Integrating a VIDEO RBT Service

I am currently working on involving video Ring Back Tone (RBT) in Asterisk. Although I am still relatively new to Asterisk, I have been assigned to this project and would greatly appreciate your expertise in helping me navigate through the implementation process.

To provide some context, the project involves the following functionality:

  1. Caller A initiates a call to Caller B as a standard audio call.
  2. Caller B is assigned a personalized video as their Ring Back Tone.
  3. Caller A is able to watch the video until Caller B decides to answer the call.

After conducting some initial research on Asterisk and its support for video codecs, I have come to understand that Asterisk alone may not be capable of achieving this functionality. I attempted to integrate NGINX for video streaming purposes, but unfortunately, I did not achieve the desired outcome.

My primary objective in reaching out to you is to determine if implementing this feature is feasible using Asterisk, or if I should explore alternative approaches instead.

I am currently working on involving video Ring Back Tone (RBT) in Asterisk.

So, this sounds like a form of Early Media, but including video as well as (or
instead of?) audio?

  1. Caller A initiates a call to Caller B as a standard audio call.

Using what sort of equipment / client?

  1. Caller B is assigned a personalized video as their Ring Back Tone.

What does “personalized video” mean (and what does the word “Tone” mean in
this context)?

  1. Caller A is able to watch the video until Caller B decides to answer the
    call.

So, if Caller A is now expected to watch a video, why was the call originally
placed as an audio call?

Also, where is this video stream coming from, if not from B?

Finally, what happens when B answers the call? Is this then a video call
between A and B, or does it revert back to plain audio? If the latter, what
was the purpose of the video?

After conducting some initial research on Asterisk and its support for
video codecs, I have come to understand that Asterisk alone may not be
capable of achieving this functionality.

Asterisk is perfectly capable of supporting video calls, but it’s not clear to
me where the source of the video stream is in this setup.

I wouldn’t be surprised if, with appropriate manipulation of the SDP, Asterisk
can tell A to expect a video stream from X, but as I say, it’s not clear to me
where X is.

Asterisk itself certainly will not generate a video stream for you - it can
pass one through, but I won’t generate one.

I attempted to integrate NGINX for video streaming purposes, but
unfortunately, I did not achieve the desired outcome.

It might help if you showed us (or at least explained in more detail) what you
tried and whether the problem was with generating the video stream, or with
getting Asterisk to forward it to A.

Antony.

Hi, Thanks for the reply.

Think of this project as a normal RBT service. When I initiate a call to someone, instead of hearing a tone (until they answer), I am being shown a video instead.

So, this sounds like a form of Early Media, but including video as well as (or
instead of?) audio?

Yes, it includes audio and video as a way to entertain the caller until the call has been answered.

Using what sort of equipment / client?

For the time being, I am using PortSIP for development. But the project will later on be integrated with a mobile operator and enable this feature with a mobile phone’s default dialer. (I understand that it might not work on all devices and it only works on LTE devices)

What does “personalized video” mean (and what does the word “Tone” mean in
this context)?

A user can upload whatever video they prefer to our servers and set it as their default V-RBT to be played when someone is calling them.

So, if Caller A is now expected to watch a video, why was the call originally
placed as an audio call?

Because in production, callers will be initiating the call with their default dialer and not with a custom mobile application.

Also, where is this video stream coming from, if not from B?

This is the issue that i am trying to resolve. At first, I thought that asterisk would be fine with streaming video but after research found out that I need some other service to handle the streaming from which i went and tried with NGINX.

Finally, what happens when B answers the call? Is this then a video call
between A and B, or does it revert back to plain audio? If the latter, what
was the purpose of the video?

The call gets answered and the video stops playing and it a normal audio call is set in place.

So, this sounds like a form of Early Media, but including video as well
as (or instead of?) audio?

Yes, it includes audio and video as a way to entertain the caller until the
call has been answered.

In that case, assuming the equipment being used by A is capable of supporting
video, you “merely” need to get the source of the video inserted into the SDP
which Asterisk sends to A. I’ve no idea whether Asterisk’s standard early
media function includes video support, but if you’re prepared to fiddle with
the source code, given that Asterisk supports early media, and also supports
video, I wouldn’t expect it to be too hard to add this feature if it’s not
already there.

How to get video preview? may help if
you didn’t find it already.

For the time being, I am using PortSIP for development. But the project
will later on be integrated with a mobile operator and enable this feature
with a mobile phone’s default dialer. (I understand that it might not work
on all devices and it only works on LTE devices)

You’ve gone way beyond my understanding of what a mobile phone (using standard
calling, and not some extra app such as WhatsApp etc) could achieve.

A user can upload whatever video they prefer to our servers and set it as
their default V-RBT to be played when someone is calling them.

Sounds quite undesirable for the caller, in my opinion. If I make a phone
call, I want to talk to the person I’m calling. I don’t want to get some
video played at me, which is presumably either advertising the services of the
company the callee works for, or showing me what the callee’s cat has done
recently.

Because in production, callers will be initiating the call with their
default dialer and not with a custom mobile application.

I don’t know where in the world you are, and which mobile operator/s you’re
dealing with, but do you really have a service where you can place a standard
call using the native dialler on your mobile phone, and get video?

I’ve never heard of this being possible.

Antony.

I read it as Asterisk looks up the called number and plays back a recording, not that this is early media from B.

Dial does not support video early media.

I agree, but how would you implement “play back a recording to A, until B
answers, and then bridge B to A”?

I’m still intrigued by the idea that a mobile phone on a standard network can
support a video call in its native dialler. Have you (david551) come across
this anywhere?

Antony.

As far as I know speech, short message and facsimile are the only teleservices supported by any mobile network as telephony, and video is only ever supported over their data services. However, I missed anything the OP said about using basic mobile phone services. GSM 02.03 Version 5.1

Thanks - that matches my understanding of what mobile network operators
support.

The comment from the OP which made me ask this was “in production, callers
will be initiating the call with their default dialer and not with a custom
mobile application.”

Admittedly the OP also said “the project will later on be integrated with a
mobile operator and enable this feature with a mobile phone’s default dialer”
however I wasn’t quite sure how literally to interpret that, suggesting that
some mobile network operator might start to support video via the native
dialler…

Antony.

suggesting that some mobile network operator might start to support video via the native
dialler

Please refer to this youtube video: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GRNzVGRU9Z8

It explains the project I was assigned to as it is exactly what I want to do.

Solutie Huawei Video RBT* - YouTube

Having watched that, I can only say that every single example is something
that I would really not want as a caller.

That entire presentation seems to be focused from the point of view either of
the network provider (who stands to gain revenue from providing such a service
whether the recipient wants it or not) or the content provider (who sees it as
a marketing opportunity, which is more or less the same as “whether the
recipient wants it or not”).

How much market research has been done to find out whether callers want this
sort of thing?

If someone is not available to take my call, I want either:

a) a busy tone (simple, audio, “beep… beep… beep”, that’s it)

b) an announcement “this person can’t take your call, please try later”

c) voicemail “hi, thanks for calling… leave a message… beep…”

Anything involving video is just irritating, a waste of my bandwidth, and not
in the least bit productive to the call I was trying to make.

It’s even worse than the companies who intersperse Music on Hold (which can be
bad enough itself for callers) with promotional announcements about all the
wonderful things they want to sell, when all the caller wants to hear is a
person answering “hello, how can I help you?”

If I want to watch kittens, I’ll look them up on Youtube. If I want a company
promotional message, I’ll visit the website. If I want to know where you are
and what you’re doing, I’m probably already using WhatApp (or something
similar) and I know about it without calling you. If I want to talk to you, I
don’t want a video unless it’s you answering my call and giving me a surprise
that video works over GSM now.

Maybe you’ll find a way of doing this with Asterisk, but I can only say as a
phone user that I hope it doesn’t become mainstream.

Antony.

1 Like

and I would prefeer

d) SIP response code 4XX

Did you mean 1XX? Or are you say that the caller is defective in trying to call someone that would offer them a video “Ring Back Tone”? 4xx is (calling) client error.

If the op controls the client software/app, it would be trivial to do outside of asterisk, i.e., when a SIP call is initiated, just play a pre-recorded video from a web service based on the phone number/extension dialed or perhaps even a SIP header or response code, and then just replace that video with the video from asterisk once the call is answered, etc. The possibilities are endless with this approach.

well any [1-6]XX
but I realy hate providers that will do an 183 “the user is busy please try later, repeat, repeat”
and not just send me a 4XX
as that make it hard to track down problem calls

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