Light Reading
Despite a decline in video buffering rates, multiscreen viewers expect much greater improvements in video streaming quality than service providers are delivering so far.

Multiscreen Viewers Want Better Views

Alan Breznick
3/31/2014
50%
50%

Although the quality of streaming video may be improving at a modest pace, it's not improving nearly fast enough for the majority of video viewers.

In a new study on the state of video streaming released Monday, Conviva Inc. reported that consumers are notably less tolerant of video buffering delays and other playback problems than they were just two years ago. In one sign of this growing intolerance, the study found that the amount of time lost from a viewing session with a 1% increase in buffering more than doubled from three minutes in 2011 to eight minutes in 2013. This indicates that viewers switched away from videos with buffering issues a lot sooner than before.

In another sign of growing consumer impatience with poor video streaming delivery quality, the Conviva study found that viewers particularly bolt if they experience playback problems while watching live sports, entertainment, or other live action events in HD. The average viewing time of live action programming in HD plunged from 40 minutes to just one minute when users ran into buffering delays.

Such delivery quality problems will likely make it tougher for service providers to attract and retain subscribers for their multiscreen video offerings. "In those instances, one bad viewing experience on a single device puts all screens at risk," said Colin Dixon, founder and chief analyst of nScreen Media, in a prepared statement. "Continuity of quality across screens is very important."

While streaming video delivery quality is not improving as quickly as consumers want or expect, it is steadily improving, according to Conviva. Its latest global study of 45 billion video streams sent across more than 1.6 billion playback devices found that video buffering actually fell from 39.3% in 2012 to 26.9% last year.

In another sign of improvement, Conviva found that low-resolution delivery of video streams dropped to 43.3% last year from a whopping 63% in 2012. But, even with that improvement, "more than two in five views were grossly inferior video quality, " the firm said.

The increasing emphasis on streaming video quality comes as more consumers are clearly watching more video on more devices. In a corresponding survey of streaming households, Conviva found that the number of concurrent streaming devices in use increased by 28% from 2012 to 2013. This finding corroborates recent research from other organizations. (See Nielsen: Multiscreen Viewing Taking Off.)

Further, Conviva's data shows that different video playback devices are preferred by consumers at different times of the day. In the 6 a.m. to 10 a.m. period, mobile devices emerge as the favorite, accounting for 6.9% of all video streamed daily. PCs take over in the afternoon slot from noon to 4 p.m., accounting for 16.3% of all daily video streams. Then, as might be expected, the TV rules in the evening window from 7 p.m. to 11 p.m., accounting for 36.6% of all streaming video.

— Alan Breznick, Cable/Video Practice Leader, Light Reading

(12)  | 
Comment  | 
Print  | 
Newest First  |  Oldest First  |  Threaded View
Page 1 / 2   >   >>
TaraSeals
50%
50%
TaraSeals,
User Rank: Light Sabre
4/3/2014 | 4:35:22 PM
Re: Which devices?
Really great point Phil-- I think a lot of this does go back to truth in advertising! 
Phil_Britt
50%
50%
Phil_Britt,
User Rank: Light Sabre
4/1/2014 | 3:04:40 AM
Re: Which devices?
Tara,

I would go one step further. Once people have an excellent video experience, like at a Best Buy or competitor (as a demo) or see the demonstration of one at a conference or on a commercial, they expect all video to be as good as advertised/experienced, without realizing the excellent ones are done under laboratory conditions, not real-life conditions. 

Power fluctuations, transmission issues and a myriad of other items can prevent the "perfect" experience at home.
Joe Stanganelli
50%
50%
Joe Stanganelli,
User Rank: Light Sabre
3/31/2014 | 11:10:29 PM
Re: Which devices?
I too am more willing to accept it on my phone (to a certain degree), but that's primarily because I don't do much video watching on my phone; I have the most basic data plan and rarely come close to exceeding it.
Joe Stanganelli
50%
50%
Joe Stanganelli,
User Rank: Light Sabre
3/31/2014 | 11:08:22 PM
Re: Watching what?
6am-10am is peak time for commuting to work -- not to mention going to the gym before work.  Tons of people watch videos (Netflix, Hulu, Youtube, etc.) on their phone on the subway or the bus, or on the treadmill.
pcharles09
50%
50%
pcharles09,
User Rank: Light Beer
3/31/2014 | 10:06:41 PM
Re: Watching what?
Good Morning America!
DOShea
50%
50%
DOShea,
User Rank: Blogger
3/31/2014 | 10:00:21 PM
Watching what?
Who is watching video on their mobile phones between 6 a.m. and 10 a.m., and what are they watching?
Liz Greenberg
50%
50%
Liz Greenberg,
User Rank: Light Sabre
3/31/2014 | 9:24:57 PM
Re: Which devices?
I agree with you Sarah but I think that the average user doesn't really distinguish between the capabilities of WiFi versus the mobile network (4G, LTE, etc) and therefore just thinks that it is bad reception.  Most people ask me "What is the difference between WiFi and Cellular?  Aren't they the same?"  So it will be interesting to see what happens over the next 12 months with more LTE and WiFi but also what the carriers will do to degrade the experience based on trying to meter Netflix and the like!
TaraSeals
50%
50%
TaraSeals,
User Rank: Light Sabre
3/31/2014 | 7:01:19 PM
Re: Which devices?
I know-- it's really interesting. I personally think that the wireless experience is getting so much better with 4G that the average consumer's expectations are improving overall.
SarahReedy
50%
50%
SarahReedy,
User Rank: Blogger
3/31/2014 | 6:22:59 PM
Re: Which devices?
I am surprised by that study findings. I have different expectations for my WiFi network versus LTE versus 3G versus cable. I guess improving technologies mean that people no longer excuse certain networks. Might be time to stop dumbing down the multiscreen viewing experience.
TaraSeals
50%
50%
TaraSeals,
User Rank: Light Sabre
3/31/2014 | 5:53:11 PM
Re: Which devices?
I agree that it's totally unacceptable on the TV considering how much cable bills are--and I would guess that most people agree.

But a survey from Parks Associates has found that consumers expect the same TV user experience throughout their home, regardless of whether the service is offered over the top (OTT), a managed terrestrial operator network, satellite or other delivery mechanism. That study interestingly found that expectations also remain the same regardless of the receiving device, including set-top box or connected CE device.

The connected home research further found that users want all of the bells and whistles of a traditional pay-TV service within the user interface for OTT.

"While some operators might see OTT delivery or use on a connected CE device as a way to offer a slimmed-down version of their user interface, consumers still expect the full-feature service and interface experience regardless of how it is delivered to the TV," said Brett Sappington, director of research at Parks Associates.

So...a possible differentiation point?
Page 1 / 2   >   >>
Flash Poll
From The Founder
It's clear to me that the communications industry is divided into two types of people, and only one is living in the real world.
LRTV Custom TV
Using Service Quality to Drive WiFi Monetization

10|22|14   |   6:51   |   (0) comments


Live from the SCTE conference: Heavy Reading's Alan Breznick explores the forces shaping the WiFi opportunity in an interview with CableLabs' Justin Colwell and Amdocs' Ken Roulier.
LRTV Custom TV
Distributed Access Architectures – 2

10|21|14   |   8:51:00 AM   |   (0) comments


ARRIS CTO Network Solutions Tom Cloonan discusses why many if not most MSOs will continue with integrated CCAP, while addressing why some are also looking at two futuristic, distributed access architectures: Remote PHY and Remote CCAP.
LRTV Custom TV
Distributed Access Architectures – 1

10|21|14   |   9:01   |   (0) comments


SCTE Sr. Director of Engineering Dean Stoneback discusses the pros and cons of distributed access architecture (DAA) and its various forms, which range from basic Remote PHY to full CMTS functionality in the node.
LRTV Custom TV
The WiFi Road to Riches – 2

10|21|14   |   3:58   |   (0) comments


ARRIS Senior Solution Architect Eli Baruch talks about how MSOs can enable public and community WiFi through 1) outdoor access points, 2) businesses seeking to offer WiFi to customers, and 3) residential WiFi gateway extensions.
LRTV Custom TV
The WiFi Road to Riches – 1

10|21|14   |   10:15   |   (0) comments


SCTE Director of Advanced Technologies Steve Harris discusses WiFi deployments, drivers, challenges and advances, including 802.11ac, carrier-grade WiFi, community WiFi, Hotspot 2.0, Passpoint, WiFi-First and voice-over-WiFi.
LRTV Custom TV
Advantech Accelerates 100G Traffic Handling

10|17|14   |   7:56   |   (0) comments


Paul Stevens from Advantech explains why handling 100GbE needs a whole new platform design approach and how Advantech is addressing the needs of equipment providers and carriers to give them the flexibility and performance they will need for SDN and NFV deployment.
LRTV Huawei Video Resource Center
Holland's Imtech Traffic & Infra Discusses Huawei's ICT Solution and Services

10|16|14   |   4:49   |   (0) comments


Dimitry Theebe is from the business unit at Imtech Traffic & Infra which delivers communications solutions for transportations. His partnershp with Huawei began about a years ago. In this video, Theebe speaks more about this partnership and what he hopes to accomplish with Huawei.
LRTV Huawei Video Resource Center
Huawei's Comprehensive Storage Solutions Vital for SVR

10|16|14   |   6:16   |   (0) comments


SVR Information Technology provides cloud services for academic and special sectors. With Huawei's support, SVR and Yildiz Technical University has established Turkey's largest and most advanced High Performance Computing system. CSO Ismail Cem Aslan talks about what he hopes Huawei's OceanStor storage system will bring for him.
LRTV Huawei Video Resource Center
Mexico's Servitron's Impression of Huawei at CCW 2014

10|16|14   |   6:35   |   (0) comments


Servitron is a network operator in Mexico that has been in the trunking industry for the past 20 years. Its COO, Ing. Ragnar Trillo O., explains at Critical Communications World 2014 that his company has been interested in the long-term evolution of LTE technology and its adoption for TETRA.
LRTV Huawei Video Resource Center
Building a Better Dubai

10|16|14   |   2:06   |   (0) comments


Abdulla Ahmed Al Falasi is the director of commercial affairs, a telecommunications coordinator for the government of Dubai. Their areas of service span across multiple industries, including police, safety, shopping malls and more. In this video, Abdulla talks about his department's work with Huawei.
LRTV Huawei Video Resource Center
Huawei Lights Up Malaysia Partner Maju Nusa

10|16|14   |   1:59   |   (0) comments


Malaysia's Maju Nusa is an enterprise partner to Huawei in networking, route switches and telco equipment. At this year's Critical Communications World in Singapore, CTO Pushpender Singh talks about what Huawei's eLTE solutions mean to his company and for Malaysia.
LRTV Custom TV
Evolving From HFC to FTTH Networks

10|15|14   |   2:19   |   (0) comments


Cisco's Todd McCrum delves into the future of cable's HFC plant, examining how DOCSIS 3.1 and advanced video compression will extend its life and how the IP video transition will usher in GPON and EPON over FTTH.
Upcoming Live Events
October 29, 2014, New York City
November 6, 2014, Santa Clara
November 11, 2014, Atlanta, GA
December 2, 2014, New York City
December 3, 2014, New York City
December 9-10, 2014, Reykjavik, Iceland
February 10, 2015, Atlanta, GA
June 9-10, 2015, Chicago, IL
Infographics
WhoIsHostingThis.com presents six of the world's most extreme WiFi hotspots, enabling the most epic selfies you can imagine.
Hot Topics
Analysts Warn of Major NFV Gaps
Carol Wilson, Editor-at-large, 10/22/2014
Is Health the Killer App for the IoT?
Jason Meyers, Senior Editor, Gigabit Cities/IoT, 10/22/2014
Drones Hover Over the IoT Sector
Jason Meyers, Senior Editor, Gigabit Cities/IoT, 10/23/2014
Meet the Phantom Network for NFV
Ray Le Maistre, Editor-in-chief, 10/23/2014
1959 Newsreel: Make Phone Calls – From Cars!
Mitch Wagner, West Coast Bureau Chief, Light Reading, 10/24/2014
Like Us on Facebook
Twitter Feed