Is it possible to monitor OTT services to the same standard as traditional broadcast services? How can they be visualised, what are the challenges and what makes monitoring streaming services different?
As with traditional broadcast, some broadcasters outsource the distribution of streaming services to third parties. Whilst this can work well in broadcast, there any channel would be missing out on a huge opportunity if they didn’t also monitor some analytics of the viewer using their streaming service. So, to some extent, a broadcaster always wants to look at the whole chain. Even when the distribution is not outsourced and the OTT system has been developed and is run by the broadcaster, at some point a third party will have to be involved and this is typically the CDN and/or Edge network. A broadcaster would do well to monitor the video provided at all points through the chain including right up to the edge.
The reason for monitoring is to keep viewers happy and, by doing so, reduce churn. When you have analytics from a player telling you something isn’t right, it’s only natural to want too find out what went wrong and to know that, you will need monitoring in your distribution chain. When you have that monitoring, you can be much more pro-active in resolving issues and improve your service overall.
Jeff Herzog from Verizon Digital Media Services explains ways to achieve this and the benefits it can bring. After a primer on HLS streaming, he explains ways to monitor the video itself and also how to monitor everything but the video as a light-touch monitoring solution.
Jeff explains that because HLS is based on playlists and files being available, you can learn a lot about your service just by monitoring these small text files, parsing them and checking that all the files it mentions are available with minimal wait times. By doing this and other tricks, you can successfully gauge how well your service is working without the difficulty of dealing with large volumes of video data. The talk finishes with some examples of what this monitoring can look like in action.
Discover the critical success factors the Broadcasters and platform owners, investing millions in building and upgrading OTT platforms, need to achieve to ensure they can compete successfully with a growing array of digital competitors and deliver compelling user experiences.
Many of these broadcasters are beginning to move from their initial OTT offerings to more mature services that can scale for the future, and answer the requirements of demanding viewers and regulators.
This webinar uncovers the essential parts of a flourishing OTT service, including:
– Delivering content at scale as more viewing and live events move to OTT
– Ensuring a class-leading user experience and quality
– Using analytics to maximise revenue and engagement
– Ensuring cost efficiency in the OTT workflow
– Securing platforms and content against piracy and malicious attacks
Encoding at a high quality is only part of the equation for delivering a great experience to your viewers. When something goes wrong, the way viewers feel is just as important and then when it’s going right.
In this talk, Brahim Allan from British Telecom talks is through their experiment finding out how people felt about various different types of video impairment and the various sizes of screen now available on smart phones, tablets and, of course, TVs.
Brahim explains that they compared errors associated with broadcast and multicast delivery which appear as areas of extreme color or tearing of the image, with errors associated with Adaptive Bit Rate unicast, such as interruptions and quality variations. Interruptions were the most annoying impairment and interestingly young students have similar views to the adults.
Mux’s Justin Sanford explains the difference between Quality of Service and Quality of Experience; the latter being about the entire viewer experience. Justin looks at ‘Startup time’ showing that it’s a combination of an number of factors which can include loading a web page showing the dependence of your player on the whole ecosystem.
Justin discusses rebuffering and what ‘quality’ is when we talk about streaming. Quality is a combination of encoding quality, resolution but also whether the playback judders.
“Not every optimisation is a tradeoff, however startup time vs. rebuffering is a canonical tradeoff.”
Finally we look at ways of dealing with this, including gathering analytics, standards for measuring quality of experience, and understanding the types of issues your viewers care most about.
From San Francisco Video Tech.
Subscribe to get daily updates
Views and opinions expressed on this website are those of the author(s) and do not necessarily reflect those of SMPTE or SMPTE Members.
This website is presented for informational purposes only. Any reference to specific companies, products or services does not represent promotion, recommendation, or endorsement by SMPTE