Ian Hamilton on Broadcast Bridge: What is UDP acceleration?

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Reading about advances in file transfer protocols probably isn’t a common pastime for most broadcast professionals. However, the Broadcast Bridge editors made good on their promise of “Connecting IT to Broadcast” with last week’s article by Signiant CTO Ian Hamilton. It covers the basic mechanics and limitations of standard data transfer protocols like TCP and FTP, and how Signiant’s acceleration technology improves on them with SaaS solutions that are much easier to use and more secure.

“TCP (transfer control protocol) is used by both HTTP and FTP, and, for the large majority of data moving over the Internet, TCP works fine,” said Hamilton. “However, TCP uses a relatively unsophisticated data transfer mechanism that can lead to slow data transfer, especially with large files and high bandwidth over distance.”

Since large-file video transport is a central aspect of global media production, from set to broadcast, this is a subject worth at least a little brain space for any media professional; and, really anyone involved in a data-intensive industry. Efficiently sharing large data sets over the Internet has long been a challenge in media, but other industries are now feeling the same frustrations as their data types also expand due to technological advances.

For media, it’s been improvements in imaging technology (SD leaped to HD, 2K, 4k and 8k) bringing exponentially larger files. Other industries like life sciences have seen similar data expansions following advances in genome sequencing technology. Then there’s increasingly high resolution satellite imagery, which is used in everything from mapping apps to NASA projects. And those are just a few examples.

Being able to transfer such large data easily, whether it’s between people or into the cloud, is essential for many business and research applications; something older protocols can’t do, and why the core acceleration technology in Signiant’s products is getting more press recently.

“‘UDP acceleration’ is the industry vernacular for the kind of acceleration technology Signiant has developed,” said Hamilton. “However, our acceleration protocol involves much more than basic UDP…”

Curious to learn some of the technical detail behind modern data transfer protocols, including how they handle large files, latency and bandwidth? Check out the entire article on Broadcast Bridge:

Applied Technology: How Signiant’s Media Shuttle Transfers Large Files Quickly and Securely



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