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What is transport?

"Transport" refers to the method or protocol used to deliver audio, video, or other media data over a network from a streaming server to a client device for playback. It involves the transmission and delivery of media packets from the server to the client, ensuring that the data arrives in a timely and orderly manner.

Here are a few common transport protocols used in streaming:

HTTP (Hypertext Transfer Protocol): Streaming protocols such as MPEG-DASH (Dynamic Adaptive Streaming over HTTP) and HLS (HTTP Live Streaming) utilize HTTP as the transport protocol. HTTP is widely supported by web servers, proxies, and firewalls, making it suitable for delivering streaming content over the internet. It uses TCP (Transmission Control Protocol) as the underlying transport mechanism, which ensures reliable delivery of data.

RTP (Real-Time Transport Protocol): RTP is a transport protocol specifically designed for real-time transmission of multimedia data over IP networks. It is commonly used in applications that require low latency, such as live streaming and video conferencing. RTP is often used in conjunction with other protocols like RTSP (Real-Time Streaming Protocol) or SIP (Session Initiation Protocol) to establish communication sessions and manage the delivery of streaming media.

UDP (User Datagram Protocol): UDP is a lightweight transport protocol that offers faster data transmission but without the built-in reliability mechanisms of TCP. It is commonly used in streaming applications where real-time delivery and low latency are prioritized over error-free transmission. UDP is often used in conjunction with protocols like RTP or proprietary streaming protocols.

WebSocket: WebSocket is a communication protocol that provides full-duplex communication channels over a single TCP connection. It enables interactive and real-time streaming scenarios by establishing a persistent connection between the server and the client. WebSocket allows bidirectional data flow, making it suitable for applications that require low latency and real-time interaction, such as live chat or real-time gaming.

The choice of transport protocol depends on various factors, including the streaming application, network conditions, client device capabilities, and specific requirements for latency, reliability, and interactivity. Different streaming protocols may use different transport mechanisms to ensure efficient and reliable delivery of media data from the server to the client during streaming.

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