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RFC 2326

The Real-Time Streaming Protocol (RTSP) is an application level protocols for control over the delivery of data with real-time properties. RTSP provides an extensible framework to enable controlled, on-demand delivery of real-time data, such as audio and video. Sources of data can include both live data feeds and stored clips. This protocol is intended to control multiple data delivery sessions, provide a means for choosing delivery channels such as UDP, multicast UDP and TCP, and provide a means for choosing delivery mechanisms bases upon RTP.

The streams controlled by RTSP may use RTP, but the operation of RTSP does not depend on the transport mechanism used to carry continuous media. The protocol is intentionally similar in syntax and operation to HTTP/1.1 so that extension mechanisms to HTTP can in most cases also be added to RTSP. However, RTSP differs in a number of important aspects from HTTP:

  • RTSP introduces a number of new methods and has a different protocol identifier.
  • An RTSP server needs to maintain state by default in almost all cases, as opposed to the stateless nature of HTTP.
  • Both an RTSP server and client can issue requests.
  • Data is carried out-of-band by a different protocol. (There is an exception to this.)
  • RTSP is defined to use ISO 10646 (UTF-8) rather than ISO 8859-1, consistent with current HTML internationalization efforts.
  • The Request-URI always contains the absolute URI. Because of backward compatibility with a historical blunder, HTTP/1.1 carries only the absolute path in the request and puts the host name in a separate header field.

This makes virtual hosting easier, where a single host with one IP address hosts several document trees.

Vulnerabilities for this protocol (from CVE)

CVE ID Protocol Source Port Targetport

TCP/IP Protocols: