The choice of streaming protocol plays a crucial role in the quality and efficiency of the streaming process. Among the plethora of options, protocols like RTMP, RTSP, SRT, and methods involving WebDAV and HTTP stand out. Each streaming protocol has its unique strengths and limitations, making them suitable for different streaming scenarios. Let’s delve into these protocols, exploring their pros and cons.

1. RTMP (Real-Time Messaging Protocol)

What is RTMP?

RTMP, or Real-Time Messaging Protocol, is a technology used for streaming audio, video, and data over the Internet in real-time. It’s commonly used for live streaming and interactive applications, providing a reliable and low-latency connection between a server and a client.


  • Widely Supported: RTMP is supported by most streaming platforms and software, making it a universal choice.
  • Reduced Latency: It offers lower-latency streaming, which makes it interesting for live events and interactive broadcasts.
  • Reliable: Offers consistent delivery of audio and video streams even on less stable networks.


  • Declining Support: With the rise of newer protocols, support for RTMP is gradually declining.
  • Limited Adaptability: It doesn’t support adaptive bitrate streaming natively, which can be a drawback in varying network conditions.

2. RTSP (Real Time Streaming Protocol)

What is RTSP?

RTSP, or Real-Time Streaming Protocol, is a network control protocol designed for controlling streaming media servers. It enables the delivery of audio and video content over the Internet and is commonly used in surveillance cameras, online video streaming, and other applications where real-time streaming is essential.


  • Footprint in Surveillance: RTSP is widely used in surveillance and IP camera streaming.
  • Control Options: Offers control over the streaming media, like pause, play, and record.
  • Compatibility: Compatible with a variety of encoders and servers.


  • Higher Latency: Generally, RTSP streams have higher latency compared to RTMP.

3. SRT (Secure Reliable Transport)

What is SRT?

SRT, or Secure Reliable Transport, is a video transport protocol that ensures secure and reliable delivery of high-quality video streams over unpredictable networks. It is often used in live broadcasting scenarios, where maintaining low latency and high reliability is crucial.


  • Highly Secure: SRT is designed with security in mind, offering encryption for streaming content.
  • Low Latency, High Performance: Ideal for high-quality, low-latency video over problematic networks and long distances.
  • Error Recovery: Excellent at recovering from packet loss, ensuring stream integrity.


  • Lesser Compatibility: Not as widely supported as RTMP or RTSP.
  • Complex Setup: SRT is more complex to set up compared to other protocols.

4. HTTP (Hypertext Transfer Protocol)

What is HTTP?

HTTP, or Hypertext Transfer Protocol, is an application layer protocol that enables the transfer of hypertext, such as web pages, between clients (browsers) and servers. HTTP is the basis for web communication and is used every time you access a website or send/receive data on the internet.


  • Universal Support: Virtually all web services support HTTP, ensuring broad compatibility.
  • Adaptive Streaming: HTTP is commonly used for adaptive bitrate streaming, enhancing viewer experience across varying network conditions.
  • Easy to Implement: Generally easier to implement and integrate into existing infrastructures.


  • Higher Latency: Not ideal for low-latency streaming needs.
  • Dependent on Internet Quality: Performance heavily reliant on the quality of the internet connection.

5. WebDAV (Web-based Distributed Authoring and Versioning)

What is WebDAV?

WebDAV, or Web Distributed Authoring and Versioning, is an extension of the HTTP protocol that allows users to collaboratively edit and manage files on remote web servers. It facilitates file management, version control, and collaborative work. Thus, making it useful for applications that require shared access to documents over the web.


  • Flexibility in Content Management: Allows users to manage and edit files collaboratively on a server.
  • Adaptability: Useful for pushing adaptive streams, providing flexibility in content delivery.
  • Low latency: by pushing adaptive HLS and DASH streams from the source to the origin, latency can be ultra-low.


  • Not Specifically Designed for Streaming: since Webdav is not specifically designed for live streaming, not all streaming platforms and CDNs support Webdav.
  • Complex Configuration: Can be more complex to set up and manage compared to dedicated streaming protocols.

Jet-Stream Cloud and live streaming protocols

In order to support as many encoders, and use cases, Jet-Stream Cloud supports a wide range of streaming contribution protocols out of the box, including RTMP, RTSP, SRT, WebDAV and HTTP. Contact us for advice on which protocols are the best fit for your use cases.