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Case Study: Overcoming Slow Bandwidth

March 2, 2013

Aberdeen creates a successful workflow for the transfer of long-form HD programs over the internet even at connection speeds under 1 Mb/s.

Background

Transferring files over the internet is hardly a new endeavor; however, many parts of the country still have limited access to high-speed bandwidth. One such client, Power Walk Ministries in Houston, TX had such a dilemma. Needing to have a weekly HD program go through post-production, get captioned and then delivered to a regional Fox affiliate in a three-day window left little hope for shipping and even less room for HD tape costs.

Solution and Execution

Quite a few hurdles needed to be overcome to ensure the Power Walk’s long-form (28:30) program could be transferred to Aberdeen for captioning and still make it to the station on time. A large part of the burden would be placed on Aberdeen’s AberFast file delivery service.

AberFast operates on the User Datagram Protocol (UDP) which maintains consistent transfer speeds well above what FTP or HTTP offers. This automated delivery mechanism is a managed file transfer solution that has bit-for-bit verification (MD5) and e-mail notification to ensure late-night deliveries arrive successfully well past the hours where shipping is even an option. Compounding the delivery difficulties was the outdated infrastructure of the neighborhood where the client’s studio was located. Upload speeds averaged less than 1Mb/s at their location. Even an SD-DV file at this speed could take over 15 hours to transfer. Significant compression was going to be needed to transfer a file in the necessary amount of time. Aberdeen’s broadcast solutions team designed a custom compression template for the client to ensure that every export would be as compressed as possible without sacrificing the visual or audio quality of the program.

Results

The final compressed file has a size under 2GB and transfers from the client’s studio to Aberdeen’s data center in under five hours. This allows Aberdeen’s AberCap division to complete the closed captioning in time for AberFast to transcode and deliver a custom file back to the FOX station in Texas in less time than a tape could have made half the journey. AberFast’s ability to leverage the most advanced technological applications and workflows in the industry enables them to deliver high-quality content at unparalleled speeds, meeting airdates around the globe.


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