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Ensuring end-to-end quality for IPTV

More than ever, the seamless delivery of video services throughout the network is a business imperative for IPTV operators, and managing customer experience is a key differentiator between video providers.

Anyone with valuable content wants to distribute it to as wide an audience as possible and that means delivering to all connected devices; tablets, mobile devices, set-top-boxes, computers, games consoles and connected TVs.

This intensified competition places more emphasis on the quality of the viewing experience and it’s effect on customer satisfaction. IPTV providers will need to be focused on assuring video quality throughout their network to enhance the customer experience in the expanding video market.

There are many challenges in delivering video to millions of connected devices and maintaining high quality services, as it is more complex and there is less visibility into viewer experience.

Since Internet and mobile video services are extremely different from broadcast TV, it is vital that operators and content providers adapt to the video everywhere transformation in order to meet subscriber expectations and maintain viewership.

Though most IPTV providers have been exploring multiscreen opportunities through content delivery networks and streaming TV options, in order to properly implement these plans, they must be able to assure that their video services across a multi-vendor network maintain the same optimal quality that consumers have grown accustomed to with traditional IPTV services.

IPTV and content providers need to understand the opportunities, as well as challenges, that exist as a result of multiscreen video capabilities. Meaningful data is required in order to understand the performance of the video delivery network allowing operators to respond to critical events, manage capacity and plan resources.

Quality of Service (QoS) and Quality of Experience (QoE) metrics, specifically designed for adaptive video delivery, provide the framework for effectively monitoring and gaining insight into the overall health of the network.

Automated in-depth analysis in real time of video and audio content across hundreds of programs simultaneously simplifies overall network health representation into the important key performance indicators, such as ‘Program Availability’, removing the complexity of monitoring and managing the entire video network.

And by aggregating massive amounts of data from multiple monitoring points into a single pain of glass view, IPTV providers can fine-tune their network and operations to achieve total control over the services they provide.

Standard bodies recommend that video service providers track the number of errored seconds (i.e., loss, bitrate errors, and outage) to determine their per-program availability numbers.

Understanding the ’5-nines’ status, or ‘Programme Availability’, with raw performance data collected from one or multiple locations across the network including the Head-end, Core, Edge, and Last Mile and calculating errored seconds per programme gives organisations the understanding and ability to address and understand their network’s health through historical overviews and detailed drill-down of failures by location and program.

Real-time monitoring allows a user to track the health of all video on a per program basis throughout the entire network.  This level of visibility provides pro-active management of the quality of video services from its source to the customer’s screen.

With geographic and logical views of network topology in displays that update in real-time, one can quickly locate the source and magnitude of a problem allowing the accurate dispatch of resources to the exact point of the issue.

Access to aggregated historical data enables operators and managers to benchmark the performance of their video network. Performance data from multiple points across the network over multiple days helps narrow the root cause of a problem and determine the customer impact.

Storage of performance and alarm data over a prolonged period helps to identify recurring issues that can cost an operator customers and revenue.  Analytics of performance data can improve forecasting of seasonal, cyclical and organisational service demands.

A business solution that can audit, monitor, analyse, and troubleshoot from a multi-dimensional approach transforms video performance data into information that management and executives need to make comprehensive business decisions quickly and easily.

These informed business decisions can mitigate revenue and profit loss, and also allow for accurate forecasting of video resources. Comprehensive reports for historical analysis reveal a network’s ‘Programme Availability’.

There are many business opportunities and video deployment strategies rising from new technologies.  New user interfaces and applications are transforming the customer experience.

As content and IPTV providers gain more intelligence and context from their network, they’ll be able to create a rich experience and connect to the viewer in new and exciting ways.

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