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RFC 7262

Requirements for Telepresence Multistreams

Pages: 12

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Internet Engineering Task Force (IETF)                        A. Romanow
Request for Comments: 7262                                 Cisco Systems
Category: Informational                                        S. Botzko
ISSN: 2070-1721                                                  Polycom
                                                               M. Barnes
                                        MLB@Realtime Communications, LLC
                                                               June 2014

               Requirements for Telepresence Multistreams


This memo discusses the requirements for specifications that enable telepresence interoperability by describing behaviors and protocols for Controlling Multiple Streams for Telepresence (CLUE). In addition, the problem statement and related definitions are also covered herein. Status of This Memo This document is not an Internet Standards Track specification; it is published for informational purposes. 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). Not all documents approved by the IESG are a candidate for any level of Internet Standard; see 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
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Copyright Notice

   Copyright (c) 2014 IETF Trust and the persons identified as the
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   described in the Simplified BSD License.

Table of Contents

1. Introduction . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 2 2. Terminology . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 3 3. Definitions . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 4 4. Problem Statement . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 5 5. Requirements . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 6 6. Acknowledgements . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 10 7. Security Considerations . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 10 8. Informative References . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 11

1. Introduction

Telepresence systems greatly improve collaboration. In a telepresence conference (as used herein), the goal is to create an environment that gives the users a feeling of (co-located) presence -- the feeling that a local user is in the same room with other local users and remote parties. Currently, systems from different vendors often do not interoperate because they do the same tasks differently, as discussed in the Problem Statement section below (see Section 4). The approach taken in this memo is to set requirements for a future specification(s) that, when fulfilled by an implementation of the specification(s), provide for interoperability between IETF protocol- based telepresence systems. It is anticipated that a solution for the requirements set out in this memo likely involves the exchange of adequate information about participating sites; this information that is currently not standardized by the IETF. The purpose of this document is to describe the requirements for a specification that enables interworking between different SIP-based [RFC3261] telepresence systems, by exchanging and negotiating appropriate information. In the context of the requirements in this
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   document and related solution documents, this includes both point-to-
   point SIP sessions as well as SIP-based conferences as described in
   the SIP conferencing framework [RFC4353] and the SIP-based conference
   control [RFC4579] specifications.  Non-IETF protocol-based systems,
   such as those based on ITU-T Rec. H.323 [ITU.H323], are out of scope.
   These requirements are for the specification, they are not
   requirements on the telepresence systems implementing the solution/
   protocol that will be specified.

   Today, telepresence systems of different vendors can follow radically
   different architectural approaches while offering a similar user
   experience.  CLUE will not dictate telepresence architectural and
   implementation choices; however, it will describe a protocol
   architecture for CLUE and how it relates to other protocols.  CLUE
   enables interoperability between telepresence systems by exchanging
   information about the systems' characteristics.  Systems can use this
   information to control their behavior to allow for interoperability
   between those systems.

   A telepresence session requires at least one sending and one
   receiving endpoint.  Multiparty telepresence sessions include more
   than 2 endpoints and centralized infrastructure such as Multipoint
   Control Units (MCUs) or equivalent.  CLUE specifies the syntax,
   semantics, and control flow of information to enable the best
   possible user experience at those endpoints.

   Sending endpoints, or MCUs, are not mandated to use any of the CLUE
   specifications that describe their capabilities, attributes, or
   behavior.  Similarly, it is not envisioned that endpoints or MCUs
   will ever have to take information received into account.  However,
   by making available as much information as possible, and by taking
   into account as much information as has been received or exchanged,
   MCUs and endpoints are expected to select operation modes that enable
   the best possible user experience under their constraints.

   The document structure is as follows: definitions are set out,
   followed by a description of the problem of telepresence
   interoperability that led to this work.  Then the requirements for a
   specification addressing the current shortcomings are enumerated and

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].
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3. Definitions

The following terms are used throughout this document and serve as a reference for other documents. Audio Mixing: refers to the accumulation of scaled audio signals to produce a single audio stream. See "RTP Topologies" [RFC5117]. Conference: used as defined in "A Framework for Conferencing within the Session Initiation Protocol (SIP)" [RFC4353]. Endpoint: The logical point of final termination through receiving, decoding and rendering, and/or initiation through capturing, encoding, and sending of media streams. An endpoint consists of one or more physical devices that source and sink media streams, and exactly one participant [RFC4353] (which, in turn, includes exactly one SIP user agent). In contrast to an endpoint, an MCU may also send and receive media streams, but it is not the initiator or the final terminator in the sense that media is captured or rendered. Endpoints can be anything from multiscreen/multicamera rooms to handheld devices. Endpoint Characteristics: include placement of capture and rendering devices, capture/render angle, resolution of cameras and screens, spatial location, and mixing parameters of microphones. Endpoint characteristics are not specific to individual media streams sent by the endpoint. Layout: How rendered media streams are spatially arranged with respect to each other on a telepresence endpoint with a single screen and a single loudspeaker, and how rendered media streams are arranged with respect to each other on a telepresence endpoint with multiple screens or loudspeakers. Note that audio as well as video are encompassed by the term layout -- in other words, included is the placement of audio streams on loudspeakers as well as video streams on video screens. Local: Sender and/or receiver physically co-located ("local") in the context of the discussion. MCU: Multipoint Control Unit (MCU) - a device that connects two or more endpoints together into one single multimedia conference [RFC5117]. An MCU may include a mixer [RFC4353]. Media: Any data that, after suitable encoding, can be conveyed over RTP, including audio, video, or timed text.
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      Model: a set of assumptions a telepresence system of a given
      vendor adheres to and expects the remote telepresence system(s) to
      also adhere to.

      Remote: Sender and/or receiver on the other side of the
      communication channel (depending on context); i.e., not local.  A
      remote can be an endpoint or an MCU.

      Render: the process of generating a representation from a media,
      such as displayed motion video or sound emitted from loudspeakers.

      Telepresence: an environment that gives non-co-located users or
      user groups a feeling of (co-located) presence -- the feeling that
      a local user is in the same room with other local users and the
      remote parties.  The inclusion of Remote parties is achieved
      through multimedia communication including at least audio and
      video signals of high fidelity.

4. Problem Statement

In order to create a "being there" experience characteristic of telepresence, media inputs need to be transported, received, and coordinated between participating systems. Different telepresence systems take diverse approaches in crafting a solution, or they implement similar solutions quite differently. They use disparate techniques, and they describe, control and negotiate media in dissimilar fashions. Such diversity creates an interoperability problem. The same issues are solved in different ways by different systems, so that they are not directly interoperable. This makes interworking difficult at best and sometimes impossible. Worse, even if those extensions are based on common standards such as SIP, many telepresence systems use proprietary protocol extensions to solve telepresence-related problems. Some degree of interworking between systems from different vendors is possible through transcoding and translation. This requires additional devices, which are expensive, are often not entirely automatic, and sometimes introduce unwelcome side effects, such as additional delay or degraded performance. Specialized knowledge is currently required to operate a telepresence conference with endpoints from different vendors, for example to configure transcoding and translating devices. Often such conferences do not start as planned or are interrupted by difficulties that arise.
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   The general problem that needs to be solved can be described as
   follows.  Today, each endpoint renders the audio and video captures
   it receives according to an implicitly assumed model that stipulates
   how to produce a realistic depiction of the remote location.  If all
   endpoints are manufactured by the same vendor, they all share the
   same implicit model and render the received captures correctly.
   However, if the devices are from different vendors, the models used
   for rendering presence can and usually do differ.  The result can be
   that the telepresence systems actually connect, but the user
   experience will suffer, for example one system assumes that the first
   video stream is captured from the right camera, whereas the other
   assumes the first video stream is captured from the left camera.

   If Alice and Bob are at different sites, Alice needs to tell Bob
   about the camera and sound equipment arrangement at her site so that
   Bob's receiver can create an accurate rendering of her site.  Alice
   and Bob need to agree on what the salient characteristics are as well
   as how to represent and communicate them.  Characteristics may
   include number, placement, capture/render angle, resolution of
   cameras and screens, spatial location, and audio mixing parameters of

   The telepresence multistream work seeks to describe the sender
   situation in a way that allows the receiver to render it
   realistically even though it may have a different rendering model
   than the sender.

5. Requirements

Although some aspects of these requirements can be met by existing technology, such as the Session Description Protocol (SDP) [RFC4566], they are stated here to have a complete record of the requirements for CLUE. Determining whether a requirement needs new work or not will be part of the solution development, and is not discussed in this document. Note that the term "solution" is used in these requirements to mean the protocol specifications, including extensions to existing protocols as well as any new protocols, developed to support the use cases. The solution might introduce additional functionality that is not mapped directly to these requirements; e.g., the detailed information carried in the signaling protocol(s). In cases where the requirements are directly relevant to specific use cases as described in [RFC7205], a reference to the use case is provided.
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   REQ-1:   The solution MUST support a description of the spatial
            arrangement of source video images sent in video streams
            that enables a satisfactory reproduction at the receiver of
            the original scene.  This applies to each site in a point-
            to-point or a multipoint meeting and refers to the spatial
            ordering within a site, not to the ordering of images
            between sites.

            This requirement relates to all the use cases described in

            REQ-1a:  The solution MUST support a means of allowing the
                     preservation of the order of images in the captured
                     scene.  For example, if John is to Susan's right in
                     the image capture, John is also to Susan's right in
                     the rendered image.

            REQ-1b:  The solution MUST support a means of allowing the
                     preservation of order of images in the scene in two
                     dimensions - horizontal and vertical.

            REQ-1c:  The solution MUST support a means to identify the
                     relative location, within a scene, of the point of
                     capture of individual video captures in three

            REQ-1d:  The solution MUST support a means to identify the
                     area of coverage, within a scene, of individual
                     video captures in three dimensions.

   REQ-2:   The solution MUST support a description of the spatial
            arrangement of captured source audio sent in audio streams
            that enables a satisfactory reproduction at the receiver in
            a spatially correct manner.  This applies to each site in a
            point to point or a multipoint meeting and refers to the
            spatial ordering within a site, not the ordering of channels
            between sites.

            This requirement relates to all the use cases described in
            [RFC7205], but is particularly important in the
            Heterogeneous Systems use case.

            REQ-2a:  The solution MUST support a means of preserving the
                     spatial order of audio in the captured scene.  For
                     example, if John sounds as if he is on Susan's
                     right in the captured audio, John voice is also
                     placed on Susan's right in the rendered image.
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            REQ-2b:  The solution MUST support a means to identify the
                     number and spatial arrangement of audio channels
                     including monaural, stereophonic (2.0), and 3.0
                     (left, center, right) audio channels.

            REQ-2c:  The solution MUST support a means to identify the
                     point of capture of individual audio captures in
                     three dimensions.

            REQ-2d:  The solution MUST support a means to identify the
                     area of coverage of individual audio captures in
                     three dimensions.

   REQ-3:   The solution MUST enable individual audio streams to be
            associated with one or more video image captures, and
            individual video image captures to be associated with one or
            more audio captures, for the purpose of rendering proper

            This requirement relates to all the use cases described in

   REQ-4:   The solution MUST enable interoperability between endpoints
            that have a different number of similar devices.  For
            example, an endpoint may have 1 screen, 1 loudspeaker, 1
            camera, 1 mic, and another endpoint may have 3 screens, 2
            loudspeakers, 3 cameras and 2 microphones.  Or, in a
            multipoint conference, an endpoint may have 1 screen,
            another may have 2 screens, and a third may have 3 screens.
            This includes endpoints where the number of devices of a
            given type is zero.

            This requirement relates to the Point-to-Point Meeting:
            Symmetric and Multipoint Meeting use cases described in

   REQ-5:   The solution MUST support means of enabling interoperability
            between telepresence endpoints where cameras are of
            different picture aspect ratios.

   REQ-6:   The solution MUST provide scaling information that enables
            rendering of a video image at the actual size of the
            captured scene.

   REQ-7:   The solution MUST support means of enabling interoperability
            between telepresence endpoints where displays are of
            different resolutions.
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   REQ-8:   The solution MUST support methods for handling different bit
            rates in the same conference.

   REQ-9:   The solution MUST support means of enabling interoperability
            between endpoints that send and receive different numbers of
            media streams.

            This requirement relates to the Heterogeneous Systems and
            Multipoint Meeting use cases.

   REQ-10:  The solution MUST ensure that endpoints that support
            telepresence extensions can establish a session with a SIP
            endpoint that does not support the telepresence extensions.
            For example, in the case of a SIP endpoint that supports a
            single audio and a single video stream, an endpoint that
            supports the telepresence extensions would setup a session
            with a single audio and single video stream using existing
            SIP and SDP mechanisms.

   REQ-11:  The solution MUST support a mechanism for determining
            whether or not an endpoint or MCU is capable of telepresence

   REQ-12:  The solution MUST support a means to enable more than two
            endpoints to participate in a teleconference.

            This requirement relates to the Multipoint Meeting use case.

   REQ-13:  The solution MUST support both transcoding and switching
            approaches for providing multipoint conferences.

   REQ-14:  The solution MUST support mechanisms to allow media from one
            source endpoint or/and multiple source endpoints to be sent
            to a remote endpoint at a particular point in time.  Which
            media is sent at a point in time may be based on local

   REQ-15:  The solution MUST provide mechanisms to support the

            *  Presentations with different media sources

            *  Presentations for which the media streams are visible to
               all endpoints
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            *  Multiple, simultaneous presentation media streams,
               including presentation media streams that are spatially
               related to each other.

               The requirement relates to the Presentation use case.

   REQ-16:  The specification of any new protocols for the solution MUST
            provide extensibility mechanisms.

   REQ-17:  The solution MUST support a mechanism for allowing
            information about media captures to change during a

   REQ-18:  The solution MUST provide a mechanism for the secure
            exchange of information about the media captures.

6. Acknowledgements

This document has benefited from all the comments on the CLUE mailing list and a number of discussions. So many people contributed that it is not possible to list them all. However, the comments provided by Roberta Presta, Christian Groves and Paul Coverdale during WGLC were particularly helpful in completing the WG document.

7. Security Considerations

REQ-18 identifies the need to securely transport the information about media captures. It is important to note that session setup for a telepresence session will use SIP for basic session setup and either SIP or the Centralized Conferencing Manipulation Protocol (CCMP) [RFC6503] for a multiparty telepresence session. Information carried in the SIP signaling can be secured by the SIP security mechanisms as defined in [RFC3261]. In the case of conference control using CCMP, the security model and mechanisms as defined in the Centralized Conferencing (XCON) Framework [RFC5239] and CCMP [RFC6503] documents would meet the requirement. Any additional signaling mechanism used to transport the information about media captures needs to define the mechanisms by which the information is secure. The details for the mechanisms needs to be defined and described in the CLUE framework document and related solution document(s).
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8. Informative References

[RFC2119] Bradner, S., "Key words for use in RFCs to Indicate Requirement Levels", BCP 14, RFC 2119, March 1997. [RFC3261] Rosenberg, J., Schulzrinne, H., Camarillo, G., Johnston, A., Peterson, J., Sparks, R., Handley, M., and E. Schooler, "SIP: Session Initiation Protocol", RFC 3261, June 2002. [RFC4353] Rosenberg, J., "A Framework for Conferencing with the Session Initiation Protocol (SIP)", RFC 4353, February 2006. [RFC4566] Handley, M., Jacobson, V., and C. Perkins, "SDP: Session Description Protocol", RFC 4566, July 2006. [RFC4579] Johnston, A. and O. Levin, "Session Initiation Protocol (SIP) Call Control - Conferencing for User Agents", BCP 119, RFC 4579, August 2006. [RFC5117] Westerlund, M. and S. Wenger, "RTP Topologies", RFC 5117, January 2008. [RFC5239] Barnes, M., Boulton, C., and O. Levin, "A Framework for Centralized Conferencing", RFC 5239, June 2008. [RFC6503] Barnes, M., Boulton, C., Romano, S., and H. Schulzrinne, "Centralized Conferencing Manipulation Protocol", RFC 6503, March 2012. [RFC7205] Romanow, A., Botzko, S., Duckworth, M., and R. Even, "Use Cases for Telepresence Multistreams", RFC 7205, April 2014. [ITU.H323] ITU-T, "Packet-based Multimedia Communications Systems", ITU-T Recommendation H.323, December 2009.
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Authors' Addresses

Allyn Romanow Cisco Systems San Jose, CA 95134 USA EMail: Stephen Botzko Polycom Andover, MA 01810 USA EMail: Mary Barnes MLB@Realtime Communications, LLC EMail: