IPTV operators need better tools to monitor quality

Telcos that are investing heavily in IPTV infrastructure and services to drive new revenues also need to ensure that tools and technologies are in place to monitor their customers’ quality of experience (QOE) with their video services. However, telcos aren’t sure if today’s IPTV QOE test and measurement tools provide the right level of service monitoring, according to a report from Heavy Reading, the research unit of Light Reading.

“Telcos need real-world metrics to be able to verify the health of the video signal as it traverses the live IP network,” notes Sam Masud, Senior Analyst with Heavy Reading and author of IPTV Phase II: QOE Is Mission Critical. “The ability to measure the quality of the video signal delivered to real subscribers is a huge issue that will directly affect the success of telco TV ˆ and that means the ability to monitor the performance right to the TV set, using quantitative metrics to evaluate what essentially is a subjective evaluation.”

IPTV QOE monitoring can be the most expensive test and measurement initiative for telcos, but it’s essential to guarantee user satisfaction, Masud says. “With video services, telcos are entering a very competitive market sector in which baseline expectations have already been set by cable and satellite network operators,” he explains. “Telcos at minimum have to match the perceived quality of existing services before they can expect to leverage some of IP’s inherent advantages as a video delivery platform.”

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