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the connected world supplement special report Supplement sponsored by

As service operators struggle to manage an increasing amount of OTT and multiscreen content, it is critical now, more than ever, to execute an effective IP video monitoring strategy. Huw Price-Stephens from Mariner Partners reports.


Ensuring a superior QoE in a multiscreen world

n the early days of IPTV, service operators were focused on finessing their technical ability to deliver IPTV services rather than how to achieve a high quality of experience (QoE). While this

strategy may have helped them secure market share early on, increased consumer expectations and technology advancements are transforming the industry. Today’s consumers are increasingly viewing video content on an ever-growing number of IP- connected devices, including smartphones, tablets, and PCs. And there’s no sign of consumer appetite slowing down. According to recent research, 100 million households will be using hybrid television services by the year 2016, enabling consumers to expand their traditional IPTV television experience onto second screens. This is a challenging scenario for IPTV

service operators who are struggling to monitor their service environment and deliver the highest possible QoE to subscribers’ television screens. Adding the complexity of multiscreen delivery now makes it even more essential for IPTV service operators to adopt a reliable service monitoring strategy. Adopting a strategy will enable them to manage IP video delivery regardless of the device or network and make QoE a competitive differentiation, while delivering superior, real-time customer care.

Complexities of a multiscreen environment

Delivering a traditional IPTV service via a managed network to a set-top box and TV set can be a relatively

Huw Price-

Stephens, Mariner Partners: “Mariner

understands that to succeed in this highly competitive TV marketplace, service operators must meet the quality

expectations of an increasingly demanding TV consumer. By delivering a consistent and superior service across all networks and devices, IPTV operators can distinguish

themselves in what is becoming a crowded and complex


seamless process, with the right monitoring tools in place. Yet many IPTV operators today still have little to no visibility of the viewing experience at the point of delivery in customer homes. As a result, hidden network issues and customer dissatisfaction arising from unresolved problems are major causes of increased operational cost. Adding multiscreen services to the

mix may cause those issues to spiral out of control, as service operators will be challenged to manage a growing number of operational requirements without adequate visibility of the operational state of the service or the perceived customer experience. In order to effectively monitor

multiscreen services, an operator must manage an extremely complex set of content delivery requirements, taking into account a diverse number of viewing platforms, network types, content formats, encapsulation strategies, and bitrates, while simultaneously ensuring that subscribers are receiving a flawless video quality across all devices.

Embracing a unified IP monitoring solution

Mariner believes that the sooner an operator embraces an effective IP video-monitoring solution, the more successful it will be at managing the vast complexities of value-added services like multiscreen and OTT. While adopting an effective monitoring solution in the traditional IPTV service realm is increasingly regarded as a valuable concept, the

S22 l ibe l the connected world supplement september/october 2012 l

complexities of multiscreen and OTT services make it indispensable. As the IP video environment evolves and consumer expectations increase regarding reliability, quality, and functionality, the vast array of technologies and techniques employed to deliver an IPTV service makes it that much more essential to deploy a holistic approach to monitoring across all IP video services. A unified IP video monitoring

solution enables operators to reduce operational costs by significantly increasing the effectiveness of the support infrastructure needed to manage today’s increasingly complex video services. By measuring video quality across multiple devices and networks, modern IP video monitoring solutions provide operators with a real-time portrayal of service quality issues from the edge of the network, so that they can more seamlessly deploy multiscreen services. This enhanced visibility allows them to more quickly and proactively respond to service quality issues in order to ensure a reliable user experience on any device. Inadequate visibility of the total IP

video service inhibits a service operator’s ability to respond to customer issues. In the traditional IPTV set-top box realm, this leads to unnecessary and expensive repeat installations, truck rolls, and set-top box swaps, as well as increased customer churn (in some cases, the unnecessary expenses associated with these impacts have been documented at hundreds of dollars per year per customer!).

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