Internet-Draft MoQ Use Cases and Requirements March 2023
Gruessing & Dawkins Expires 14 September 2023 [Page]
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J. Gruessing
Nederlandse Publieke Omroep
S. Dawkins
Tencent America LLC

Media Over QUIC - Use Cases and Requirements for Media Transport Protocol Design


This document describes use cases and requirements that guide the specification of a simple, low-latency media delivery solution for ingest and distribution, using either the QUIC protocol or WebTransport.

Note to Readers

RFC Editor: please remove this section before publication

Source code and issues for this draft can be found at

Discussion of this draft should take place on the IETF Media Over QUIC (MoQ) mailing list, at

Status of This Memo

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This Internet-Draft will expire on 14 September 2023.

Table of Contents

1. Introduction

This document describes use cases and requirements that guide the specification of a simple, low-latency media delivery solution for ingest and distribution [MOQ-charter], using either the QUIC protocol [RFC9000] or WebTransport [WebTrans-charter].

1.1. Note for MOQ Working Group participants

This version of the document is intended to provide the MOQ working group with a starting point for work on the "Use Cases and Requirements document" milestone. The update implements the work plan described in [MOQ-ucr]. The authors intend to request MOQ working group adoption after IETF 115, so the working group can begin to focus on these topics in earnest.

2. Terminology

The key words "MUST", "MUST NOT", "REQUIRED", "SHALL", "SHALL NOT", "SHOULD", "SHOULD NOT", "RECOMMENDED", "NOT RECOMMENDED", "MAY", and "OPTIONAL" in this document are to be interpreted as described in BCP 14 [RFC2119] [RFC8174] when, and only when, they appear in all capitals, as shown here.

3. Use Cases Informing This Proposal

Our goal in this section is to understand the range of use cases that are in scope for "Media Over QUIC" [MOQ-charter].

For each use case in this section, we also describe

It is likely that we should add other characteristics, as we come to understand them.

3.1. Interactive Media

The use cases described in this section have one particular attribute in common - the target the lowest possible latency as can be achieved at the trade off of data loss and complexity. For example,

  • It may make sense to use FEC [RFC6363] and codec-level packet loss concealment [RFC6716], rather than selectively retransmitting only lost packets. These mechanisms use more bytes, but do not require multiple round trips in order to recover from packet loss.
  • It's generally infeasible to use congestion control schemes like BBR [I-D.draft-cardwell-iccrg-bbr-congestion-control] in many deployments, since BBR has probing mechanisms that rely on temporarily inducing delay, but these mechanisms can then amortize the consequences of induced delay over multiple RTTs.

This may help to explain why interactive use cases have typically relied on protocols such as RTP [RFC3550], which provide low-level control of packetization and transmission, with addtional support for retransmission as an optional extension.

3.1.1. Gaming

Table 1
Attribute Value
Senders/Receivers One to One
Bi-directional Yes

Where media is received, and user inputs are sent by the client. This may also include the client receiving other types of signaling, such as triggers for haptic feedback. This may also carry media from the client such as microphone audio for in-game chat with other players.

3.1.2. Remote Desktop

Table 2
Attribute Value
Senders/Receivers One to One
Bi-directional Yes

Where media is received, and user inputs are sent by the client. Latency requirements with this use case are marginally different than the gaming use case. This may also include signalling and/or transmitting of files or devices connected to the user's computer.

3.1.3. Video Conferencing/Telephony

Table 3
Attribute Value
Senders/Receivers Many to Many
Bi-directional Yes

Where media is both sent and received; This may include audio from both microphone(s) and/or cameras, or may include "screen sharing" or inclusion of other content such as slide, document, or video presentation. This may be done as client/server, or peer to peer with a many to many relationship of both senders and receivers. The target for latency may be as large as 200ms or more for some media types such as audio, but other media types in this use case have much more stringent latency targets.

3.2. Hybrid Interactive and Live Media

For the video conferencing/telephony use case, there can be additional scenarios where the audience greatly outnumbers the concurrent active participants, but any member of the audience could participate. As this has a much larger total number of participants - as many as Live Media Streaming Section 3.3.3, but with the bi-directionality of conferencing, this should be considered a "hybrid". There can be additional functionality as well that overlap between the two, such as "live rewind", or recording abilities.

3.3. Live Media

The use cases in this section like those in Section 3.1 do set some expectations to minimise high and/or highly variable latency, however their key difference is that are seldom bi-directional as their basis is on mass-consumption of media or the contribution of it into a platform to syndicate, or distribute. Latency is less noticeable over loss, and may be more accepting of having slightly more latency to increase guarantee of delivery.

3.3.1. Live Media Ingest

Table 4
Attribute Value
Senders/Receivers One to One
Bi-directional No

Where media is received from a source for onwards handling into a distribution platform. The media may comprise of multiple audio and/or video sources. Bitrates may either be static or set dynamically by signaling of connection information (bandwidth, latency) based on data sent by the receiver.

3.3.2. Live Media Syndication

Table 5
Attribute Value
Senders/Receivers One to One
Bi-directional No

Where media is sent onwards to another platform for further distribution. The media may be compressed down to a bitrate lower than source, but larger than final distribution output. Streams may be redundant with failover mechanisms in place.

3.3.3. Live Media Streaming

Table 6
Attribute Value
Senders/Receivers One to Many
Bi-directional No

Where media is received from a live broadcast or stream. This may comprise of multiple audio or video outputs with different codecs or bitrates. This may also include other types of media essence such as subtitles or timing signalling information (e.g. markers to indicate change of behaviour in client such as advertisement breaks). The use of "live rewind" where a window of media behind the live edge can be made available for clients to playback, either because the local player falls behind edge or because the viewer wishes to play back from a point in the past.

4. Requirements for Protocol Work

Our goal in this section is to understand the requirements that result from the use cases described in Section 3.

4.1. Notes to the Reader

  • Note: the intention for the requirements in this document is that they are useful for MOQ working group participants, to recognize constraints, and useful for readers outside the MOQ working group to understand the high-level functionality of the MOQ protocol, as they consider implementation and deployment of systems that rely on the MOQ protocol.

4.2. Specific Protocol Considerations

In order to support the various topologies and patterns of media flows with the protocol, the protocol MUST support both sending and receiving of media streams, as separate actions or concurrently in a given connection.

4.2.1. Delivery Assurance vs. Delay

Different use cases have varying requirements with respect to the tradeoffs associated in having guarantee of delivery vs delay - in some (such as telephony) it may be acceptable to drop some or all of the media as a result of changes in network connectivity, throughput, or congestion whereas in other scenarios all media must arrive at the receiving end even if delayed. There SHOULD be support for some means for a connection to signal which media may be abandoned, and behaviours of both senders receivers defined when delay or loss occurs. Where multiple variants of media are sent, this SHOULD be done so in a way that provides pipelining so each media stream may be processed in parallel.

4.2.2. Support Webtransport/Raw QUIC as media transport

There should be a degree of decoupling from the underlying transport protocols and MoQ itself despite the "Q" in the name, in particular to provide future agility and prevent any potential ossification being tied to specific version(s) of dependant protocols.

Many of the use cases will be deployed in contexts where web browsers are the common application runtime; thus the use of existing protocols and APIs is desireable for implementations. Support for WebTransport [I-D.draft-ietf-webtrans-overview] will be defined, although implementations or deployments running outside browsers will not need to use WebTransport, thus support for the protocol running directly atop QUIC should be provided.

Considerations should be made clear with respect to modes where WebTransport "falls back" to using HTTP/2 or other future non-QUIC based protocol.

4.2.3. Media Negotiation & Agility

All entities which directly process media will have support for a variety of media codecs, both codecs which exist now and codecs that will be defined in the future. Consequently the protocol will provide the capability for sender and receiver to negotiate which media codecs will be used in a given session.

The protocol SHOULD remain codec agnostic as much as possible, and should allow for new media formats and codecs to be supported without change in specification.

The working group should consider if a minimum, suggestive set of codecs should be supported for the purposes of interop, however this SHOULD avoid being strict to simplify use cases and deployments that don't require certain capability e.g. telephony which may not require video codecs.

4.3. Media Data Model

As the protocol will handle many different types of media, classifications, and variations when all entities describe the media a model should be defined which represents this, with a clear addressing scheme. This should factor in at least, but not limited to allow future types:

Media Types

Video, audio, subtitles, ancillary data


Codec, language, layers


For each stream, the resolution(s), bitrate(s). Each variant should be uniquely identifiable and addressable.

Considerations should be made to addressing of individual audio/video frames as opposed to groups, in addition to how the model incorporates signalling of prioritisation, media dependency, and cacheability to all entities.

4.4. Publishing Media

Many of the use cases have bi-directional flows of media, with clients both sending and receiving media concurrently, thus the protocol should have a unified approach in connection negotiation and signalling to send and received media both at the start and ongoing in the lifetime of a session including describing when flow of media is unsupported (e.g. a live media server signalling it does not support receiving from a given client).

In the initiation of a session both client and server must perform negotiation in order to agree upon a variety of details before media can move in any direction:

  • Is the client authenticated and subsequently authorised to initiate a connection?
  • What media is available, and for each what are the parameters such as codec, bitrate, and resolution etc?
  • Can media move bi-directionally, or is it unidirectional only?

4.5. Naming and Addressing Media Resources

As multiple streams of media may be available for concurrent sending such as multiple camera views or audio tracks, a means of both identifying the technical properties of each resource (codec, bitrate, etc) as well as a useful identification for playback should be part of the protocol. A base level of optional metadata e.g. the known language of an audio track or name of participant's camera should be supported, but further extended metadata of the contents of the media or its ontology should not be supported.

4.6. Packaging Media

Packaging of media describes how encapsulation of media to carry the raw media will work. There are at a high level two approaches to this:

  • Within the protocol itself, where the protocol defines the carrying for each media encoding the ancillary data required for decoding the media.
  • A common encapsulation format such as ISOBMFF which defines a generic method for all media and handles ancillary decode information.

The working group must agree on which approach should be taken to the packaging of media, taking into consideration the various technical trade offs that each provide. If the working group decides on a common encapsulation format, the mechanisms within the protocol SHOULD allow for new encapsulation formats to be used.

4.7. Media Consumption

Receivers SHOULD be able to as part of negotiation of a session Section 4.2.3 specify which media to receive, not just with respect to the media format and codec, but also the varient thereof such as resolution or bitrate.

4.8. Relays, Caches, and other MOQ Network Elements

4.8.1. Pull & Push

To enable use cases where receivers may wish to address a particular time of media in addition to having the most recently produced media available, both "pull" and "push" of media SHOULD be supported, with consideration that producers and intermediates SHOULD also signal what media is available (commonly referred to as a "DVR window"). Behaviours around cache durations for each MoQ entity should be defined.

4.9. Security

4.9.1. Authentication & Authorisation

Whilst QUIC and conversely TLS supports the ability for mutual authentication through client and server presenting certificates and performing validation, this is infeasible in many use cases where provisioning of client TLS certificates is unsupported or infeasible. Thus, support for a primitive method of authentication between MoQ entities SHOULD be included to authenticate entities between one another, noting that implementations and deployments should determine which authorisation model if any is applicable.

4.9.2. Media Encryption

End-to-end security describes the use of encryption of the media stream(s) to provide confidentiality in the presence of unauthorized intermediates or observers and prevent or restrict ability to decrypt the media without authorization. Generally, there are three aspects of end-to-end media security:

  • Digital Rights Management, which refers to the authorization of receivers to decode a media stream.
  • Sender-to-Receiver Media Security, which refers to the ability of media senders and receivers to transfer media while protected from authorized intermediates and observers, and
  • Node-to-node Media Security, which refers to security when authorized intermediaries are needed to transform media into a form acceptable to authorized receivers. For example, this might refer to a video transcoder between the media sender and receiver.

**Note: "Node-to-node" refers to a path segment connecting two MOQ nodes, that makes up part of the end-to-end path between the MOQ sender and ultimate MOQ receiver.

Support for encrypted media SHOULD be available in the protocol to support the above use cases, with key exchange and decryption authorisation handled externally. The protocol SHOULD provide metadata for entities which process media to perform key exchange and decrypt.

5. IANA Considerations

This document makes no requests of IANA.

6. Security Considerations

As this document is intended to guide discussion and consensus, it introduces no security considerations of its own.

7. References

7.1. Normative References

Bradner, S., "Key words for use in RFCs to Indicate Requirement Levels", BCP 14, RFC 2119, DOI 10.17487/RFC2119, , <>.
Leiba, B., "Ambiguity of Uppercase vs Lowercase in RFC 2119 Key Words", BCP 14, RFC 8174, DOI 10.17487/RFC8174, , <>.

7.2. Informative References

Cardwell, N., Cheng, Y., Yeganeh, S. H., Swett, I., and V. Jacobson, "BBR Congestion Control", Work in Progress, Internet-Draft, draft-cardwell-iccrg-bbr-congestion-control-02, , <>.
Vasiliev, V., "The WebTransport Protocol Framework", Work in Progress, Internet-Draft, draft-ietf-webtrans-overview-05, , <>.
Jennings, C. F. and S. Nandakumar, "QuicR - Media Delivery Protocol over QUIC", Work in Progress, Internet-Draft, draft-jennings-moq-quicr-arch-01, , <>.
Jennings, C. F., Nandakumar, S., and C. Huitema, "QuicR - Media Delivery Protocol over QUIC", Work in Progress, Internet-Draft, draft-jennings-moq-quicr-proto-01, , <>.
Pugin, K., Frindell, A., Cenzano, J., and J. Weissman, "RUSH - Reliable (unreliable) streaming protocol", Work in Progress, Internet-Draft, draft-kpugin-rush-01, , <>.
Curley, L., Pugin, K., Nandakumar, S., and V. Vasiliev, "Warp - Live Media Transport over QUIC", Work in Progress, Internet-Draft, draft-lcurley-warp-03, , <>.
"Media Over QUIC (moq)", , <>.
"MOQ Use Cases and Requirements", , <>.
"Progressing MOQ", , <>.
Schulzrinne, H., Casner, S., Frederick, R., and V. Jacobson, "RTP: A Transport Protocol for Real-Time Applications", STD 64, RFC 3550, DOI 10.17487/RFC3550, , <>.
Watson, M., Begen, A., and V. Roca, "Forward Error Correction (FEC) Framework", RFC 6363, DOI 10.17487/RFC6363, , <>.
Valin, JM., Vos, K., and T. Terriberry, "Definition of the Opus Audio Codec", RFC 6716, DOI 10.17487/RFC6716, , <>.
Iyengar, J., Ed. and M. Thomson, Ed., "QUIC: A UDP-Based Multiplexed and Secure Transport", RFC 9000, DOI 10.17487/RFC9000, , <>.
"WebTransport (webtrans)", , <>.

Appendix A. Acknowledgements

The authors would like to thank several authors of individual drafts that fed into the "Media Over QUIC" charter process:

We would also like to thank Suhas Nandakumar for his presentation, "Progressing MOQ" [Prog-MOQ], at the October 2022 MOQ virtual interim meeting. We used his outline as a starting point for the Requirements section (Section 4).

James Gruessing would also like to thank Francesco Illy and Nicholas Book for their part in providing the needed motivation.

Authors' Addresses

James Gruessing
Nederlandse Publieke Omroep
Spencer Dawkins
Tencent America LLC
United States of America