Pros & Cons of UDP vs TCP

Goals

Gain an understanding of the pros and cons of using UDP vs TCP for delivering large bandwidth video streams in order to
help inform decision-making about which protocol to build a service around

Early Findings

TCP

  • TCP works on something called 'flow control principle' which means it won't transmit new data if previous packages haven't been fully transmitted.
  • Thus, the pro of TCP protocol is that it's guaranteed all data packages will be delivered, and no part of the media stream will be lost.

UDP

  • Another source notes that the use case is likely relevant. Streaming sports would be better for UDP as even a few second lag may make people miss a major game event, whereas for streaming where the quality including having no gaps is of higher priority, for example, streaming or downloading a video for quality playback, TCP may be better.




Proposed next steps:

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Provide 2-3 case studies of live streaming services that use UDP including successes and challenges
Provide 2-3 case studies of live streaming services that use TCP including successes and challenges