elemedia® H.263v2 Soft-Codec

The Agora Labs elemedia H.263v2 Codec was originally developed at Lucent’s Bell Labs.  There are three versions of H.263, the baseline version (or H.263v1), H.263+ (or H.263 v2) and H.263++ (or H.263 v3, also known as H.263 1998 version).

The H.263v2 codec software development kit has many options that can be negotiated each time a video call is made, and can often be changed while the codec is running. 

 H.263 and H.263v2 are not compatible codecs.  While H.263v2 can decode an H.263v1 encoded stream, there is no requirement for H.263v1 to decode a stream encoded in H.263v1.  H.263+ and H.263++ are compatible, provided that the extra capabilities H.263++ adds are negotiated to be not used.  The Agora Codec can be used as an H.263v2 codec or as an H.263v3 codec.

The Agora H.263v2 and H.263v3 codec libraries allow video frames to be any size the specification allows, and the specification allows for frames to be sized in multiples of four pixels.

The H.263v2 softcodec was designed to run on IP based networks.  The Agora elemedia H.263v2 codec can output packets that conform to RFC 2429, "RTP Payload Format for the 1998 Version of ITU-T Rec. H.263 Video (H.263+)"  Agora's RTP stack also supports RFC-2429.  If you use both Agora's H.263v2 codec library and Agora's RTP/RTCP stack, your integration task becomes easier.

Like H.261 and H.263, H.263v2 and H.263v3 specifications define how to decode the video stream, the H.263v2 encoder is left up to the developer's discretion.  Agora has made many improvements to the encoder in order to improve the viewer's experience of the picture.  Agora has added many features to allow the H.263v2 encoder to work more effectively over lower-speed channels.

H.263v2 and H.263v3 and other videoconferencing encoders and decoders are designed to operate in real-time on affordable processors because a video telephone call or video conference can tolerate only a very slight delay.  Other video encoders do not run in real-time and do not need inexpensive processors because they are used to encode data to a disk or tape and only the decoder needs to run in real time.

Agora Labs provides indemnity from Lucent patents with its H.263+ codec.

Agora Labs is a premier H.263v2 codec IP stack module supplier, providing a video codec that has a small footprint and is fast.  Agora prides themselves on their support which is unparalleled.  Please contact us for more details.

The elemedia H.263v2 SDK is available as a binary module for use by system developers.  It has been used in many systems, including Windows servers and workstations, and Linux servers and workstations.  An H.263v2 DLL is available off-the-shelf.