Cheetah Technologies’ latest addition to its V-Factor Source Monitor line extends the company’s network performance and video quality management products all the way to the subscriber’s home.
Cheetah’s V-Factor SMSTB is designed to emulate a subscriber surfing channels and builds upon Cheetah’s proven video analysis technology to objectively and accurately measure the video experience as delivered to the television. In combination with headend V-Factor SM units, V-Factor SMSTB provides operators an ideal way of tracking and comparing the visual quality of any video service at multiple critical points in the network and at the TV set, ensuring consistent delivery of high-quality video to their subscribers’ living room.
“Operators’ ability to see what the customer sees and to respond to issues in realtime is a key factor in optimising the video experience,” said Jeremy Bennington, V-Factor general manager and vice president for Cheetah Technologies. “VF-SMSTB puts the operator in the customer’s shoes and ensures the highest quality video by monitoring service quality in a way that emulates everyday viewing behaviour.”
Using the same algorithms as the V-Factor Source Monitor (VF-SM), V-Factor SMSTB can analyse decoded HD and SD video to detect any visual impairment, including blockiness, blur and jerkiness. Impairments are reported as both a severity level and errored minutes, and the overall visual quality is reported as a mean opinion score (MOS) that has over 90% correlation with subjective testing by user groups and “Golden Eyes.” Data can be viewed instantaneously, averaged over a specified time, or correlated with other VF-SM and VF-SMSTB results in Cheetah’s Q-Advisor SM element management system.
V-Factor SM includes a streamlined web-based management interface that allows operators to provision and manage post-STB and IP-based source video monitoring sessions. The interface also enables the creation of reports that can identify quality trends, patterns and issues through comprehensive graphical representations Cheetah’s VF-SM analyzes multiple HD or SD video streams as they are received in a headend to benchmark, identify trends and poor quality events before an operator packages the video for distribution. In addition to providing valuable objective monitoring data, VF-SM can automate tasks which previously relied solely on human observation, including qualification of video equipment or competitive analysis between existing video services.