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The IP video market has extremely high expectations regarding video service quality and reliability. Telco video service quality will inevitably be compared to with those offered by satellite and cable/MSO providers. If customers expectations are not met, there will be many other providers to choose from, and when customers switch providers, they will most likely switch all their services. Given these considerations, QoS is perhaps the most important issue to address. By providing best practices for monitoring of quality, this Application Note will enable Service Providers to offer high quality IP video services.
This best practice presents the case for real time monitoring of live IP video sessions, and for the use of well known video quality metrics based on International Standards, rather than the simplistic but potentially misleading packet based measures of jitter and packet loss. The advantages and disadvantages of active monitoring techniques (using test sessions) are also considered.
Four types of IP video services or ‘scenario’ are considered, including various levels of content, wholesale and managed services. Managed services are those where the service provider provides and possibly manages equipments at the customer premises, that may include the residential gateway, the set top box and the home network. Wholesale services are that of network access providers offering connectivity service to content / application service providers. Content services are those offered by content service providers and broadcasters to distribute their content through a service provider. In this case the service provider owns the video head end, where as in the wholesale service, the network access provider merely provides IP connectivity.
Key Performance Indicators (KPIs) are defined as measurements of audio & video quality rather than measures of network performance. Examples of Key Quality Indicators (KQIs) based on these KPIs are contained in this version of the document. Methods of measuring and reporting metrics are also discussed. Measurements of system responsiveness (e.g. channel change) are also considered
The best practice presented draws on approved documents and some work in progress in the ITU, ETSI, ANSI and VQEG, specifically ITU-T Rec. J.144 , ITU-T Rec. J.241 , ITU-R BS.1387 , ETSI TR 102 479 , ANSI T1.801.03  and VQEG phase II .