What’s one of the biggest technical challenge facing broadcasters, cable operators and other providers of multiscreen services such as TV Everywhere or Over the Top (OTT)? For many of you, the answer turns out to be ensuring quality of service and quality of experience. This challenge is directly related to the broad variation in streaming networks and devices compared to the more controlled environments of Cable, Satellite, Terrestrial and IPTV.
Ensuring subscriber satisfaction with such a complex architecture requires monitoring QoE and QoS at multiple points in the network to ensure that the content is of appropriate quality and that the delivery network is actually capable of delivering the content. Fortunately, as we announced last week at NAB, Tektronix has unlocked end-to-end ABR monitoring with new ABR decryption support for Sentry ABR.
As you may already know, Tektronix Sentry products are widely deployed and are used to provide QoE and QoS along with PVQ (Perceptual Video Quality) information to video service providers. With the addition of decryption and decode functionality, Sentry ABR gives service providers the breadth and depth of monitoring they are accustomed to with linear-based services as shown in the workflow diagram below. After transcoding in a typical ABR workflow, a video stream is fragmented into fixed time duration fragments, encrypted and Digital Rights Management (DRM) is applied. Sentry ABR is now capable of viewing this encrypted content to evaluate the actual viewing experience as well as determining PVQ.
As the industry moves more towards ABR for delivery of all services, the amount of video content that must be tested and verified is growing quickly. Testing a high volume of small fragments and files at multiple bit rates is especially challenging. That’s where our industry leading Aurora solution comes in, offering fast and scalable file-based QC and tests specifically designed to catch the most common causes of ABR streaming problems. When used in conjunction with the frame accurate Hydra Player service providers have the ability to visualize their content and any issues detected. They can then add review information for those responsible for producing the ABR content.
From there, the Sentry platform is used to detect QoS (Quality of Service) anomalies in the network at the IP and MPEG TS layers as well as in QoE, identifying issues that represent the bulk of trouble calls from subscribers including frozen video, tiling/macroblocking and audio disruptions or audio loudness issues. Within an ABR network, Sentry ABR is then used to ensure the availability of content and provide comprehensive QoE analysis on each stream at each bitrate in real time.
If you’re planning a move toward offering multiscreen services, or you are already there and looking to expand, now is the time to ensure that your entire ABR infrastructure delivers the level of quality your viewers expect. In today’s world, customers have many easily accessible choices available to them. They are much more likely to choose providers who give them the highest quality experience time and time again. Only Tektronix, the clear market leader in quality monitoring solutions, has the full end-to-end solution you need to stand out from the competition.