nov dec | Page 14

Cover Story

also be very different . As such , operators have no choice but to deploy differing tools for different parts of their network to collect telemetry and identify problems . Telemetry collected by the various systems and probes might or might not be aggregated into a single dashboard via some umbrella management system . That decision is often driven by budget cycles and / or organisational silos . VeEX : First , there needs to be a change in mentality . Many service providers still rely on link and connectivity testing ( Layers 1 , 2 and 3 ), but even with good physical links you can have poor QoS and QoE , due to congestion , latency and oversubscription bottlenecks . Layer 4 + testing becomes extremely important to assure positive customer experiences . The subscriber ’ s home or small business networks ( LAN , Wi-Fi ) also play a key role in QoE . Legacy home or enterprise equipment , like 802.11n wireless routers that can ’ t keep up with the Internet service speed contracted , can be the root of the problem . Although it may seem like the subscriber ’ s problem , service providers can ’ t ignore this and need the right tools to reliably ensure the broadband services are delivered as promised . Otherwise , it may trigger unnecessary
support calls , truck rolls and frustration .
Is there any difference in how OTT services offered as part of operators ’ packages are handled compared with their own linear services ? Mediaproxy : Through largely homogenised infrastructure and streamlined post-production workflows , media assets follow the same stringent path through to linear broadcast and OTT services . With a growing audience from mobile devices , OTT requires the same level of quality assurance . Promptlink : This varies from operator to operator , but many have increased QoS for OTT services they are offering in order to keep customers satisfied . Others have tried to stem the erosion of pay-TV by focusing on their linear services . Qligent : They are learning that OTT services
have a tremendous amount of greater flexibility from the consumer perspective . It ’ s the disconnect between linear broadcast and anything on-demand . There is simply more flexibility offered within the entire service the closer we move to on-demand , especially for live services . OTT services are agile , and they flex and grow . Traditional linear services require upfront planning , so there is an increasing awareness around the benefits of OTT . R & S : Broadcasters offering their own linear services alongside packaged OTT services from other providers are always interested in ensuring a high quality of service regardless where content originated – after all it ’ s their brand that is at stake here . Broadcasters live by their brand and we help them deliver that excellent quality of brand through a wide range of solutions and services we offer from the technical signal monitoring through to consistent , automated multichannel branding across their channel portfolio . SSIMWAVE : In terms of video quality subscribers don ’ t differentiate between the two - they expect the same quality from OTT services as they do from linear channels . But since the Internet was not made specifically for video delivery there are a lot of issues that providers need to figure out
Survey : Void in measuring impact of viewing

The media industry lacks a clearly defined picture of how bitrate optimisation impacts

the viewer experience , according
to a survey of OTT providers ,
broadcasters and multichannel
video providers . The survey ,
which aggregated input from
300 respondents , showed wide
variations in the methodologies
used to understand optimisation ,
and in how metrics are collected .
While more than 35 % of
respondents relied on technical
approaches such as PSNR ( 14 %),
SSIM [ structural similarity index measure ] ( 11.3 %) and VMAF [ Video Multimethod Assessment Fusion ] ( 10 %), for example , 8.3 % relied on viewer surveys and 3.3 % said that they had no plans to check the impact at all . The survey was conducted on behalf of viewer-centric video quality evaluation specialist SSIMWAVE by streaming industry expert Dan Rayburn .
“ As consumers turn to streaming as their primary source of video entertainment , quality is becoming increasingly important ,” said Dr . Abdul Rehman , CEO and co-founder of SSIMWAVE . “ These results underscore the need for a consistent , objective measuring
standard that can help operators choose optimisation strategies that balance cost efficiency with the need to maximise viewer satisfaction .”
According to the survey , the top methods used by the industry at large to measure the impact of optimisation on the viewer experience are : PSNR ( 14 %), thirdparty platforms ( 13 %), providers ’ internal video engineers ’ methodologies ( 12.7 %), and SSIM ( 11.3 %). PSNR ( 18 %) was the leading methodology used by multichannel video providers , while third-party platforms ( 23 %) was the leading broadcast option and internal video engineers ’ methodologies ( 27 %) dominated within OTT respondents .
In addition to the impact of bitrate optimisation on viewer experiences , the survey also highlighted Quality of Experience ( QoE ) and costs as the top two concerns streaming providers have as they begin to scale viewership . More than 35 % identified “ measuring our QoE success with viewers ” as the top issue , while more than 21 % said the main concern was “ increased delivery costs .” The survey also shows that almost one-third of respondents ( 32.3 %) do not believe that their Quality of Experience creates an advantage over competitors in the market , and that another 23 % were unsure of how to measure their QoE versus that of competitors .