Video quality metrics are a big deal these days. Perceived quality is paramount in the entertainment and viewing industry and over the last few years the way we measure it has changed significantly. There are a lot of different metrics that build the current state of the art (think Netflix VMAF) and it’s important to understand how to flex them to deliver the best quality video without breaking the bank on bandwidth.
Mason Baron, Digital Harmonic’s Chief Technology Officer, lends some insight into the what and the why of automated quality metrics in his webinar: Using Automated Quality Metrics to Optimize Streaming Efficiency to All Devices. During this webinar Mason discusses how to use automated video metrics to avoid some of the most common pitfalls we’ve seen when working with cable and over the top streaming customers. Read on for some of the highlights from his presentation.
WHY USE VIDEO METRICS?
Ultimately, perceived quality is what matters in the video entertainment industry. The viewer has to think it looks good. Historically, the industry has relied on engineers or analysts known as “Golden Eyes” to determine what passes and fails perceived quality tests. Golden Eyes have been highly trained to understand what “good enough” actually looks like and, while they are excellent at what they do, the scale of assessment can be too large to handle 100% of the quality control. We’re talking about 7,500 channels or millions of minutes of VOD being pushed out to viewers. That’s where metrics come in. A video analyst can look at the content that’s been run through comparison tools to more efficiently determine what passes the perceived quality test. Utilizing metrics can save time and money, especially when they are used in the right combination.
When measuring video quality on a scale of 0 – 100, 80 is considered the bare minimum of good, while 100 is considered the best possible quality. Even though the average viewer has no idea of the complexity of what it takes to get video to its final destination, anything below 80 just isn’t going to fly with today’s consumer. That’s why it’s important to understand select metrics for each viewing device.
Everything that distributes video – mobile phones, tablets, tv’s, etc – occupy different levels on the AVR ladder. As a video content provider you can’t treat each device in the same way. It’s easier to get higher quality video on mobile devices because the screen is smaller than a monitor or big screen. So how do you deliver higher quality at a significantly lower bandwidth when your content is being viewed across multiple devices? By simplifying your distribution ladder.
There is enhancement technology that allows the same encoding ladder to be used for both HD and UHD pipelines. In many cases, this technology removes the need for more rungs on the ladder, enabling you to reconstruct 1080p code into 4k content without having to put anything on the receiver. The less rungs you have on your ladder, the more money you’ll save on distribution costs.
Want to learn more? Access the full replay of this webinar to hear solutions to some of the most common pain points in the world of streaming efficiency.
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