Towards a Reliable File Transfer Solution for TV Stations

Adopting a file-based production workflow is a challenge as the industry continuously evolves. From upgrading to UHD resolutions to accommodating a variety of internet speeds to meeting global demands, file transfer tools can make or break production workflows. Commonly used methods for sending media files are either slow, atrociously tedious, or ridiculously expensive.

Industry Challenge 1: Moving mountains of media

The industry-model in shipping physical media is inefficient. Physical media is prone to damage and is subject to weather conditions. Backups of backups are needed just in case a hard-drive fails during its travel or because of old age. As automated workflows necessitate media transfer over IP networks, the convenience of online transfer adds pressure on the whole industry to make the switch. Fortunately, with increasing internet speeds, online file transfer has become a viable solution for moving mountains of media.

Industry Challenge 2: Finding a reliable online file transfer solution

Online file transfers are currently dominated by FTP. The architecture behind this file transfer methodology is notoriously unreliable and error-prone, especially for massive media files.

An overlooked bottleneck for FTP transfers is the quality of the internet connection. Hotel networks, 4G services, mobile hotspots, and coffee shops are notorious for dropped connections. Over FTP, when a file transfer is interrupted by a dropped internet connection, the transfer “appears” complete when in reality it’s not. Senders are calling recipients to let them know that the transfer finished, and the recipients are responding that the transfer is incomplete and needs to be restarted.

The same lack of visibilty causes headaches on the sender’s side too. When they see that the transfer is no longer active, they have no idea if the transfer completed or if it failed. There’s no email notification nor indication that it’s completed. This decreases productivity for both senders and recipients.

Finally, maintaining FTP servers is no simple undertaking. It requires dedicated IT resources and hardware and software investments.

Any truly reliable online file transfer solution should address these concerns:

  • Resuming a file transfer in the case of internet outage or computer restart
  • Providing the fastest possible transfer by maximizing usage of available bandwidth
  • Resilient to a variety of internet speeds, computer configurations, and external storage systems
  • Easily integrates into the existing media workflow
  • Readily-accessible customer support for both the sender and recipient of a file transfer

Unlike other enterprise tools, an online file transfer platform is a middle-man between 2 companies. This mission-critical utility is not just a tool. It is the truck that delivers the goods. Investing the time to find a partner that supports your bottom line and your reputation will pay off in the long run.