Bridge Technologies has begun shipping an enhanced version of the ground-breaking microVB miniaturised digital media probe for subscriber premises. With its ability to report second-by-second data on all traffic passing through the set-top box, combined with new functionality for analysing OTT service quality, the microVB 2.0 provides the industry’s most complete capability for monitoring the viewer experience in the multiservice, multiscreen market.
Widely deployed by major service providers, Bridge Technologies’ microVB is the industry’s only viable solution for monitoring at the set-top box, delivering massive maintenance cost savings for digital media operators by giving unprecedented access to accurate and continuous information about the service quality experienced by the subscriber.
microVB 2.0 provides data-gathering capabilities that allow operators to monitor every factor influencing QoS and the viewer experience, including interactions between triple-play services, contention for bandwidth with Internet streaming media, and OTT service degradation.
“The build and roll-out of OTT services presents an enormous opportunity to digital media operators, whether they come from a broadcast or telco background, but services will prosper or fail depending on the quality of the user experience,” said Bridge Technologies Chairman Simen Frostad. “Everyone understands this, but ensuring a high quality of service is not so easy. That’s why the addition of OTT monitoring and analysis capabilities to the microVB is so important: it gives operators the tools to build, test, and operate a full range of services including OTT, and the confidence that they are fully in touch, second by second, with what the viewer is experiencing.”
The microVB 2.0’s OTT capabilities make use of specialized parameters developed by Bridge Technologies for monitoring ABR streams. The device offers an extensive protocol breakdown of all packets flowing between the residential gateway and the set-top box. Performance details such as peak, average, and total bandwidth are given for all the packets categorized into 25 separate protocol summaries. The data is graphically represented to assist quick appraisal.
microVB 2.0 networks are readily scalable, with each central microVB server supporting thousands of microVB probes in individual subscriber premises. To simplify deployment across a wide range of network configurations, the microVB self-connects to the server using either multicast or unicast protocols and streamlines the administration of large networks by automatically naming each stream.
Up to four simultaneous streams can be supported by each microVB, with each stream measuring continuous data including bandwidth, MLR (media loss rate), IAT (inter-packet arrival time), and RTP (real-time protocol) drops. The microVB sends the collated data to Bridge Technologies’ MDC controller/server for detailed analysis and graphical presentation. All data are made available in XML format by the MDC to allow customized analysis by third-party systems.