What do you see as the biggest challenge associated with assuring video service and quality to connected devices?
The biggest challenge associated with assuring video service and quality to connected devices is the unmanaged network. The HTTP video streaming networks of today have so many variables to manage: Adaptive Bitrate (ABR) transcoded video files, different ABR protocols (Apple HLS and Microsoft Smooth Streaming, for example) and multiple CDN’s. If that wasn’t enough, because of the unmanaged network, at any time, a provider has no control over the number, type and location of the devices accessing its network. Without the proper service and quality assurance solutions in place, multiscreen and OTT video service quality is at risk.
How can multiscreen video service assurance solutions impact a company’s overall business model?
The most significant impact of video service assurance solutions is the ability to improve customer experience. In today’s new video everywhere world, customers can switch between video sources very quickly. With content readily available from multiple sources, quality has become the determining factor in customer loyalty. Essentially, multiscreen and OTT providers only have a few chances to get video quality right before the customer gives up and goes to another service. So, video service assurance plays a major role in the company’s overall business model.
How can multiscreen video service assurance solutions improve customer retention and reduce churn?
Understanding customer behavior is the starting point for understanding customer retention and churn. To truly understand customer behavior, providers must start by monitoring the quality of the viewing session. For example, if a customer watches a video and leaves the service, a provider doesn’t know if the customer just didn’t like the video content, or if the viewing experience was so poor that the customer had to leave. With quality assurance solutions, providers can correlate quality with customer behavior and truly understand why a customer takes a specific action. Five minutes of terrible video quality or five minutes of perfect video quality each give completely different context to customer churn.
Where do you see the video services industry heading in terms of video technology development and advancement?
The main development in the industry is the desire to constantly increase the amount of video programs in a multiscreen service. As providers try to accomplish this, the infrastructure build out will be quite large. Of course, adding more devices to the network increases its complexity and the chances for quality impairment. Quality assurance solutions should be a key consideration as HTTP video streaming services and networks are expanded.
How can the quality be managed on the end device (PC, tablet, SmartPhone, etc)?
Delivering high quality video over the unmanaged last mile is a real challenge for providers. The best strategy for assuring video quality is to monitor after the CDN in two ways. The first is remote monitoring probes that can request all video assets from the CDN, assuring quality and a number of other parameters, like HTTP connection and Index/Manifest file accuracy. The other way is to monitor from the video application itself and report this information back to a centralized management system. By correlating this information with monitoring points in the head end and CDN, providers can view the end-to-end health of the network.
Does IneoQuest offer CDN services?
No. IneoQuest provides video quality assurance solutions for multiscreen and OTT video services. This includes solutions that monitor the quality of video sent through a CDN.
Does IneoQuest offer mobile apps for monitoring analytics and alerts?
IneoQuest offers mobile versions of its video quality management systems on iPhone and iPad. These mobile versions display dashboards and reports and are ideal for service/content provider executives who want a quick, high-level look at the health of their business.
Can manufacturers (as well as service providers) benefit from IneoQuest solutions?
IneoQuest products can be used by equipment manufacturers for test and measurement purposes. By generating video traffic and monitoring video quality after the device with IneoQuest probes, equipment manufacturers can test their products before shipping them to customers. IneoQuest probes use industry standards measurements, allowing equipment manufacturers to assure industry-standard level performance compliance for their products.
Paul Casinelli is Product Marketing Manager – Adaptive Streaming Solutions for IneoQuest Technologies, Inc. He specializes in developing successful strategies and driving initiatives and campaigns for IneoQuest’s HTTP adaptive streaming video solutions. He works with leading industry analysts and contributes papers on topics ranging from HTTP Video QoS metrics to the application of Program Availability statistics. In his role, Paul collaborates with sales and engineering teams to round out IneoQuest’s offering in the Internet and Mobile Video market.