Channel 4 deploys Aspera to transfer video content to the cloud for 4oD

British broadcaster Channel 4 has selected Aspera to enable the transfer of thousands of hours of video content to the cloud for its video-on-demand service, 4oD (4 on Demand). Channel 4 has deployed Aspera On Demand, IBM’s cross cloud high-performance transfer platform, to reduce the time it takes to transfer over 100 hours of new video content each week — amounting to 100 terabytes of data a year.

Available through 22 platforms, including set-top-box services Virgin Media and Sky catch up, mobile devices, PCs, connected TVs and game consoles, 4oD offers a variety of programs recently shown on Channel 4’s linear channels, Channel 4, E4 and More4, as well as from its archives. Before investing in Aspera On Demand, Channel 4 was delivering content to 4oD via FTP, and wanted to find a way to improve their delivery to viewers.

With Aspera On Demand, the broadcaster now benefits from a modern, easy-to-manage solution that’s secure, reliable and speeds up the entire process. Transfer capacity can be scaled-out as needed to meet demand, and the deep integration of the Aspera FASP high-speed protocol with the underlying cloud-based object storage APIs ensures maximum speed end-to-end, while adding key transfer management features such as adaptive bandwidth control, pause, resume and encryption over the wire and at rest. Large collections of small files for “tiled” video formats such as HLS are transferred equally as fast as large video files, and up to 10x faster then typical cloud transfer technologies. As a result, all video content is transferred efficiently and securely from Channel 4’s playout center in West London directly to its cloud object storage in Dublin.

“We decided that Aspera was a mature, fast, reliable and secure solution capable of handling the high volume of video content delivery direct to cloud storage,” said Simon Christie, broadcast systems engineer, Distribution & Broadcast Technology, Channel 4.

Channel 4 was able to easily integrate Aspera On Demand into its existing IT infrastructure. The entire process of transferring content to the cloud is now fully automated, including automated error handling.


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