|LATEST NEWS||PREVIOUS NEWS||ARTICLES||AWARDS|
QoE: what does it really mean today?By Simen K. Frostad, Chairman
Published in Broadcast Bridge, January 2016
There are some immutable laws for success in any consumer-oriented industry. Potential customers need to know the product or service exists, and they have to be persuaded that it’s desirable or necessary. They have to be satisfied that it’s affordable and represents good value, and in this respect the product has to stand comparison with any competing offerings.
It’s fairly easy to compare value in a field where there’s a lot of competition, for example in the purchase of a house or a car. And although there’s no way to road test a house before you buy it, you can certainly do that with a car - or you can read road tests and reviews, as you can with most other consumer goods. In the case of services rather than goods, there isn’t the same history of ‘road testing’ information for consumers, but increasingly customers make their experiences known on the internet, so the canny consumer is able to make a more informed choice than before.
Importance of proper metrics
The established concept of QoE was really rooted in the assumption that QoS alone could not guarantee good service quality at the consumer end. And when QoE originated – in the telecoms industry – this was definitely true. So a methodology called MOS (Mean Opinion Scoring) was deployed when telcos were developing new infrastructure or, more recently, services such as VoIP. A panel of expert assessors would listen to the service and note their evaluation of quality while key phrases such as ‘You will have to be very quiet’, ‘There was nothing to be seen’, and ‘They worshipped wooden idols’ were transmitted over the line. The experts would record their scores, assessing any impairments on a scale of 1-5, from ‘imperceptible’ to ‘very annoying’. The scores would then be averaged and weighted using the kind of statistical manipulations common in the social sciences and market research.
Tools for monitoring digital media
But subjectivity is complicated, and simulating it is an unreliable way to try to assess service quality. A human viewer watching a top-quality 1080i transmission of the Superbowl, followed on the same channel by the 1940s B&W movie Casablanca might be fully satisfied. Yet in a robotized QoE ‘subjective’ assessment based on MOS criteria, the Superbowl would score highly, while Casablanca would be marked way down for ‘blurriness’, scratches and other artefacts, for its lack of resolution and color. Distorted by results like this, the data from this kind of QoE system becomes more or less meaningless to the provider.
QoS can do more
If your system can correlate and compare data on the factors that affect quality throughout the whole delivery chain, from ingest at the head end to viewing on the smartphone, then you have a
And beyond that, if you want to measure subjective opinion, there’s always market research.
|| CONTACT US
Postal address: Bentsebrugata 20,
NO-0476 Oslo, Norway
Visit: Sandakerveien 24C, bld. D5,
NO-0473 Oslo, Norway
Phone: +47 22 38 51 00
2004-2016 © Bridge Technologies co as