Lab based managed service: video streaming Quality of Experience

Eurofins Digital Testing collaborated with content delivery network Akamai to deliver a quality experience to Akamai users based on detailed criteria the content delivery network (CDN) had specified.

OTT service providers strive to deliver the best possible customer experience on all devices (TV, mobile, tablet, computer, STB), in typical internet conditions, for all the types of video content in their catalogue, while minimising the total cost of delivery.

This balancing act is difficult to achieve, and mistakes can be costly, despite this, many providers rely on educated guesses to design their system.

Service providers need to select encoding technology and software media player vendors while lacking objective evidence about how their choice might impact QoE. To enable OTT service providers, encoder vendors, media player vendors and device manufacturers to deeply understand and analyse QoE, Eurofins Digital Testing has developed a purpose designed QoE analysis framework for Akamai, which can be adapted to serve other OTT providers.

Eurofins Digital Testing collaborated Akamai to ensure the framework guarantees testing hundreds of video playback condition combinations are affordable.

The framework enables users to

  • Optimise encoding profiles to maximise QoE or minimise distribution costs.
  • Analyse in depth the factors that impact the QoE of via an intuitive and powerful results interface.
  • Objectively demonstrate the advantage of their technology – e.g. a quality-based encoder or a web-player – when compared to its competition.
  • Easily regression test the behaviour on a range of devices as encoding profiles are adjusted or devices updated.

Our framework relies on patent-pending QR-code based technology embedded in the video, which allows us to compute in an automated way metrics such as:

  • Delay between play command and actual video playback start.
  • Number and length of buffering events.
  • Number of switches between ABR representations/variants
  • Video QoE scores (using the industry leading SSIMPLUS metric) for each frame and averaged across frames.

We offer a managed service where our customers select their target market parameters to investigate (devices, player apps, network conditions, content types and encoding profiles) and we provide a detailed analysis of the test results including interactive visualisations.

Typical encoding parameters that users might want to vary include frame rate, resolution, bit-rate ladder, codec and specific parameters that would be used in each encoding tool chain.

Our technology supports a wide range of devices such as TVs, STBs, mobile phones, tablets and, computers.

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