A free, open-source SIP-H.323 gateway with video?

Has anyone implemented a video-capable SIP-H.323 gateway using free, open-source software?

If so, please comment.

Asterisk, FreeSWITCH and YATE all have some ability to connect SIP and H.323 endpoints to one another. Asterisk acts as a back-to-back user agent (B2BUA) and the other two act as proxies. All can switch audio calls. Video seems to be another story.

In theory, it should be straightforward. The difficult part is translating the signaling; the media streams are the same. Thus the interworking component (PBX, switch, or proxy) should be able to translate signaling and then proxy the media between the endpoints. If video is just another media stream, why doesn’t it work just the same as an audio-only call?

I’ve tested YATE (built-in modules), Asterisk’s chan_ooh323, a custom chan_ooh323 for Asterisk 1.4 that specifically enables video (but crashes/disconnects, and is definitely not supported unless you buy the unnamed company’s video IVR product, which I haven’t), FreeSWITCH’s mod_h323 and mod_opal. I never really got the FreeSWITCH mods working stably. YATE and Asterisk worked fine in audio mode. Neither would translate video (H.263 protocol, nothing fancy).

Additional reading: RFC 4123, Session Initiation Protocol (SIP)-H.323 Interworking Requirements

5 thoughts on “A free, open-source SIP-H.323 gateway with video?”

  1. Thanks Garrett. It looks like a lot of the open-source efforts petered out. Maybe some more commercial development will reinvigorate the open-source developers as well.

  2. Bill, I just had lunch with a company that is working on a SIP to H.323 gateway. Not source how it will eventually roll out, but it is in the works. I’ll keep you posted if I learn more.

  3. Bill, I know that Dialogic and Digium are doing a lot of work in the space right now. I believe that you will see Dialogic, AudioCodes and maybe even Sangoma push out some “innovations” (via their hardware/software to make this possible in the near future. I’ve seen and attended one webinar where this issue was discussed and it seemed like an answer was coming soon.

  4. BigBlueButton looks like a wonderful free system. What I’m looking for, more specifically, is a way to bring H.323 video endpoints (for example, the Polycom ViewStation) into a SIP network.

    There’s a ton of H.323 video gear still in use out there. It would be great if it could interoperate with newer SIP equipment.

  5. Your findings are exactly right! Video seems to be the last piece of the free solution puzzle. I have had some success using BigBlueButton’s system which uses Freeswitch and Red5 media server to serve video,audio and a presentation board through a flash front end. Perhaps the use of Freeswitch/Asterisk and a Red5 server could do what you want?

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