Test & Measurement

Big Guns Develop Streaming Video Quality Assessment Model

TOKYO -- In December 2016, ITU-T SG12 approved recommendation P.1203, which describes algorithms (“models”) that estimate the end user media quality for adaptive streaming sessions. The recommendation is applicable to non-intrusive in-service quality monitoring and contributes to the development of high-quality adaptive bitrate video streaming services. By using P.1203, service providers and network operators can now monitor the quality of their video services, and thus take actions if the targeted quality is not reached.

P.1203 was created jointly by seven companies: Deutsche Telekom AG (with Ilmenau University of Technology), Ericsson AB, Huawei Technologies Co., Ltd., NETSCOUT SYSTEMS, Inc., NTT Network Technology Laboratories, OPTICOM Dipl.-Ing. M. Keyhl GmbH, SwissQual AG / Rohde&Schwarz GmbH & Co. KG.

Video streaming is one of the most used internet services today, and adaptive bitrate streaming mechanisms are often used to balance the media delivery according to any variations in the available bandwidth. This is also important for mobile scenarios, where the bandwidth can vary due to interference and user movement. While adaptation improves the possibility of an interrupt-free delivery, it also creates quality variations in the audiovisual media which can be disturbing to the end user.

About Recommendation P.1203 and Future plans
The standard comprises individual models for short-term video and audio quality estimation, and a final integration model. The integration model combines the short-term outputs from the video and audio quality models into a long-term audio-visual quality estimation, and also includes the effect of stalling (freezing). The standard describes different model realizations for different levels of content encryption and computational complexity.

The seven participating companies submitted their initial model candidates for an ITU-T evaluation procedure. These candidate models were tested using extensive subjective data, and the best performing algorithms were finally merged into one single standard.

P.1203 currently supports adaptive bitrate video streaming services for H.264/AVC-encoded videos up to HD format. As a next step, in its ongoing work ITU-T is extending the standard to cover up to 4K / UHD format video, then including three video codecs, namely H.264/AVC, H.265/HEVC and VP9. More in-depth information about P.1203 can be found here:

About ITU-T SG12
ITU-T SG12: The International Telecommunication Union Telecommunication Standardization Sector (ITU-T) is one of the three Sectors of the ITU. Study Group 12 (SG12) of ITU-T is responsible for Recommendations on the end-to-end transmission performance of terminals and networks, in relation to the perceived quality and acceptance by users of text, data, speech, and multimedia applications.

International Telecommunication Union, Standardization Sector (ITU-T)

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