“All services delivered within the home, video and non-video, need to blend seamlessly without the consumer being forced to choose one service over another.”
-- Jos Delbar, Technicolor
Four major elements are necessary to deliver uninterrupted 4K video to the home: Detection, Monitoring, Proactive Care, and Reactive Care, says Jos Delbar, Product Manager at Technicolor, in the white paper, Guaranteeing Seamless 4K OTT Content Delivery, which was presented at the SCTE Cable-Tec Expo 2018, in Atlanta, Ga., October 22-25.
“These features must be mastered by Network Service Providers (NSPs) if they are going to maintain a dynamic, service-aware system that can help guarantee the delivery of next-generation 4K over-the-top (OTT) content in a way that meets the Quality of Experience (QoE) expectations of subscribers,” explains Delbar.
Specifically, systems must be able to:
- Detect: The environment must dynamically identify video service flows as well as the required bandwidth for each.
- Monitor: Through continuous monitoring of the system, indicate whether video service quality remains adequate at any moment in time.
- Proactively care: To keep bandwidth open for video, the system must steer non-video devices to other bands or access points in order to reduce airtime consumption; this guarantees that bandwidth is available to deliver high-end content -- like 4K video services.
- Reactively care: In those incidents when Wi-Fi issues degenerate to the point that a provider can no longer guarantee 4k video quality, the system must be able to identify root causes as well as potential resolutions for the future.
“By mastering these key elements, NSPs will be able to maintain seamless and intuitive new services. While more consumers are seeking to ‘cut the cord,’ they are still demanding access to 4K video content on devices throughout the home. It is a dynamic that is complicated by the fact that -- once inside the home -- content is delivered to a wide-array of devices via Wi-Fi,” says Delbar
The challenge is that QoE with today’s Wi-Fi systems still tends to be poor. The traditional adaptive streaming algorithms and packet prioritization techniques used to correct performance issues are not adequate for today’s data traffic within the home.
“The most common technologies to solve these issues -- RRM/SON, extenders and roaming solutions -- can provide some help in improving a subscriber’s Wi-Fi QoE, but they are unable to guarantee 4K video service delivery via Wi-Fi,” says Delbar.
That is why a dynamic, self-adapting home network is needed to solve the QoE and guaranteed delivery issues, Delbar points out in the white paper.
“The key word is ‘dynamic,’ as it ensures that the Wi-Fi network does not impact non-video applications when there is no active video content,” Delbar says. “All services delivered within the home -- video and non-video -- need to blend seamlessly without the consumer being forced to choose one service over another.”
The system also must be able to adapt quickly and easily to changes in the environment, such as the addition or the deletion of a device, without the subscriber experiencing any notable impact.