browser/webrtc version of hypervision
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Experiment: porting hypervision to the browser

hypervision is a desktop application built with dat and electron that lets you watch and broadcast peer-to-peer live streams. When users connect to a stream, they distribute the data they receive amongst each other. This bypasses the need for a central server, and the huge amount of bandwidth required to deliver the same data to every user.

As hypervision is built on top of electron, it has access to the node runtime, allowing users to connect to each other using protocols like TCP, UDP and UTP. In web browsers like Firefox & Chrome, we don't have access to these tools. We are required to use WebRTC, a collection of protocols that allows browsers to connect directly to each other.

This repository is an experiment in porting hypervision to the browser, using WebRTC.


Clone this repo to your hard-drive:

$ git clone

Install required dependencies:

$ npm install

Run the development server:

$ npm start


NOTE: Please test in both Firefox & Chrome. Sometimes one works, and the other doesn't. I'm not sure why.

Open two tabs inside the same browser, and navigate each to http://localhost:8080.

  • In one tab, open the broadcast page.
  • In the other, open the watch page.

Make sure to open the devtools console in each tab.

  • In the broadcast tab, press the [Start broadcast] button. Your browser should ask for access to your webcam and microphone. For this to work, you will need to allow access.

  • Your broadcast has now begun. Copy the key underneath the [Start broadcast] button to your clipboard.

  • In the watch tab, paste the key you just copied into the Key: input field, then press the [Watch broadcast] button above. This tab will now try connecting to the broadcast in the other tab.

Current issues

  • Joining the swarm can often be unreliable. For this, we are using a signalhubws server, which has been installed on a instance to co-ordinate WebRTC connections. Connection success rates vary, sometimes because of the browser you're using. I'm not sure why.

  • If peer connection is successful, the viewer will tend to download the first and second blocks of the dat/hypercore feed, and then either timeout before it can download anymore, or just stop working altogether. Once again, I'm very new to WebRTC, so I'm unsure as to why. Getting dat feeds to replicate between peers using node is pretty flawless, but in the browser success has been patchy.

  • If successive block downloads are successful, incoming video data should start being appended to a MediaSource object. However, I haven't been able to successfully make the <video> element on the watch page playback. I'm not sure if I'm appending data incorrectly or not.

  • Any feedback/ideas regarding the issues above is much appreciated. I'd be lying if I said I really knew what I was doing.