | 1600 | 0.24 | 320 | 720 | 70 | | | | | | | | | | 0.16 | 8000 | 1760 | 0.26 | 320 | 0 | 65 | +-------+-------+-----------+---------+---------+--------+----------+ Table 2: Monotonic Timestamps
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   +-------+-------+-----------+---------+---------+--------+----------+
   | Capt. | Clock | RTP       | Arrival | Transit | Jitter | Average  |
   | time  | rate  | timestamp | time    |         |        | jitter   |
   +-------+-------+-----------+---------+---------+--------+----------+
   | 0     | 8000  | 0         | 0.1     | 800     |        |          |
   |       |       |           |         |         |        |          |
   | 0.02  | 8000  | 160       | 0.12    | 800     | 0      | 0        |
   |       |       |           |         |         |        |          |
   | 0.04  | 8000  | 320       | 0.14    | 800     | 0      | 0        |
   |       |       |           |         |         |        |          |
   | 0.06  | 8000  | 480       | 0.16    | 800     | 0      | 0        |
   |       |       |           |         |         |        |          |
   | 0.08  | 16000 | 1280      | 0.18    | 1600    | 0      | 0        |
   |       |       |           |         |         |        |          |
   | 0.1   | 16000 | 1600      | 0.2     | 1600    | 0      | 0        |
   |       |       |           |         |         |        |          |
   | 0.12  | 16000 | 1920      | 0.22    | 1600    | 0      | 0        |
   |       |       |           |         |         |        |          |
   | 0.14  | 8000  | 1120      | 0.24    | 800     | 0      | 0        |
   |       |       |           |         |         |        |          |
   | 0.16  | 8000  | 1280      | 0.26    | 800     | 0      | 0        |
   +-------+-------+-----------+---------+---------+--------+----------+

                     Table 3: Non-monotonic Timestamps
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   +-------+-------+-----------+---------+---------+--------+----------+
   | Capt. | Clock | RTP       | Arrival | Transit | Jitter | Average  |
   | time  | rate  | timestamp | time    |         |        | jitter   |
   +-------+-------+-----------+---------+---------+--------+----------+
   | 0     | 8000  | 0         | 0.1     | 800     |        |          |
   |       |       |           |         |         |        |          |
   | 0.02  | 8000  | 160       | 0.12    | 800     | 0      | 0        |
   |       |       |           |         |         |        |          |
   | 0.04  | 8000  | 320       | 0.14    | 800     | 0      | 0        |
   |       |       |           |         |         |        |          |
   | 0.06  | 8000  | 480       | 0.16    | 800     | 0      | 0        |
   |       |       |           |         |         |        |          |
   | 0.08  | 16000 | 640       | 0.18    | 1600    | 0      | 0        |
   |       |       |           |         |         |        |          |
   | 0.1   | 16000 | 960       | 0.2     | 1600    | 0      | 0        |
   |       |       |           |         |         |        |          |
   | 0.12  | 16000 | 1280      | 0.22    | 1600    | 0      | 0        |
   |       |       |           |         |         |        |          |
   | 0.14  | 8000  | 1600      | 0.24    | 320     | 0      | 0        |
   |       |       |           |         |         |        |          |
   | 0.16  | 8000  | 1760      | 0.26    | 320     | 0      | 0        |
   +-------+-------+-----------+---------+---------+--------+----------+

         Table 4: Recommended Method for RTP Sender (without RTCP)

Appendix B. Using a Fixed Clock Rate

An alternate way of fixing the issue with using multiple clock rates was proposed by Wenger and Perkins [AVT-VAR-RATE]. This document proposed to define a unified clock rate, but the proposal was rejected at IETF 61.

Appendix C. Behavior of Legacy Implementations

C.1. libccrtp 2.0.2

This library uses the formula described in Section 3.2.2. Note that this library uses gettimeofday(2) which is not guaranteed to increment monotonically (e.g., when the clock is adjusted by NTP).

C.2. libmediastreamer0 2.6.0

This library (which uses the oRTP library) uses the formula described in Section 3.2.2. Note that in some environments this library uses gettimeofday(2), which is not guaranteed to increment monotonically.
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C.3. libpjmedia 1.0

This library uses the formula described in Section 3.2.2.

C.4. Android RTP Stack 4.0.3

This library changes the SSRC each time the format changes, as described in Section 3.1.

Authors' Addresses

Marc Petit-Huguenin Impedance Mismatch EMail: petithug@acm.org Glen Zorn (editor) Network Zen 227/358 Thanon Sanphawut Bang Na, Bangkok 10260 Thailand Phone: +66 (0) 8-1000-4155 EMail: glenzorn@gmail.com