Real-Time Streaming Protocol (RTSP)

Real-time streaming protocol is a way of managing the provision of media content to a device over the internet. It provides real-time media functionality between servers and client devices and allows for time-synchronized audio and video content. The protocol does not stream the media itself, rather it communicates with the server providing the data on the end user and device needs.

Terms related to Real-Time Streaming Protocol: Multimedia, audio, video, streaming, content, HTTP.

RTSP is a type of “remote control” that provides details on end user and device needs when streaming multimedia information. For example, RTSP would communicate a user’s need to start stop, fast forward, rewind, or pause audio or video content.

When a user attempts to stream multimedia content, RTSP queries the source of the content to establish what control options are available. The source of the content responds to this request and RTSP works with the user interface to show relevant commands to the end user. RTSP helps to build a streaming connection between the client device and the multimedia source for reliable, high-quality playback.

RTSP communicates details of various multimedia options and embeds commands and requests including  Describe, Setup, Teardown, Redirect, Play, Pause, Record, and more. RTSP allows users to stream content online, rather than having to download multimedia content to their devices before viewing or listening. It is used for viewing videos, internet radio, podcasts, music streaming services, and video streaming platforms.

RTSP works across standard HTTP (public internet) networks, making it compatible across many existing devices, services, and applications. This has led to its wide adoption for managing multimedia content.