Quality of Experience (QoE) - A New Tool for Measuring Video Streaming Performance

Next Generation Communications Blog

Quality of Experience (QoE) - A New Tool for Measuring Video Streaming Performance

By Erin Harrison

Video has become an integral part of everyday life – it has greater emotional impact and delivers visual complexity better than any other medium, a recent Alcatel-Lucent blog,  An Innovative Tool for Measuring Video Streaming QoE,  pointed out.

“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,” the authors stated.

In fact, Alcatel-Lucent research shows that 12 percent of monthly service calls received per household dealt with video quality issues; bad QoE was the highest individual cause of churn.

Consider the following points:

  • ·         Current QoE measures don’t accurately measure video streaming performance;
  • ·         Accurate QoE measurement differentiates video streaming services; and
  • ·         New tools allow operators to focus on the video part of QoE to attract and retain customers.

For video streaming service providers, delivering an outstanding QoE is critical to their business.

“It is a differentiating factor in attracting new users and significant in reducing churn, because users will stick around as long as their perceived QoE matches their expectations,” the blog continued.

One of the first criteria video streaming service providers needs to tackle is video quality. Such a measurement is complex as it involved various factors such as the viewing conditions, the type of device used and the viewing environment. But the most common metric to measure video quality is called the Mean Opinion Score (MOS), which consists of soliciting user opinions to rate video quality after compression and transmission.

Bell Labs has developed new tools for more precise measuring of the quality of experience (QoE) of video streaming services, particularly video quality – most important is the Alcatel-Lucent video inspector tool.

The video inspector tool is able to assess the end-user experience for a wide variety of standard and proprietary streaming solutions, and was designed to be easily extendable with new protocols/codecs, according to Alcatel-Lucent officials.

The primary goal of the tool is to monitor the video quality of a network operator, but it does so in a way that provides a diagnostic analysis of the possible root cause of unsatisfactory video quality. The video inspector tool is one component of the Video Quality of Experience Assessment service provided by Alcatel-Lucent.

With video streaming and other video capabilities becoming core offerings for service providers, and quality of experience (QoE) looming as a key, if not the key differentiator between services, having tools that can accurately spot and diagnose issues surrounding poor quality video will be vital.  The Alcatel-Lucent video inspector tool can be an important addition to any company seeking to assure its video services are best in class and can be quickly made so in the unlikely event that troubles occur.

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