March 2015 – This report, written by Steven Hawley of tvstrategies, for SNL Kagan, provides a category analysis and technical recommendations for video content and service providers delivering video services using traditional MPEG transport and via adaptive bit-rate streaming.
Broadcasters have always placed a high value on video quality, which also has long been a proven differentiator for pay TV operators. Now that TV has gone from a single-screen broadcast experience involving set-top boxes, to an interactive experience that extends across many screens, the process of video quality assurance has become more complicated than ever before.
Three aspects of video quality are well established: the quality of the source video itself as it enters distribution, the potential of degradation of the underlying data streams (Quality of Service) during the process of delivery over a network, and the quality and responsiveness perceived by the end consumer (Quality of Experience).
A fouth dimension of video quality has emerged with the delivery of video over the Internet, using adaptive bit-rate streaming, which focuses more on the quality of the transaction between the consumer (player) device and the video content resources being accessed, including buffering, playback success rate, and other factors.
About this report
This report presents an in-depth overview and analysis of video quality assurance and management for TV set-top box and multiscreen delivery. The report begins by defining the concepts of Video Quality (‘VQ’), Quality-of-service (‘QoS’) and Quality-of-Experience (‘QoE’).
The report also identifies the available types of video test and monitoring solutions, and positions them within the overall TV delivery framework. Other sections of the report identify how test and measurement solutions are packaged and sold, and identify the prevailing technical standards.
The report also makes specific recommendations as to how to implement test and monitoring, and identifies accepted quality parameters (also known as Key Performance Indicators or KPIs) for video quality, for maintaining the integrity of video content as it is delivered in digital form through networks, and for video quality based on human perceptual models. The report also lists and compares the offerings of 25 different test, measurement and monitoring suppliers. Appendices provide in-depth reference materials that are useful in understanding the technologies, measurement points, and performance metrics for video test and monitoring.