“Advanced quality of experience will determine whether telecom-level Internet video can be widely promoted. The quality of experience of Internet video is all-encompassing, such as the last mile IP packet delivery guarantee solution; intelligent policy management to ensure that the service level agreement (SLA) is reached before configuration. In addition, we also need to monitor the video on the network in real time to ensure that it meets the quality requirements. The above solutions are interrelated, but today’s monitoring technology is relatively backward, slow, and costly. This article will discuss the above issues and introduce how to optimize and embed Internet video quality monitoring technology and reduce its cost.
Advanced experience quality will determine whether telecom-level Internet video can be widely promoted. The quality of experience of Internet video is all-encompassing, such as the last mile IP packet delivery guarantee solution; intelligent policy management to ensure that the service level agreement (SLA) is reached before configuration. In addition, we also need to monitor the video on the network in real time to ensure that it meets the quality requirements. The above solutions are interrelated, but today’s monitoring technology is relatively backward, slow, and costly. This article will discuss the above issues and introduce how to optimize and embed Internet video quality monitoring technology and reduce its cost.
The development of Internet video has greatly exceeded people’s expectations. Popular Internet video content continues to be enriched, and consumers have higher and higher requirements for the quality of video content. They are gradually shifting from YouTube home videos to Internet video streams that can play their favorite sitcoms. With the introduction of programming technologies specially developed for Internet video streaming applications, higher-quality Internet video delivery solutions are becoming more popular. In order to ensure customer satisfaction and profit through specialized products and services, network providers are building Internet video service-aware networks. A service-aware network is a network that deploys functions such as intelligent configuration, delivery assurance, and Internet video quality monitoring in the network infrastructure. It can isolate faults and automatically take corrective measures. Based on the above three functions, service providers can create networks that support end-to-end quality of experience (QoE).
1 Current technology
The different technologies used to meet the requirements of Internet video quality assurance all fall under the general term QoE. The most common technology is the intelligent configuration platform and IP data packet delivery guarantee mechanism. In addition, Internet video stream quality monitoring is also extremely important for fault isolation and automatic error correction measures. As far as the current Internet video surveillance technology is concerned, low-cost delivery guarantees cannot be achieved yet.
Figure 1: IPTV service network
Intelligent configuration technology uses protocols such as Multicast CAC1 and RSVP2. (If the existing equipment cannot meet the requirements of the above protocol, you can consider using dedicated equipment.) The above protocol is designed to ensure that the network infrastructure can solve the bandwidth problem before adding more traffic. The request/retention policy also allows network administrators to monitor network capacity and avoid service denials caused by oversubscription. Generally speaking, this kind of solution requires transmission network, encoder/content server function, and broadband access/wireless access network to work together. Although this method checks the availability of bandwidth during the initial traffic setup phase, these protocols generally do not involve terminal equipment. During the content delivery period, resources cannot be controlled, and therefore the quality of Internet video cannot be ensured.
Another QoE tool is the last-mile IP data packet delivery guarantee mechanism. The protocol involved in this mechanism includes a lost data packet retransmission scheme, which is very effective in ensuring the last-mile data packet delivery. The retransmission delay must be low enough to ensure that the retransmitted data packet arrives before the end user device needs the data packet. Because of this, this technology is usually used in DSLAM equipment or service edge equipment of mobile base stations. However, if the packet loss occurs before the last mile of transmission, the above-mentioned technology will not be able to detect the packet loss problem, and corrective measures cannot be taken.
2 Video quality monitoring-fill the gap
Internet video quality monitoring is essential to establish an Internet video service-aware network. The purpose of Internet video quality monitoring is to isolate faults in time and correct them economically and quickly to ensure end-to-end QoE. In order to achieve the above goals in a service-aware network, we must ensure that each Internet video stream supports fault isolation, and it should also detect where the fault occurs on the network. Timely fault isolation requires an effective alarm aggregation and reporting mechanism.
Video quality is usually measured by the Motion Picture Quality Evaluation Standard (MPQM)3.
MPQM establishes a standard for the perception of video quality, scoring video quality from 5.0 (lossless) to 1.0 (completely damaged). We can set high/medium/low quality video domain values on the basis of MPQM standard scores, and send out warning messages accordingly. Through timely alarming, we can quickly isolate faults in the access network that supports video distribution.
Internet video quality monitoring has different requirements at different nodes of the video distribution network. In the case of a video encoder or transcoder, the input video should be compared with the video obtained after encoding and transcoding to ensure that the data loss is within an allowable limit. In the Video Network Operation Center (V-NOC), video surveillance equipment works with encoders and transcoders. V-NOC usually deploys extremely high-capacity video servers, so it can meet the more space and power consumption requirements of independent rack-mounted video surveillance equipment.
After the video leaves V-NOC, it will reach the user via real-time network transmission. The network may be affected by transient events such as failover, or various uncertain loads such as oversubscription and improper configuration of QoS policies, and packet loss and jitter are likely to occur. Regardless of the reason, it will eventually lead to poor quality of Internet video and lower QoE of end users. At present, we are not able to monitor the above-mentioned problems in a proactive manner, and even the network provider will not be able to discover the existence of the problem until the user reports it. Therefore, this will allow users to act as actual service provider quality monitors, which can easily lead to user dissatisfaction. Even if the user reports it, it is difficult for service providers to find the root cause of the problem due to the lack of an automatic fault isolation mechanism. Service providers often have no other way but to let on-site technicians come to service and isolate the problem manually, which is extremely costly.
Is there any other way besides expensive manual fault isolation? The solution is to use a video monitoring mechanism to implement automatic fault isolation at the access node to isolate the last mile problem and customer premise equipment (CPE) problems from upstream network problems.
The challenge of access network video quality monitoring Internet video quality monitoring equipment has been launched for several years, but some factors still restrict the relevant equipment to play the role of fault isolation at the access node. Access equipment deployment is not only very demanding in terms of quantity, but the deployment location may be far away from the network operation center, often in small places where the environment cannot be controlled, such as outdoor telecommunication boxes or even basements of large buildings. The current video surveillance equipment is too large and expensive, and the large-scale deployment of access nodes consumes a lot of power. Only by solving the above-mentioned problems faced by video surveillance on access nodes can we build a low-cost Internet video service-aware network.
3 Break through technical barriers
The only solution that can meet the above-mentioned challenges is to embed relevant functions in the access node itself. After the monitoring function is embedded in the access node, it can be deployed to any location along with the access node. Operators also avoid the cost of deploying and maintaining dedicated monitoring equipment, as well as saving additional support space costs. Embedded monitoring technology can also help service providers avoid the cost of dedicated monitoring hardware and the carbon footprint released by power consumption.
4 LSI launches embedded quality of experience monitoring technology (eQoE?)
LSI has launched a high-performance, cost-optimized, low-power Internet video surveillance solution that can deploy high-quality Internet video services widely. Can eQoE solution be compatible with LSI APP3300 Advanced PayloadPlus? The network processor is used in conjunction. The processor adopts the video quality monitoring technology embedded in the existing APP3300 network processor series, and is widely deployed in wireless access, broadband access and enterprise applications.
The APP3300 network processor series supports a variety of performance and a wide range of power consumption. It is manufactured using 90-nanometer process technology, and the power consumption is only 5W. APP network processors are currently widely used in many outdoor and space-constrained deployments, such as remote DSLAM, Node-B, and small and medium enterprise (SMB) gateway applications. In the above deployment scenarios, APP implements transmission and control layer operations, including TR-101 DSLAM, LTE and W-CDMA Node-B, and SMB gateways. Implementing eQoE on the same processor can ensure video quality monitoring without adding additional chip or equipment costs, power consumption, and rack space. In addition, in order to further shorten the design cycle, LSI provides an application optimization software package that supports control and data layer functions to meet the requirements of multiple access applications. By implementing eQoE on the same network processor and providing corresponding software, LSI can help realize the rapid deployment of Internet video surveillance functions in the access network.
5 What features will eQoE support?
Since eQoE has great advantages in cost, space occupation and power consumption, Internet video surveillance can almost be deployed ubiquitously in the access network, which helps to strengthen fault isolation, automatic error correction measures, and intelligent network deployment And forward-looking advanced service up-selling work. These advantages help reduce operating expenses, promote customer retention, and bring new revenue opportunities for service providers.
5.1 Fault isolation
Using eQoE, service providers can monitor the video quality of access devices. If the user reports a problem with the video delivery, the network operator can check the access device and the quality of the access video before the video is submitted to the user. If the video quality is already poor at the access node itself, then the fundamental problem is not the last mile device, but the problem should be found more deeply on the network. Network operators can point out to users that this problem cannot be solved even if they send technicians on-site for maintenance, which saves the service provider’s costly on-site service fees. If the video quality is okay at the access device, but the user says that the video quality is poor, then home maintenance is required. In both cases, the operator can tell the customer that the smart device is monitoring related issues, which is currently not possible. Since technicians are only sent on-site when necessary, the service provider not only reduces the number of unnecessary on-site services, but also directly reduces operating expenses.
5.2 Automatic error correction measures
After the fault is isolated, corrective actions should be taken next. The fastest error correction action should be automatic error correction. Embedded experience quality monitoring technology can create service-level alarms based on MPQM classification of video quality. Then isolate the problem through video quality warnings and take automatic correction measures. In the alarm system, video quality alarms are service-level alarms, which belong to the list of systemic low-level alarms. Before taking action on Internet video services, the low-level alarms should be cleared. Once an Internet video service alarm is detected, the operation support system (OSS) equipment in the V-NOC can automatically check upstream equipment. If the video stream does not show an Internet video alarm on the upstream device’s network, then the problem must have occurred in the upstream device.
We can take corrective measures on the device, such as ensuring proper QoS policy configuration, or finding suspicious packet loss, etc. Automatic correction measures can be taken before the user reports the problem, or even before the user awareness problem exists. As it reduces user reports and awareness problems, it can improve customer satisfaction and increase customer retention.
5.3 Smart network deployment
The establishment of a low-cost embedded Internet video quality monitoring mechanism will support eQoE functions on more nodes in the entire network. This degree of visualization is impossible for external devices, because external devices face huge cost, space occupation, and power consumption pressure. The operators in the V-NOC will know the current video quality on all access nodes of the entire network. If a new video stream is added, eQoE will report the impact of the video stream on other video streams; how the area will respond when a content server is added, and how the network will change when new users or new access devices are added Wait. If the network provider has the above data, it can make intelligent plans for the deployment of new networks, new customers, and where to deploy new content servers.
5.4 Forward-looking up-selling of high-end services
As long as we can ensure the quality of Internet video, we can create higher-end services in the service provider network. Service providers can implement special services by launching highly-monitored paid appreciation or VOD services, or providing high-quality video conferencing services with a certain time limit and strict monitoring every month. Without the widespread deployment of Internet video surveillance technology, the above-mentioned revenue-increasing services are impossible to achieve.
Internet video is developing in the direction of professionally produced high-bandwidth content. Internet video has been deployed on transmission and access networks, turning the aforementioned networks into video distribution networks. In response to the various challenges faced by Internet video, people are actively developing related technologies, but the existing technologies still have great limitations. The request/reservation protocol can only play a role in the flow setting, and the last-mile IP data packet delivery guarantee technology can only meet the last-mile transmission requirements. Separate monitoring devices cannot be deployed in the access device environment.
Embedded quality of experience technology provides a lower-cost, more energy-efficient embedded video monitoring mechanism for access devices, which helps reduce operating costs, improve customer retention, and bring new revenue-increasing opportunities for service providers.