LSI's embedded experience quality monitoring technology

Ensuring QoE: What quality of experience do we need? What weak links need to be strengthened? How to improve the quality of experience?

The quality of advanced experience will determine whether carrier-grade Internet video can be widely promoted. The quality of Internet video experience is comprehensive, such as the last mile IP packet delivery assurance solution; intelligent policy management to ensure service level agreements (SLAs) before configuration. In addition, we also monitor the video in the network in real time to ensure that quality requirements are met. The above schemes are interrelated, but today's monitoring technologies are relatively backward, slow, and costly. This article will explore the above issues and introduce how to optimize and embed Internet video quality monitoring technology and reduce its cost.

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The way Internet video is developed has greatly exceeded expectations. Popular Internet video content continues to grow, and consumers are increasingly demanding quality video content, moving from YouTube® home video to Internet video streaming that can play their favorite sitcoms. With the introduction of programming technologies specifically developed for Internet video streaming applications, higher quality Internet video delivery solutions are gaining popularity. To ensure customer satisfaction and profit from differentiated products and services, network providers are building an Internet video service-aware network. A service-aware network is a network that deploys intelligent configuration, delivery assurance, and Internet video quality monitoring functions in the network infrastructure to isolate faults and automatically take corrective action. Based on these three functions, service providers can create networks that support end-to-end quality of experience (QoE).

Current technology

The different technologies used to meet Internet video quality assurance requirements fall within the general term QoE. The most common technologies are intelligent configuration platforms and IP packet delivery guarantee mechanisms. In addition, Internet video stream quality monitoring is also extremely important for fault isolation and automatic error correction. As far as current Internet video surveillance technology is concerned, low-cost delivery guarantees cannot be achieved.

Figure 1: IPTV service network

Intelligent configuration technology uses protocols such as Multicast CAC1 and RSVP2. (If the existing equipment does not meet the requirements of the above protocol, consider using a dedicated device.) The above protocol is designed to ensure that the network infrastructure can resolve bandwidth issues before adding more traffic. The request/retention policy also allows network administrators to monitor network capacity and avoid oversubscription to cause service rejection issues. In general, this solution requires a transport network, encoder/content server functionality, and a 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 end devices. During the delivery of content, resources cannot be controlled and therefore the quality of Internet video cannot be guaranteed.

Another QoE tool is the last mile IP packet delivery guarantee mechanism, which involves protocols such as lost packet retransmission schemes, which are very effective in ensuring the last mile of packet delivery. The retransmission delay must be low enough to ensure that the retransmitted packet arrives before the end user device needs the packet. Because of this, this technology is commonly used on service edge devices of DSLAM equipment or mobile base stations. However, if the packet loss occurs before the last mile transmission, then the above technique will not be able to detect the packet loss problem and will not be able to take corrective action.

Video quality monitoring - filling gaps

Internet video quality monitoring is critical to building an Internet video service-aware network. The goal of Internet video quality monitoring is to isolate faults in a timely manner and to correct them economically and quickly to ensure end-to-end QoE. In order to achieve these goals in a service-aware network, we must ensure that each Internet video stream supports fault isolation, and that it should detect where the fault occurred 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 sets the standard for video quality perception, ranging from 5.0 (lossless) to 1.0 (completely corrupted). We can set the domain value of the high/medium/low quality video based on the MPQM standard score and send out alarm information accordingly. By promptly alerting, we can quickly isolate faults in access networks that support 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 is compared to the video encoded by transcoding to ensure that data loss is within acceptable limits. In the Video Network Operations Center (V-NOC), video surveillance equipment works in conjunction with encoders and transcoders. V-NOC typically deploys very high-capacity video servers, so it can meet the additional space and power requirements of stand-alone video surveillance devices.

After the video leaves the V-NOC, it will arrive at the user via a real-time network transmission. The network may be subject to various transient effects such as transient events such as failover, or oversubscription and improperly configured QoS policies, and packet loss and jitter are likely to occur. Whatever the reason, in the end, the quality of the Internet video will be poor, and the end user's QoE will drop. At present, we are not able to proactively monitor the above issues, and even until the user reports, the network provider can find the problem. Therefore, this will cause the user to act as an actual service provider quality monitor, which can easily lead to user dissatisfaction. Even if the user reports, due to the lack of automatic fault isolation mechanism, it is difficult for service providers to find the root cause of the problem. Service providers often have no other way to get on-site technicians to come to the door and manually isolate the problem, which is extremely costly.

Is there any other way besides expensive manpower manual fault isolation? The solution is to implement automatic fault isolation on the access node using a video surveillance mechanism that isolates the last mile problem and client device (CPE) issues from upstream network issues.

Access network video quality monitoring challenges

Internet video quality monitoring equipment has been available for several years, but some factors still restrict the device's role in fault isolation at the access node. Access device deployment is not only very demanding, but the deployment location may be far from the network operation center, often located in small places where the environment is uncontrollable, such as outdoor telecommunication boxes and even the basement of large buildings. The current video surveillance equipment is too large, too expensive, and consumes a lot of power in large-scale deployments of access nodes. Only by solving the above problems faced by video surveillance on the access node can we build a low-cost Internet video service-aware network.

Break through technical barriers

The only solution that can meet the above challenges is to embed related functions in the access node itself. Once the monitoring function is embedded in the access node, it can be deployed to any location along with the access node. The operator also avoids the cost of deploying and maintaining dedicated monitoring equipment, and also saves additional rack space costs. Embedded monitoring technology also helps service providers avoid the cost of dedicated monitoring hardware and the carbon footprint of power consumption.

LSI Introduces Embedded Experience Quality Monitoring Technology (eQoETM)

LSI has introduced a high-performance, cost-optimized, low-power Internet video surveillance solution that can deploy high-quality Internet video services. The eQoE solution works with the LSI APP3300 Advanced PayloadPlus® network processor, which is deployed in wireless access, broadband access and enterprise applications using video quality monitoring technology embedded in the existing APP3300 network processor family.

The APP3300 network processor family supports multiple performances and a wide power consumption range. It is manufactured using 90 nanometer process technology and consumes only 5W. APP network processors are currently used in many outdoor and space-constrained deployments, such as remote DSLAMs, Node-B, and small and medium-sized business (SMB) gateway applications. In the above deployment scenario, the APP implements transport and control layer operations, including TR-101 DSLAM, LTE and W-CDMA Node-B, and SMB gateways. Implementing eQoE on the same processor ensures video quality monitoring without adding additional chip or device cost, power and rack space. In addition, to further shorten the design cycle, LSI offers application optimization software packages that support control and data layer functions to meet the requirements of multiple access applications. By implementing eQoE on the same network processor and providing the appropriate software, LSI can help enable rapid deployment of Internet video surveillance capabilities in the access network.

What features will eQoE support?

Because eQoE has great advantages in terms of cost, space consumption and power consumption, Internet video surveillance can achieve ubiquitous deployment in access networks, which helps to strengthen fault isolation, automatic error correction measures, and intelligent network deployment. Upfront sales with forward-looking premium services. These advantages help reduce operating expenses, promote customer retention, and create new revenue opportunities for service providers.

Fault isolation With eQoE, service providers can monitor the video quality of access devices. If the user reports a problem with the delivery of the video, the network operator can check the access device and access video quality before the video is submitted to the user. If the quality of the video is already poor on the access node itself, then the underlying problem is not on the last mile of the device, but rather on the network to find the problem deeper. The network operator can point out to the user that this problem can not be solved even if the technicians are sent to the door for maintenance, thus eliminating the costly door-to-door service fee of the service provider. If the video quality is fine at the access device, but the user indicates that the video quality is poor, then it needs to be maintained. In both cases, operators can tell customers that smart devices are monitoring related issues, which is not currently possible. Since the technicians are only sent to the door when necessary, the service provider not only reduces the number of unnecessary on-site services, but also directly reduces operating expenses.

Automatic error correction measures After fault isolation, corrective actions should be taken. The fastest error correction action should be automatic error correction. Embedded quality of experience monitoring technology can be used to create service level alarms based on MPQM. The problem is then isolated by video quality alarms and automatic error correction measures are taken. In the alarm system, the video quality alarm is a service level alarm and belongs to various systematic low-level alarms. Low-level alarms should be cleared before taking action on Internet video services. Once the Internet Video Service Alert is detected, the Operations Support System (OSS) device in the V-NOC can automatically check the upstream device. If the video stream does not have an Internet video alarm on the upstream device network, then the problem must have occurred in the upstream device.

We can take corrective action on the device, for example to ensure proper QoS policy configuration, or to find suspicious packet loss. Automatic error correction measures can be performed before the user reports a problem or even before the user awareness problem exists. Since the user's reporting and awareness problems are reduced, the customer satisfaction can be improved, thereby increasing the customer retention rate.

Intelligent Network Deployment Establishing a low-cost embedded Internet video quality monitoring mechanism will support eQoE functionality on more nodes throughout the network. This degree of visualization is not possible with external devices because of the enormous cost, space and power consumption of external devices. The operator in the V-NOC will know the current video quality on all access nodes throughout the network. If a new video stream is added, eQoE will report the impact of the video stream on other video streams; how the zone responds when a new content server is added, and how the network changes when new users or new access devices are added. Wait. If the network provider has the above data, then intelligent plans can be made for the deployment of new networks, new customers, and where to deploy new content servers.

Forward-looking upselling 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 differentiated services through the introduction of highly monitored paid viewing or VOD services, or monthly, high-quality video conferencing services that are time-limited and rigorously monitored. If there is no extensive deployment of Internet video surveillance technology, the above revenue increase service is impossible.

in conclusion

Internet video is moving toward professionally produced high-bandwidth content. Internet video has been deployed on transmission and access networks, making the above-mentioned networks a video distribution network. In response to the challenges faced by Internet video, people are actively developing related technologies, but the existing technology has great limitations. The request/reservation protocol can only work for traffic settings, and the last mile of IP packet delivery guarantee technology can only meet the last mile of transmission requirements. Independent monitoring devices cannot be deployed in the access device environment.

Embedded Quality of Experience technology provides a lower cost, more energy-efficient embedded video surveillance mechanism for access devices, helping to reduce operating costs, improve customer retention, and bring new revenue opportunities to service providers.

1. Excerpted from Seng Kyoun Jo Guha, D. Jun Kyun Choi, Seong Gon Choi and Jae Hum Lee at the 8th International Conference ICACT 2006 (Advanced Communication Technology 2006) entitled "Thresholding for Multicast Environments" Into the control law article. ISBN: 89-5519-129-4
2. Extracted from R. Braden, L. Zhang, S. Berson, S. Herzog, and S. Jamin, Resource Reservation Protocol (RSVP) - Version 1: Functional Specification, RFC 2205, September 1997.
3. From Andrea Basso, Ismail Dalgic, Fouad A. Tobagi, and Christian J. van den Branden Lambrecht, based on perceived quality standards, presented at the Academic Reporting Conference on Image Coding Processing Technology, March 13-15, 1996 in Melbourne, Australia. MPEG-2 encoding performance analysis" article.


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