QoS monitoring essential to coping with device diversity

August 13, 2013 - 8:10pm

The rapid consumerization of the video delivery market has led to rapid rises in the number of devices intended for watching video content as well as the amount of different operators serving up programming. However, while devices and deliverers proliferate, the infrastructure that connects them might not be keeping pace. End-to-end system monitoring is at a key juncture, as system operators have to take into account a wider swath of signals that incorporate a high variety and volume of devices. Meanwhile, consumers grow increasingly impatient with the quality of their programming and service. Quality of service (QoS) monitoring is therefore critical to satisfying consumer demands without driving up the costs of connectivity.

Users are increasingly turning to OTT video options, getting their favorite content from web streaming or digital services. If consumers are watching TV, they may be doing it accompanied by another device - a recent report from NBD DisplaySearch found that 88 percent of tablet owners and 82 percent of smartphone owners multitasked while viewing TV programming, using their mobile devices to browse the web or interact on social media. Such activity may be related to the content they are viewing - or it could be completely irrelevant. What is clear is that the way people watch TV has irrevocably shifted. Not only are people likely to watch TV on many different devices, they expect to have several different high speed internet and digital connections available simultaneously.

Why monitoring is essential to robust signal quality
OTT video delivered over IP and multi-device while watching can create problems for multichannel distribution and bandwidth, wrote The Guardian contributor Aditya Kishore. According to a consumer survey conducted by The Guardian, one third of respondents said that buffering-related interruptions were the most annoying aspect of viewing video online, while almost one quarter said that initial buffering delays were the most frustrating part of the experience and 13 percent cited pixelization. Overall, a majority of people were frustrated with the quality of online video.

"Network connections are a shared resource, and more users simply add more congestion," he wrote. "This leads to slower page loads, delayed video starts, stream interruptions and video degradation, creating a poor quality of experience (QoE) for the end-user."

Kishore wrote that monitoring service quality is a key aspect in the drive to optimize broadcast signals for IP delivery. A state-of-the-art IP distribution monitoring probe, for instance, can offer video transport providers a top QoS monitoring capacity in difficult environments. These devices' constant oversight of bandwidth overflow and underflow and signal loss makes operators immediately aware of any diminished quality levels.

Signal Quality
Video Analysis
Video Monitoring