While many video providers offer solutions for file-based quality control (QC), only one—media delivery quality assurance innovator Qligent —enables comprehensive, virtualized assessment and verification of file-based content throughout the Video on Demand (VOD) experience, all the way out to the last mile. This revolutionary new solution, Vision-VOD, will make its North American debut in booth N4215 at the 2019 NAB Show, taking place April 8 to 11 at the Las Vegas Convention Center (LVCC).
“What makes Vision-VOD unique in the marketplace is that providers can not only ensure the quality of their VOD files, they also gain valuable feedback and insight into bigger questions like whether viewers are able to access and consume the content with its intended quality and integrity,” said Ted Korte, CTO of Qligent.
Designed for flexibility and scalability, Vision-VOD allows users to determine the scope of the testing they want to perform, which specific VOD parameters they want to evaluate, and at what point in the chain they wish to monitor. At the front end of the content delivery chain, files can be analyzed and verified for such attributes as media container conformance; detailed Quality of Experience (QoE) of video, audio, and content metadata; and captions, loudness, and other regulatory compliance. At the back end, Vision-VOD analyzes VOD parameters such as manifest verification, adaptive bitrate (ABR) compliance, download rates, lost segments, and latency that can negatively impact the viewer experience.
“The key to Vision-VOD is our unique deployment of virtual probes that extend monitoring and analysis out to the last mile,” said Korte. “These probes serve as virtual end-users that access and play selected files at various points across global IP networks and markets. By sampling the video in different places, these virtualized probes gather data that informs content owners about file defects and network performance issues that could affect viewability, as well as other metrics which impact the audience engagement for that video.”
While a media file may be fine at its origination point, many things can happen to it once it is made available to viewers online or through OTT services. The typical process of multi-profile transcoding, packaging, and distribution to CDNs and through edge servers out to end-users is prone to many issues. Even if all goes well to that point, consumers could have been precluded from accessing the file due to high network load. There could also have been issues with consistency and reliability of certain CDNs, ISPs, and gateways along the path the packets travel, or instances of rebuffering, stuttering, and other latency that impede a smooth viewing experience. This broad scope of possible issues makes location-specific and time-based monitoring critical in uncovering these situation-based problems.
Vision-VOD probes file access the same way – and in the same place – a user would access the content. The solution’s powerful analytics engines then process that data set into detailed reports that project a clearer picture of the likely user experience for that file at the time of testing.
“Consider a scenario where a program is made available for on-demand viewing, and initial metrics show a certain number of people watched that content,” explained Korte. “That’s great, but what if a thousand more people had tried to view that same content but gave up due to network performance issues they encountered? Vision-VOD gives providers a level of technical insight about their VOD user experience that they wouldn’t otherwise have even with viewer feedback. Then, armed with this actionable information, they can then take proactive steps to protect their revenue streams, preserve customer loyalty, and ensure an optimal viewing experience worthy of their brand.”
Fully automated and highly scalable, Vision-VOD is available as a standalone, on-premise solution or distributed, SaaS-based offering with a choice of pay-as-you-go pricing models for deployment in the cloud, on virtual machines, or hosted by a third party. Vision-VOD also has a powerful API for third-party party integration.
Users of Qligent’s flagship Vision platform—which provides cloud-based, enterprise-level content monitoring and analysis of media delivered via multiple channels including broadcast, cable, and over-the-top (OTT) streaming—can also add Vision-VOD’s file-based quality control (QC) and comprehensive-on demand analysis capabilities to their existing deployment for full “File to Last Mile™” coverage.