Highly Experienced


Dick Hobbs. TV-Bay Magazine
Read ezine online
by Dick Hobbs
Issue 110 - February 2016

I was recently asked to write an article on quality of experience in video streaming. Obviously the first thing I did was ask Saint Google to find me recent research on the subject.

It pulled up an absolute gem, a report published by Ofcom, the UK government's communications supremos. It was written by an outfit called Actual Experience, which does not sound very convincing, but is the commercialisation of 10 years of academic research by Professor Jonathan Pitts of Queen Mary University of London.

He and his team developed not just mathematical modelling but embedded tools to measure the real performance of broadband to the home, and to small businesses. You can read the whole report by scanning this QR code. It's a good, largely accessible read.

Now I am quite interested in broadband performance to the home, as and I am sure I have told you this before I am one of the many, many victims of BT and their relentless over-marketing and under-delivering. Despite continually promoting its Infinity fibre service and speeds of up to 76Mb/s, it is actually pretty hard to get.

I live in a reasonably large and very affluent town in the south-east of England, in a large housing development that is less than 10 years old. The best that BT will offer me is a promise of 5Mb/s and a guarantee of 1.5Mb/s, which I think we would all agree is shocking. In fact my actual line speed quite often creeps up around 8Mb/s, so I suppose I should stop complaining.

Anyway, back to Professor Pitts. His work involves tracking the performance of what he calls digital users (DU), which are little software packages running on hosts around the country. I've downloaded it, and it is running as I type.

This continually calculates internet performance, and reports back to his analytical engines, to improve the national map of quality of experience. The benefit to the individual hosting the DU is that you get a neat dashboard which shows you how well your connection is performing, and what you might do to improve it.

The research identifies four steps in the digital supply chain, the path from the host of the information you are seeking to your screen. Working backwards, these are the home (your own network, wired or wireless), access (the last mile connection), your ISP, and upstream the rest of the internet. To call content from, say, Netflix or iPlayer, your requirements go up through these four layers to the service provider, and the content comes back down through them.

Impairments to the service can come from any of those layers. What the report does not say, but which seems to me to be obvious, is that if they are all working in perfect harmony and the content is still unwatchable then it is the service provider which is at fault.

Just to get back to raw speed for a moment, Ofcom defines superfast broadband as 35Mb/s or better. For me, I would suggest it is time to drop the super from that, but that is neither here nor there. What the report suggests is that, above about 10Mb/s, there is little correlation between the line speed and the quality of experience.

I can sort of understand that. The line speed is just the access part of the four-stage digital delivery chain. Yes, the faster the better, but beyond a certain point you can be limited by other factors in other parts of the supply chain.

Professor Pitts calls his calculations the digital voice of the customer a name which suggests it was coined by a computing professor at the University of London. The dVoC (see: I'm into IT so I randomly apply capital letters) is a metric which determines the performance of the complete supply chain.

Individually, it can help you understand your level of performance; collectively it is a good measure of Britain's internet performance. If you are in the internet business in any way (or just interested) you can have your own access to the realtime data there is a free app on the iTunes store, for instance and adjust your own organisation's performance if needed.

Now the interesting thing is that, despite the woeful performance of my broadband connection, my own DU is currently telling me that I am currently achieving a score of 80.9; the best it could be, it says, is 83.2.

A score of 80 or above is officially described as digital heaven. The seventies are occasionally irritating, the sixties are increasingly painful, and lower still is just horrible. Even with a broadband connection the equivalent of a wet piece of string, I am assured I am in digital heaven. So web sites which take forever to load like asking BT when I might get Infinity are the fault of the servers on which they are hosted, not the complex digital supply chain between there and here.

Online delivery of content is without doubt the future. We all need to understand digital supply chains and quality of experience. Which just might be slightly more complicated than we think.


Tags: iss110 | streaming | bt | broadband | professor pitts | dick hobbs | Dick Hobbs.
Contributing Author Dick Hobbs.

Read this article in the tv-bay digital magazine
Article Copyright tv-bay limited. All trademarks recognised.
Reproduction of the content strictly prohibited without written consent.

Related Interviews
  • House of Worship Multisite Streaming from VITEC at NAB 2017

    House of Worship Multisite Streaming from VITEC at NAB 2017

  • Streaming Media with Interra Systems at NAB 2017

    Streaming Media with Interra Systems at NAB 2017

  • Live Streaming Solution from Verizon at NAB 2017

    Live Streaming Solution from Verizon at NAB 2017

  • Nexidia QC on BroadcastShow LIVE at IBC 2013

    Nexidia QC on BroadcastShow LIVE at IBC 2013

  • Facebook and YouTube live integration with Monarch HD from Matrox at NAB 2017

    Facebook and YouTube live integration with Monarch HD from Matrox at NAB 2017

  • LiveMedia Server and Live Xpert from 3D Storm at NAB 2017

    LiveMedia Server and Live Xpert from 3D Storm at NAB 2017

  • VITEC EZ TV at IBC 2016

    VITEC EZ TV at IBC 2016

  • JVC at IBC 2016

    JVC at IBC 2016

  • JVC GY-LS300 at IBC 2015

    JVC GY-LS300 at IBC 2015

  • VITEC at IBC 2015

    VITEC at IBC 2015

  • Matrox at IBC 2015

    Matrox at IBC 2015

  • JVC GY-LS300 prototype at IBC 2014

    JVC GY-LS300 prototype at IBC 2014

  • Matrox at IBC 2014

    Matrox at IBC 2014

  • Telestream Wirecast and Switch at IBC 2014

    Telestream Wirecast and Switch at IBC 2014

  • Telestream Vantage support for DPP at IBC 2014

    Telestream Vantage support for DPP at IBC 2014

  • NewTek TalkShow at IBC 2014

    NewTek TalkShow at IBC 2014

  • Matrox Monarch HD at NAB 2014

    Matrox Monarch HD at NAB 2014

  • Telestream Enterprise at NAB 2014

    Telestream Enterprise at NAB 2014

  • Telestream Switch at NAB 2014

    Telestream Switch at NAB 2014

  • JVC GY-HM850 and GY-HM650 at NAB 2014

    JVC GY-HM850 and GY-HM650 at NAB 2014

  • Matrox Mojito at NAB 2014

    Matrox Mojito at NAB 2014

  • Matrox Capture Card at NAB 2014

    Matrox Capture Card at NAB 2014

  • NewTek TriCaster at BVE 2014

    NewTek TriCaster at BVE 2014

  • Matrox Monarch HD and VS4 at BVE 2014

    Matrox Monarch HD and VS4 at BVE 2014

  • JVC HM850 at BVE 2014

    JVC HM850 at BVE 2014

  • Dejero on BroadcastShow LIVE at IBC 2013

    Dejero on BroadcastShow LIVE at IBC 2013

  • Pixel Power on BroadcastShow LIVE at IBC 2013

    Pixel Power on BroadcastShow LIVE at IBC 2013

  • Canon on BroadcastShow LIVE at IBC 2013

    Canon on BroadcastShow LIVE at IBC 2013

  • Harmonics Peter Alexander on BroadcastShow LIVE at IBC 2013

    Harmonics Peter Alexander on BroadcastShow LIVE at IBC 2013

  • Haivision on BroadcastShow LIVE at IBC 2013

    Haivision on BroadcastShow LIVE at IBC 2013

  • Front Porch Digital on BroadcastShow LIVE at IBC 2013

    Front Porch Digital on BroadcastShow LIVE at IBC 2013

  • Atomos with the Samurai Blade on BroadcastShow LIVE at IBC 2013

    Atomos with the Samurai Blade on BroadcastShow LIVE at IBC 2013

  • ChyronHego on BroadcastShow LIVE at IBC 2013

    ChyronHego on BroadcastShow LIVE at IBC 2013

  • Cinegy on BroadcastShow LIVE at IBC 2013

    Cinegy on BroadcastShow LIVE at IBC 2013

  • Trilogy on BroadcastShow LIVE at IBC 2013

    Trilogy on BroadcastShow LIVE at IBC 2013

  • Projects Department on BroadcastShow LIVE at IBC

    Projects Department on BroadcastShow LIVE at IBC

  • Blackmagic Design on BroadcastShow LIVE at IBC 2013

    Blackmagic Design on BroadcastShow LIVE at IBC 2013

  • Atomos talking 4K on BroadcastShow LIVE at IBC 2013

    Atomos talking 4K on BroadcastShow LIVE at IBC 2013

  • Calrec on BroadcastShow LIVE at IBC 2013

    Calrec on BroadcastShow LIVE at IBC 2013

  • Glensound on BroadcastShow LIVE at IBC 2013

    Glensound on BroadcastShow LIVE at IBC 2013

  • Zylight on BroadcastShow LIVE at IBC 2013

    Zylight on BroadcastShow LIVE at IBC 2013

  • Nexidias Drew Lanham on BroadcastShow LIVE at IBC 2013

    Nexidias Drew Lanham on BroadcastShow LIVE at IBC 2013

  • Carl Zeiss on BroadcastShow LIVE at IBC 2013

    Carl Zeiss on BroadcastShow LIVE at IBC 2013

  • Miranda on BroadcastShow LIVE at IBC 2013

    Miranda on BroadcastShow LIVE at IBC 2013

  • Orad Hi Tec Systems on BroadcastShow LIVE at IBC 2013

    Orad Hi Tec Systems on BroadcastShow LIVE at IBC 2013

  • Photon Beard on BroadcastShow LIVE at IBC 2013

    Photon Beard on BroadcastShow LIVE at IBC 2013

  • Polecam talk accessories on BroadcastShow LIVE 2013

    Polecam talk accessories on BroadcastShow LIVE 2013

  • TMD talk workflow on BroadcastShow LIVE at IBC 2013

    TMD talk workflow on BroadcastShow LIVE at IBC 2013

  • Metus on BroadcastShow LIVE at IBC 2013

    Metus on BroadcastShow LIVE at IBC 2013

  • Guntermann and Drunck on BroadcastShow LIVE at IBC 2013

    Guntermann and Drunck on BroadcastShow LIVE at IBC 2013

  • Brainstorm on BroadcastShow LIVE at IBC 2013

    Brainstorm on BroadcastShow LIVE at IBC 2013

  • Pilat Media on BroadcastShow LIVE at IBC 2013

    Pilat Media on BroadcastShow LIVE at IBC 2013

  • Sonnet Technologies on BroadcastShow LIVE at IBC 2013

    Sonnet Technologies on BroadcastShow LIVE at IBC 2013

  • EditShare on BroadcastShow LIVE at IBC 2013

    EditShare on BroadcastShow LIVE at IBC 2013

  • Nucomm on BroadcastShow LIVE at IBC 2013

    Nucomm on BroadcastShow LIVE at IBC 2013

  • Wohler Technologies on BroadcastShow LIVE at IBC 2013

    Wohler Technologies on BroadcastShow LIVE at IBC 2013

  • SIS LIVEs Martyn Hopkins on BroadcastShow LIVE at IBC 2013

    SIS LIVEs Martyn Hopkins on BroadcastShow LIVE at IBC 2013

  • Atomos with the Ronin on BroadcastShow LIVE at IBC 2013

    Atomos with the Ronin on BroadcastShow LIVE at IBC 2013

  • Snell on BroadcastShow LIVE at IBC 2013

    Snell on BroadcastShow LIVE at IBC 2013

  • Harmonics Tom Lattie on BroadcastShow LIVE at IBC 2013

    Harmonics Tom Lattie on BroadcastShow LIVE at IBC 2013

  • Primestream on BroadcastShow LIVE at IBC 2013

    Primestream on BroadcastShow LIVE at IBC 2013

  • NewTek on BroadcastShow LIVE at IBC 2013

    NewTek on BroadcastShow LIVE at IBC 2013

  • Wyplay on BroadcastShow LIVE at IBC 2013

    Wyplay on BroadcastShow LIVE at IBC 2013

  • Volicon on BroadcastShow LIVE at IBC 2013

    Volicon on BroadcastShow LIVE at IBC 2013

  • Forbidden Technologies on BroadcastShow LIVE at IBC 2013

    Forbidden Technologies on BroadcastShow LIVE at IBC 2013

  • Atomos with the Datacolor Spyder on BroadcastShow LIVE at IBC 2013

    Atomos with the Datacolor Spyder on BroadcastShow LIVE at IBC 2013

  • Sound Devices on BroadcastShow LIVE at IBC 2013

    Sound Devices on BroadcastShow LIVE at IBC 2013

  • Audio Network on BroadcastShow LIVE at IBC 2013

    Audio Network on BroadcastShow LIVE at IBC 2013

  • Cooke Optics on BroadcastShow LIVE at IBC 2013

    Cooke Optics on BroadcastShow LIVE at IBC 2013

  • SIS LIVEs Mark Shadbolt on BroadcastShow LIVE at IBC 2013

    SIS LIVEs Mark Shadbolt on BroadcastShow LIVE at IBC 2013

  • Softron Media Services on BroadcastShow LIVE at IBC 2013

    Softron Media Services on BroadcastShow LIVE at IBC 2013

  • Cobham on BroadcastShow LIVE at IBC 2013

    Cobham on BroadcastShow LIVE at IBC 2013

  • Riedel Communications on BroadcastShow LIVE at IBC 2013

    Riedel Communications on BroadcastShow LIVE at IBC 2013

  • TMD talk asset management solutions on BroadcastShow LIVE at IBC 2013

    TMD talk asset management solutions on BroadcastShow LIVE at IBC 2013

  • SMPTE on BroadcastShow LIVE at IBC 2013

    SMPTE on BroadcastShow LIVE at IBC 2013

  • Behind the scenes of the Teradek booth on BroadcastShow LIVE at IBC 2013

    Behind the scenes of the Teradek booth on BroadcastShow LIVE at IBC 2013

  • Wowza Media Systems on BroadcastShow LIVE at IBC 2013

    Wowza Media Systems on BroadcastShow LIVE at IBC 2013

  • Stream UK on BroadcastShow LIVE at IBC 2013

    Stream UK on BroadcastShow LIVE at IBC 2013

  • Cambridge Imaging Systems on BroadcastShow LIVE at IBC 2013

    Cambridge Imaging Systems on BroadcastShow LIVE at IBC 2013

  • Digital Vision on BroadcastShow LIVE at IBC 2013

    Digital Vision on BroadcastShow LIVE at IBC 2013

  • Polecam talk high speed on BroadcastShow LIVE at IBC 2013

    Polecam talk high speed on BroadcastShow LIVE at IBC 2013

  • Haivision live encoding HEVC at IBC 2013

    Haivision live encoding HEVC at IBC 2013

  • SIS LIVE and their products ManPak and DriveForce at IBC 2013

    SIS LIVE and their products ManPak and DriveForce at IBC 2013

  • Softron Media at IBC 2013

    Softron Media at IBC 2013

  • Telestream with Wirecast version five at IBC 2013

    Telestream with Wirecast version five at IBC 2013

  • Telestream with Post Producer at IBC 2013

    Telestream with Post Producer at IBC 2013

  • Yospace: Advert Insertion at NAB 2013

    Yospace: Advert Insertion at NAB 2013

  • Vimond Control Center at NAB 2013

    Vimond Control Center at NAB 2013

  • Matrox at BVE 2013

    Matrox at BVE 2013

  • Autocue at BVE 2013

    Autocue at BVE 2013

  • StreamUK at BVE North 2012

    StreamUK at BVE North 2012

  • Radiant Grid at NAB 2012

    Radiant Grid at NAB 2012

  • Haivision at NAB 2012

    Haivision at NAB 2012

  • Broadcast Pix at NAB 2012

    Broadcast Pix at NAB 2012

  • Cinegy at NAB 2012

    Cinegy at NAB 2012

  • LiveU at NAB 2012

    LiveU at NAB 2012

  • SIS LIVE at NAB 2012

    SIS LIVE at NAB 2012

  • YoSpace at NAB 2012

    YoSpace at NAB 2012

  • Anton Bauer at NAB 2012

    Anton Bauer at NAB 2012

  • Garland Partners at BVE 2012

    Garland Partners at BVE 2012

  • StreamUK at BVE North 2011

    StreamUK at BVE North 2011

  • Suitcase TV at IBC2011

    Suitcase TV at IBC2011

  • Digital Rapids at IBC2011

    Digital Rapids at IBC2011

  • Screen Systems show SASQUATCH for subtitles at IBC 2018

    Screen Systems show SASQUATCH for subtitles at IBC 2018

  • Screen Systems and automatic live subtitling at NAB 2018

    Screen Systems and automatic live subtitling at NAB 2018

  • Prime Focus Technologies at IBC 2016

    Prime Focus Technologies at IBC 2016

  • Cavena Image Products at BVE 2015

    Cavena Image Products at BVE 2015

  • Softel at IBC2011

    Softel at IBC2011

  • SysMedia at IBC2011

    SysMedia at IBC2011

  • ITFC at IBC2011

    ITFC at IBC2011

  • S and T at IBC2011

    S and T at IBC2011

  • Tariam Tooway stand at BVE 2013

    Tariam Tooway stand at BVE 2013


Related Shows
  • Larry Jordan with Thom Holliday talk streaming at BVE 2016

    Larry Jordan with Thom Holliday talk streaming at BVE 2016


Articles
Using Wireless Transmission
Jeremy Benning Wireless acquisition is a staple of live sports, entertainment and reality shows where cable free capture permits shots not previously possible, for health and safety reasons, and gives the camera-operator greater artistic licence to roam. The same is increasingly true of narrative drama where cinematographers are keen to work handheld or Steadicam where that helps tell the story. Any equipment which frees their movement and time by being lighter, easier to use and reliable in performance is going to tick a lot of boxes.
Tags: iss134 | wireless | 4k | transmission | Jeremy Benning
Contributing Author Jeremy Benning Click to read or download PDF
Giving Welsh sport a global audience
Adam Amor From the Ospreys Rugby Union team, to the Football Association of Wales, as well as national cycling, swimming and boxing coverage, Port Talbot based Buffoon Film and Media has been heavily involved in putting Welsh sports on the world stage.
Tags: iss134 | blackmagic | atem | buffoon | micro studio camera | Adam Amor
Contributing Author Adam Amor Click to read or download PDF
Shedding Light on the Blackmagic Pocket Cinema Camera 4k BMCPP4K
Garth de Bruno Austin “What is it about light that has us craving it?” Is the question asked in the opening seconds of Garth de Bruno Austin’s latest short, The Colour of Light. Exploring this natural, human need as well as our innate desire to control it, Garth’s film showcases everyday people going about their lives in differing degrees of luminance, whether that be an artificial streetlight or a natural morning sunrise.
Tags: iss134 | blackmagic | cinema camera | 4k | cpp4k | Garth de Bruno Austin
Contributing Author Garth de Bruno Austin Click to read or download PDF
The brave new world of software based production
Boromy Ung In today’s rapidly evolving broadcast industry, the only constant media organizations can truly count on is change — and the need to adapt as rapidly and cost-effectively as possible. One of the biggest agents of change is the IP revolution, driving broadcasters to migrate their operations to all-software solutions running on commodity, IT-based technologies.
Tags: iss134 | chyronhego | graphics | sports | ott | Boromy Ung
Contributing Author Boromy Ung Click to read or download PDF
Protecting the continuity of transmission
Lorna Garrett Your viewers love you. You consistently bring them their preferred channels 24/7. They’ve come to rely on you for their viewing pleasure. They never miss cheering on their beloved sports teams. They’re the envy of their friends as they watch live concerts of their favourite bands. They gather the family around and catch up on their must-see shows. They don’t have a bad word to say about you.
Tags: iss134 | garland | gpl | streaming | artel | disaster recovery | Lorna Garrett
Contributing Author Lorna Garrett Click to read or download PDF