The emergence of streaming multimedia players provides users with low latency audio and video content over the Internet. Providing high-quality, best effort, real-time multimedia content requires adaptive delivery schemes that fairly share the available network bandwidth with reliable data protocols. Real-time multimedia traffic must avoid halting TCP-based HTTP traffic! This paper proposes a new flow and congestion control scheme, SCP (Streaming Control Protocol), for real-time streaming of continuous multimedia data across the Internet. The design of SCP arose from our long-time experience in building and using an adaptive real-time streaming video player. SCP addresses two issues associated with real-time streaming. First, it uses a congestion control policy that allows it to fairly share network bandwidth with both TCP and other SCP streams. Second, it improves smoothness in streaming and ensures low, predictable latency. This distinguishes it from TCP's jittery steady-state congestion avoidance policy that is based on linear growth and one-half rate reduction. In this paper, we present a description and analysis of SCP, and an evaluation using actual Internet-based experiments
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