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What is RTP?
Why real-time?
Components of RTP
Applications of RTP
Packet Structure of RTP
RTP Header
Application Level Framing
What is RTCP?
Types of RTCP packets



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Header Structure of RTP

The following figure shows the RTP header structure -

RTP header structure

  • version (V): 2 bits
    This field identifies the version of RTP. The version is 2 upto RFC 1889.
  • padding (P): 1 bit
    If the padding bit is set, the packet contains one or more additional padding octets at the end which are not part of the payload. The last octet of the padding contains a count of how many padding octets should be ignored. Padding may be needed by some encryption algorithms with fixed block sizes or for carrying several RTP packets in a lower-layer protocol data unit.
  • extension (X): 1 bit
    If the extension bit is set, the fixed header is followed by exactly one header extension.
  • CSRC count (CC): 4 bits
    The CSRC count contains the number of CSRC identifiers that follow the fixed header.
  • marker (M): 1 bit
    Marker bit is used by specific applications to serve a purpose of its own. We will discuss this in more detail when we study Application Level Framing.
  • payload type (PT): 7 bits
    This field identifies the format (e.g. encoding) of the RTP payload and determines its interpretation by the application. This field is not intended for multiplexing separate media.
  • sequence number: 16 bits
    The sequence number increments by one for each RTP data packet sent, and may be used by the receiver to detect packet loss and to restore packet sequence. The initial value of the sequence number is random (unpredictable).
  • timestamp: 32 bits
    The timestamp reflects the sampling instant of the first octet in the RTP data packet. The sampling instant must be derived from a clock that increments monotonically and linearly in time to allow synchronization and jitter calculations.
  • SSRC: 32 bits
    The SSRC field identifies the synchronization source. This identifier is chosen randomly, with the intent that no two synchronization sources within the same RTP session will have the same SSRC identifier.
  • CSRC list: 0 to 15 items, 32 bits each
    The CSRC list identifies the contributing sources for the payload contained in this packet. The number of identifiers is given by the CC field. If there are more than 15 contributing sources, only 15 may be identified. CSRC identifiers are inserted by mixers, using the SSRC identifiers of contributing sources.


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Last updated: March 1st, 2018