PeerApp, Limelight Networks and EdgeCast Networks jointly formed the open Content Service Extension initiative last year to enable an open-standards environment through which broadband operators can work collaboratively with Internet content providers and web applications to deliver services in a manner that efficiently utilizes network infrastructure and maximizes subscriber Quality of Experience (QoE). The CSE architecture allows CDNs and content service providers to extend their business logic and delivery footprint deeply into operator networks, through invocation of network functions and capabilities deployed and controlled by the operator. It also establishes a mechanism through which operators can be fairly compensated for the role their infrastructure and network capabilities play in service delivery. In addition to participating in this demonstration, Sandvine will also be formally joining the Content Service Extension initiative.
The demonstration features managed delivery of 4K video content from Limelight's global CDN footprint into the home, triggering operator caching and network Quality of Service (QoS) extension services in a trusted and controlled fashion. The operator-side implementation of the CSE service architecture includes PeerApp's UltraBand cache and CSE controller platforms as well as Sandvine's Service Delivery Engine (SDE).
When packets are lost over a TCP connection, they’re retransmitted. This slows delivery 50 percent to ensure that the replacement packets make it through. Roy sites a study by Vern Paxson, a computer science professor at the University of California at Berkeley, that shows most homes have packet loss of 2 percent. Increased interference from mobile devices will compound the problem, Roy says.
Packet Express circumvents this slow down by replacing lost packets with an error correction technology, one that doesn’t force a retransmission. It transforms packets using high order linear algebra, Roy says, and delivers substitutes for any packets lost. It also determines when networks are congested and alters the pace of the TCP transmission for optimal delivery.
Rather than sitting on the network, Packet Express is integrated into an iOS or Android client application. App makers simply need to include the Q Factor library in their video players and recompile them. The code adds 500kb of data.
As the multicast standard for Long Term Evolution (LTE), Enhanced Multimedia Broadcast Multicast Service (eMBMS) was introduced by Third Generation Partnership Project (3GPP) to facilitate delivery of popular content to multiple users over a cellular network. If a large number of users is interested in the same content, for e.g., live sports, news clips, etc., multicast transmission can significantly lower the cost and make better use of the spectrum as compared to unicast transmission.
In this paper, we study and analyze the quality of experience (QoE) at the end user during live video streaming over eMBMS. We consider a comprehensive end-to-end MBMS streaming frame-work based on H.264/AVC encoded video content delivered in a chunked format over multiple segments using the File Delivery over Unidirectional Transport (FLUTE) protocol, combined with application layer (AL) forward error correction (FEC) based on Raptor and RaptorQ codes. Specifically, our study involves QoE evaluation in terms of startup delay, rebuffering percentage and Peak Signal-to-Noise Ratio (PSNR) metrics and provides performance evaluations to characterize the impact of various MBMS streaming, transport and AL-FEC configurations on the end user QoE. We also propose a decoding strategy that takes into consideration the systematic structure of AL-FEC codes to enhance performance when a source block decoding fails.
Bridge Technologies has launched PocketProbe, an iPhone app that enables objective analysis of real network performance of streaming media, in a simple to use, easy to understand tool that technical staff can carry anywhere.
PocketProbe contains the same OTT Engine found in the company’s VB1, VB2 and 10G VB3 series digital media monitoring probes, enabling confidence validation and analysis of http variable bit-rate streams from any location.
PocketProbe is available in two versions: the free application can validate five HLS streams in round-robin mode, provide analysis and manifest consistency alarms, play back media in the various profile bit-rates, and graphically display the actual chunk download patterns and bit-rates. The full version also offers the ability to validate HDS and SmoothStream manifest files and store twenty-five streams with all profiles.
Agama Technologies, the video service quality assurance expert, today announces that it is launching a unique Churn Identification Application addition to the reputable Agama DTV Monitoring Solution at IBC2012. This latest innovation brings enhanced support to TV operators worldwide in their mission to reduce churn rates, thereby securing higher revenues and reduced costs for customer acquisition.
A strategy to actively reduce churn rates naturally entails identifying those customers at risk of leaving the service. Insight into and understanding of the customer experience and quality distribution is essential to be able to accomplish that. At IBC2012, Agama is launching a unique Churn Identification Application extension to its powerful DTV Monitoring Solution, which efficiently can identify customers experiencing problems and at risk of churning. It utilizes intelligent analytics to data mine the real-time, 24/7 service quality monitoring data for every single customer, and it is seamlessly scalable to operators with millions of subscribers. With support of automation and proactive workflows, the extension enables operators to act to retain the customer - before he or she even decides to move to the competition.
Assuming responsibility for the quality of video that traverses relatively unmanaged networks to unmanaged endpoints poses new challenges for Pay TV operators. Accustomed to spotting problems within managed networks, traditional test and monitoring systems accordingly are shifting into new territory.
Video quality assessment with subjective testing is both time consuming and expensive. An interesting new approach to traditional testing is the so-called crowdsourcing, moving the testing effort into the internet. We therefore propose in this contribution the QualityCrowd framework to effortlessly perform subjective quality assessment with crowdsourcing. QualityCrowd allows codec independent quality assessment with a simple web interface, usable with common web browsers. We compared the results from an online subjective test using this framework with the results from a test in a standardized environment. This comparison shows that QualityCrowd delivers equivalent results within the acceptable inter-lab correlation. While we only consider video quality in this contribution, QualityCrowd can also be used for multimodal quality assessment.
Dynamic Adaptation Streaming over HTTP (DASH) enhances the Quality of Experience (QoE) for users by auto-matically switching quality levels according to network conditions. Various adaptation schemes have been proposed toselect the most suitable quality level during video playback. Adaptation schemes are currently based on the measured TCP throughput received by the video player. Althoughvideo buffer can mitigate throughput fluctuations, it does not take into account the effect of the transition of quality levels on the QoE.
In this paper, we propose a QoE-aware DASH system(or QDASH) to improve the user-perceived quality of videowatching. We integrate available bandwidth measurement into the video data probes with a measurement proxy archi-tecture. We have found that our available bandwidth measurement method facilitates the selection of video quality levels. Moreover, we assess the QoE of the quality transitions by carrying out subjective experiments. Our results show that users prefer a gradual quality change between the best and worst quality levels, instead of an abrupt switching. Hence, we propose a QoE-aware quality adaptation algorithm for DASH based on our findings. Finally, we integrate both network measurement and the QoE-aware quality adaptation into a comprehensive DASH system.
The SVC4QoE consortium has concluded its project to show how the combination of Scalable Video Coding (SVC) and Quality of Experience (QoE) technologies can improve mobile multimedia services using DVB-T2 transmission. SVC means the receive device can be given a base layer video stream and an enhancement layer.
A QoE monitoring probe inside the receive device was used to detect any deterioration in receive conditions so the decoder could respond, if necessary, by using the base layer only to ensure continued service.
The Agama DTV Monitoring Solution is a unique solution for continuous and real-time monitoring and quality assurance of all forms of video delivery, from service creation to consumption, enabling proactive customer experience management. With extended support for multiple adaptive bitrate formats, including both Apple HTTP Live Streaming (HLS) and Microsoft Silverlight Smooth Streaming, the solution can be efficiently tailored for any OTT and multiscreen environment. It features sophisticated and seamlessly scalable components for powerful monitoring in the OTT head-end and CDN, as well as for fully concurrent and non-intrusive service quality assurance directly in each and every set-top box, connected TV, smartphone or other player device.
today announced a partnership with Conviva to integrate Conviva’s video performance monitoring technology with Limelight’s massively provisioned global computing platform. Together, the solutions take a huge step forward in improving online video viewing quality and delivery. Adding Conviva’s analytics to the Limelight suite of products will give Limelight customers access to real-time audience metrics and will provide new data for Limelight operations teams to improve overall network performance.
The new solution, called Embedded Insights, will give Limelight Networks’ customers access to a tailored version of Insights, Conviva’s advanced video analytics offering. Conviva monitors the experience of each online viewer and reports up-to-the-second measurements of video quality and audience engagement. Embedded Insights will help users see problems within the content delivery network while also monitoring audience reach and engagement.
Video monitoring specialist Tektronix has launched Sentry digital content monitoring, which is designed to enable cable operators to ensure the quality of live and on-demand services delivered using adaptive streaming through the identification and diagnosis of video and audio quality issues that can impact viewers’ quality of experience (QoE).
How can publishers ensure that their viewers are getting a TV-like experience with MPEG-DASH video? At the recent Streaming Forum conference in London, experts from Qualcomm and Bitmovin explained the finer points of QoE for DASH.
"How can the DASH standard or standardized formats have to increase the quality, once there is some kind of metrics or logging functionality at the client that gives you means to communicate to another instance -- a logging server or whatever -- what's going on in the client side?" asked Christian Timmerer, CIO for Bitmovin. "In DASH there is an Annex D which is a normative definition of semantics for these metrics according to different observation points. If you have the DASH access client -- that basically is the one that issues the HTTP request -- and gets the responses and hands that over to what we call here a DASH-enabled application, which then in the end feeds into a display for rendering purposes or whatever."
Since 2012, YouTube has been trying to reduce dramatically the time it takes for a video to start from the moment you press play. Flash Networks (Mobixell at the time) was among the first to detect a new proprietary implementation called sliced bread.
The matter might seem trivial, but internal research from Google show that most users find a waiting time exceeding 200ms unacceptable for short videos.
YouTube has been developing a proprietary protocol, based on HTTP adaptive streaming DASH to decrease latency and start time for its videos.
“This may be the icing that makes the UHD cake work.”
The Dolby demo, showing a 1080p HD picture with pumped-up brightness and color, was a startling improvement over even the best TVs available today, including the early UHD models. Metallic surfaces gleam like mirrors. Colors glow, luminous and rich. Highlights and shadows alike keep their detail. What’s more, unlike 4K TV, that improvement is visible even at a distance from the screen.
The next-generation of CDN needs to give service providers much greater control over bandwidth priorities in the home, Alcatel-Lucent believes. If there are multiple devices competing for bandwidth, you need to be able to say that a connected television needs priority for streaming and that a smartphone should be given a lower bitrate stream, for example.
“Service providers need a way to control the quality that is delivered to every screen and that is not possible today with adaptive bitrate streaming,” Mestric explains. “So in the CDN we will include a session manager that makes the CDN aware of all the different devices and session requests so that if you start to watch video on an iPhone and there is no congestion in the access network you will get the highest bitrate possible, but if someone else in the family turns on a connected TV device the service provider can then limit the bitrate profiles that can be accessed by the iPhone, for instance.”
Mestric points out that session prioritization could be useful if there is contention on mobile networks. Then a content provider could prioritize a premium subscriber over a basic subscriber so they get the higher bitrate if there is no chance to provide them both with the best possible experience.
Nicolas Weil's insight:
Interesting approach fro priviledging premium subscribers/contents, and a new competitor for Seawell Networks Spectrum which is delivering this kind of features for a long time now...
Pay TV operators and their technology partners both are keen to promote quality—high quality, to be exact. In recent years, the technical community has shifted some attention from one related gauge, quality of service (QoS), to a more consumer-centric metric, quality of experience (QoE)
Sometime during the past five years, streaming video on demand from the Internet became a respectable delivery method.
Today, traditional broadcasters, networks and many upstarts deliver a breathtaking number of online playbacks every day, and suddenly there needed to be methods for monitoring, testing and measuring the stability and reliability of this new delivery medium. There’s even a new name for video that’s delivered online on demand to viewers: over-the-top (OTT) video.
Broadcasters are great at creating high quality content, but delivering the content online has been a puzzle as far as ensuring that viewers got an experience as good as the broadcast signal. Fortunately, several companies responded with a variety of products to allow just about every facet of online video to be tested and measured.
Zond 265 is the first-to-market tool for the visual in-depth analyzing of HEVC/H.265 video bitstreams. It is intended to help video developers and researchers in codec development, easily isolate and identify visual artifacts or problems with bitstream compliance, and see the encoding elements of video data.
It shows in a handy way NAL information, frames types, frames sizes, time stamps, decoding/display order counters, bits distribution between frame elements, coding units data, coding units coefficients, predicted partitions, transform partitions, motion vectors, quantizers, different stages of picture decoding - predicted picture, before deblock filtering, after deblock filtering, and final picture.
The College of Computing at Georgia Institute of Technology and the Video & Content Platforms Research and Advance Development Division at Cisco have published a white paper on HTTP adaptive streaming. The paper focuses on the problem of competing video players and describes how the typical behavior of an adaptive streaming player in its Steady-State, which includes periods of activity followed by periods of inactivity (ON-OFF periods), is the main root cause behind three performance problems: player instability, unfairness between players, and bandwidth underutilization.
Pixelmetrix will unveil its new OTT Media Grinder (OMG), a comprehensive system for validation of Over-The-Top Delivery Infrastructure. The OMG enables operators to qualify and periodically audit OTT Service Quality by simultaneously emulating thousands of OTT clients – generating large amounts of OTT transaction traffic into the network.
The OMG simulates thousands of OTT clients (iPhone, iPad, etc) with multiple user-defined behaviours. Pools of clients can behave well (for example, consume content to the end), while other pools of clients can randomly change speeds, drop connections, or flap between adaptive bitrates.
The IP&TV World Forum 2012 will take place from March 20 to 22 in London, and in preparation Bridge Technologies is previewing a system for monitoring over-the-top (OTT) and TV everywhere services.
Bridge's offering is called the microAnalytics System, and it's designed to monitor multiple devices, including smartphones and tablets. Bridge says this is the first time operators will be able to view data from set-top boxes, connected TVs, iOS devices, and other mobile devices remotely and in real-time.
Bell Labs has developed new tools for more precise measuring of the quality of experience (QoE) of video streaming services, particularly video quality.
- Current QoE measures don’t accurately measure video streaming performance
- Accurate QoE measurement differentiates video streaming services
- New tools allow operators to focus on the video part of QoE to attract and retain customers
Video has greater emotional impact and renders visual complexity better than any other medium. Successful video delivery requires an understanding of these twin factors, and how best to shape the video experience to deliver them. Delivering an outstanding QoE is critical for video streaming service providers. It is a differentiating factor in attracting new users, but also the best way to enhance multimedia revenue streams.
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