Broadband and IPTV Service QoS and QoE Monitoring Solution

The importance of monitoring the quality of video service (QoS) and the quality of customer experience (QoE) is obvious in competitive markets when customers have many different options to obtain video services. Mividi provides an easy-to-deploy, affordable end-to-end solution for the QoS and QoE monitoring for broadband and IPTV services.

Broadband Network Architecture

A typical broadband network contains a headend or main hub, secondary hubs, nodes and customer homes. The headend will generate video streaming sources. The original content of video streams may be received from terrestrial broadcast, satellite or optical transmission, or locally generated from video database. The video streams are distributed via optical or HFC (hybrid fiber coax) network to the secondary hubs, then to the nodes and homes via fiber or coax cables. The figure below shows the basic architecture of a broadband network, and the overall architecture of IPTV network is also similar.

Broadband network architecture for video services

Deployment of Video Service Monitoring for Broadband Network

For comprehensive QoS and QoE monitoring of broadband video services, the video service quality in the headend, hubs and customer premises has to be monitored. The Mividi Broadcast Multiviewer Monitoring System - IMS120 is designed for the headend QoS monitoring. The Mividi IMS120 is a video broadcast monitoring system for decoding and rendering video and audio services, analyzing transport streams, logging errors, generating alarms, and recording input streams. It combines the features of traditional multi-viewer with advanced TS analyzer. It can also be used to manage the return data from the hubs and customer premises.

On the hubs and home premises, multiple Mividi TSM Probes can be deployed. The Mividi TSM Probe contains basic features similar to IMS120, but it can also monitor the video output signal from set top boxes (STBs) using the HDMI interface to check the quality of the video and audio received by customers. The test results in the hubs and home premises can be returned to the headend to be monitored and viewed by the operators in the headend.

Delopyment of monitoring systems for broadband network

Headend Monitoring

The purpose of headend monitoring is to check the quality of input video source and also the quality of video broadcast generated by the headend. A typical headend may provide over a hundred of services and process hundreds or even up to a thousand of video and audio streams. It’s not practical to monitor all streams manually by watching all video programs on traditional multi-viewer systems, and automated monitoring systems should be deployed to assist headend technicians to monitor video quality. The Mividi IMS120 system can monitor a large amount of streams using transport stream analysis according to DVB TS test guide line TR 101 290. Additionally, it can also measure errors including loss of audio or video components, black and frozen frames, metadata and EPG errors, etc. For TS over UDP streams, it will measure the media delivery index (MDI) including IP packet delay, jitter and media loss.

In addition to UDP streams, the Mividi IMS120 monitoring system also supports RTP, HLS, RTMP, RTSP and MPEG-DASH streams and provides protocol layer analysis for RTP, HLS and MPEG-DASH, and the latest software also support SRT (Secure Reliable Transport) streams. The Mividi IMS120 includes auto alarm features so operators can be informed with sound alarms, email or SMS.

The Mividi IMS120 also contains the traditional multi-viewer features for manual viewing and confidence check. The multi-viewer will play video, display audio bars, calculate and display audio loudness levels. The multiviewer support video rotation and penalty box, so more channels can be monitored with less hardware resources.

Monitoring solution for broadband headend

Secondary Hub and Home Monitoring

In the hubs and home premises, the video signal is most likely scrambled and requires special decoders like a set top box (STB) to decode and render the video. The Mividi TSM Probe can take the HDMI output signal and monitor the decoded video signal from the STB. Multiple STBs maybe connected to the same probe to create multi-viewer display. Because HDMI interface can only send one program at a time, a special software app can be used to control the STB to tune to different channels so multiple sets of video programs are monitored by the probe in round-robin rotation mode. For example, if there are a total of 100 video services and four STBs are used to decode the video and provide input the Mividi TSM Probe, 25 sets of video channels will be played in turn in round-robin.

The Mividi TSM probe contains a web server for remote access to view the test results and control the probe using a common Internet browser. The probe will automatically send out alarms in case serious errors are detected. In addition, it can reencode the multi-viewer screen and generate a return stream to the headend to be viewed by headend technicians. The return stream can be in UDP streaming format if the headend and monitoring sites are on the same LAN or in http format if they are connected by the Internet.

Monitoring solution for secondary hubs and homes

Features and Benefits of Mividi Monitoring Solution

The Mividi video monitoring solution provides a fully automated, easy-to-deploy and affordable solution for the comprehensive monitoring of QoS and QoE of video broadcast services. The Mividi products are software based, and it can be deployed using standard computer hardware running on Windows OS. It can save customers with a lot of man power to monitor, identify and trouble shoot network and service issues. Specifically, the software can automatically identify these issues found in the headend:

  • Loss of video or audio services;
  • Video packet loss on all type of IP streaming;
  • Transport stream metadata errors which may result in decoding failure;
  • Loss of audio or video components;
  • Black or frozen frames;
  • Audio loudness issues;
  • EPG errors for DVB and ATSC streams;
  • Loss of subtitle data;
  • PCR errors for CBR streams;
  • IP stream packet jitter, delay and media loss;
  • HLS and MEPG-DASH protocol errors;
  • Multi profile stream synchronization issues.

Using the monitoring probes deployed in the secondary hubs and consumer premises, these issues can be automatically detected:

  • Loss of video or audio services;
  • Loss of audio or video components;
  • Black or frozen frames;
  • Audio loudness errors, loss of sound.

The Mividi TSM Probe in the secondary hubs or home premises can provide a return stream of the video data being played out in remote locations. By analyzing test results from different secondary hubs and different consumer regions, service providers will be able to monitor their services and network proactively and resolve any issues quickly.

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