jackmyers.com
Free ContentFor Members Only
HOME MEDIAVILLAGE.com WOMEN ADVANCING HOOKED UP MEMBERSHIP INFO MEMBER COMPANIES MEDIA BUSINESS REPORT ECONOMIC FORECASTS RESEARCH
Home > MyersBizNet Media Business Report > What Does Quality Online Video Look Like? TheShellyPalmerReport

What Does Quality Online Video Look Like? TheShellyPalmerReport

June 27, 2008

Published: June 27, 2008 at 08:33 AM GMT
Last Updated: July 1, 2008 at 08:33 AM GMT

Consumers have demonstrated a preference for three basic types of online video experiences over the past few months: Video Snacking, Download-to-Own and Online Television. Each of these three consumer behaviors has a specific value chain associated with it. Video Snacks are hard to directly monetize. Download-to-Own files are hard to protect. But, Online Television is, for all intents and purposes, television using the public Internet as the distribution network. And people who have popular content are enjoying excellent financial results from making that content available online.

You can find examples of Internet Television at hulu.com, abc.com, nbc.com, cbs.com, fox.com. In fact, almost every major television network offers some kind of online viewing experience for their most popular shows. Which begs the question, "What does quality online video look like?" Should it look like Standard Definition Television? Should it look like HDTV? Should it have to meet "broadcast quality" standards as a benchmark?

We have come to the time in the transition from network to networked television where setting some minimum requirements for the online viewing experience would be helpful. I'd like to assemble a group of video professionals, compile a list of requirements and set-up some independent testing groups to play video watchdog for the industry. And, I'd like you to help me get it done!

To start the dialog, here are my suggestions for the subjective attributes of quality online video:

1) The video has to start very quickly (like within a second of when you press the play button).

2) Continuous, full motion video that looks sharp at full screen.

3) Colorspace that matches or exceeds broadcast NTSC television,

4) Stereo audio with a dynamic range that exceeds broadcast standards.

5) No buffering after the initial picture comes on, no exceptions.

6) No drop out, pixilated frames or other artifacts on the screen.

To achieve these subjective goals, we will have to create a set of test criterion that takes several things into consideration:

1) Encoding, the art and science of master video files and making them available for distribution.

2) The player software.

3) The topology of the distribution network.

4) Speed of the user's broadband connection.

5) The quality of the user's broadband connection.

6) The quality of the user's computer.

With all of these variables, it is very difficult to maintain video quality from video publisher to consumer (no matter how you define quality). Mostly because there are so many components along the signal path that video publishers don't control. But let's press on.

If we were to start thinking about measuring the quality of an online video viewing experience here are a few things we might measure:

1) Start Time: As measured by the average time it takes for video to begin playing.

2) Quantity of Impairments: As measured by the number of impairments over a given length of time.

3) Average Length of Impairments: As measured by the average duration of stalls or buffering.

4) Wait Time on Seek: As measured by the average duration of buffering or stalls before the video begins to play from the seek points.

5) Wait Time on Ad Break / Return: As measured by the average delay duration when programming cuts to an ad, or when an ad ends and returns to regular programming.

6) Video Quality Delivered: As measured by average video bit rate delivered.

7) Link Efficiency: As measured by the percentage of a user's bandwidth consumed.

8) Encroachment Test: Tiered scoring of the above tests as additional viewers move onto the network.

The list above isn't complete, but it's a start.

We also need to set standards that adjust for the type of broadband environment in which the video will be consumed. For example: ADSL at 768 kpbs down and 384 kpbs up or Cable modem at 5 Mbps down by 768 kpbs up. Unless you take the network environment into consideration, the standards will be hard to achieve. We will have to "handicap" our standards to the limits of each network.

So here's the pitch. Online video is coming into its own. People are watching and, as in industry, we need to define a quality experience the same way that the broadcast networks do. We need to create testing environments and set standards of quality that each distributor can strive to achieve. I think it's a job for everyone who wants to be involved. To join my ad hoc group, email me at shelly@palmer.net. It's time.

Shelly Palmer is Managing Director of Advanced Media Ventures Group LLC and the author of Television Disrupted: The Transition from Network to Networked TV (2006, Focal Press). Shelly is also President of the National Academy of Television Arts & Sciences, NY (the organization that bestows the coveted Emmy® Awards). He is the Vice-Chairman of the National Academy of Media Arts & Sciences an organization dedicated to education and leadership in the areas of technology, media and entertainment. Palmer also oversees the Advanced Media Technology Emmy® Awards which honors outstanding achievements in the science and technology of advanced media. You can read Shelly’s blog here. Shelly can be reached at shelly@palmer.net



Check out the Shelly Palmer Report archive.

add this social bookmark link

0 Comments
Post a Comment










Commentary Archives

January 2016
December 2015
November 2015
October 2015
September 2015
August 2015
July 2015
June 2015
May 2015
April 2015
March 2015
February 2015

See all Archived Material

MediaVillage.com

Attention Award Shows: Live TV Musicals are Not Movies!
NBC did a sensational job with “The Wiz Live!” two months ago, by far the best of its live Broadway musical adaptations. Wonderful cast from top to bottom, dynamite direction and choreography and, despite not having a live audience in the studio to make the live performance more electric (the only major flaw, especially in the wake of “Grease Live!” on Fox), a triumph for all involved.

A New Era in Super Bowl Messaging -- Gender News Weekly
This is a special Super Bowl edition of Gender News Weekly, a blog series focused on gender equality, gender politics and the shift in gender norms in business and relationships and inspired by Jack Myers’ upcoming book, “The Future of Men: Masculinity in the Twenty-First Century.”

Can the Tech/Media Worlds Hit “Pause”?
Is there any way to put what got out back into Pandora’s Box and reseal it? My old friend from our cable days, Steve Effros, thinks the worlds of social media have gotten out of hand. Seeing as the cable/telecommunication cabals helped unleash the social media madness, we might want to consider the question of how to put (some of) it back.

The Top Five Ads That Did Not Appear During Super Bowl 50
Last week on Charlie Rose, MediaVillage’s Stuart Elliott called the Super Bowl, “the one day of the year when the American public will give Madison Avenue their undivided attention.” That comment prompted one industry pro to jokingly tweet, “Only one day??? Time to rethink my career!” (Scroll down to the bottom of this column to watch Charlie's interview with Stuart.)

TV or Not TV, That Is the Question
One of the many lively sessions at the Digital Place Based Advertising Association's (DPAA) annual Video Everywhere Summit in the fall was a panel that debated video agnostic planning; the issue of whether all video screens should be valued equally (see link to panel video at end of column). Suffice it to say, there were strong opinions expressed on the topic but one clear takeaway emerged: With screens now pretty much omnipresent in our lives, the definition of what constitutes television is murkier than ever.

Dramas Deluxe: “O.J. Simpson,” “American Crime,” “London Spy”
The overload of quality television shows no sign of waning anytime soon, even if critics are collapsing under the burden of it all and ordinary people are starting to push back, overwhelmed by the crushing combination of so much choice and so little time. Allow me to identify three stand-out drama series from the ever-growing list. BBC America's “London Spy,” the second season of ABC’s “American Crime” (currently the most powerful drama on broadcast television) and the first season of FX’s formidable new franchise “American Crime Story” are setting the bar awfully high for the year to come.

Super Bowl 50: Where Were the Brand Stories?
Super Bowl 50 was overrun with 30-second bits of confusing, celebrity-laden, idea-missing, frenetic hype and hyperbole, most of which lacked any memorable brand story whatsoever. 

2016 Network Upfront and Digital NewFronts Calendar
Television Network Upfront and Digital NewFronts Schedule

Rick Erwin of Acxiom on Targeting with Data
Rick Erwin has been in the epicenter of the data driven marketplace for over 25 years, including 10 at Experian and 12 at RR Donnelley. Now as President of Audience Solutions for Acxiom, Erwin is responsible for the success of the data, analytics and digital media business globally in division. “Acxiom is an enterprise data, analytics and software-as-a-service company [referring to the cloud],” he says.

Stuart Elliott: What the "L" Happened to Super Bowl 50 Advertising?
What a shame! The commercials that ran Sunday on CBS during Super Bowl 50 were, for the most part, as forgettable as the game was.

Susan Sarandon at the SAGs, Beer Ads and More: Gender News Weekly
Inspired by Jack Myers' new book "The Future of Men: Masculinity in the Twenty-First Century" (coming in March), this is a weekly blog focused on gender equality, gender politics and the shift in gender norms in business and culture. Read on for this week's news roundup.

MediaBizBuzz: The Super Bowl, Comcast, ESPN, Viceland and More
A roundup of the week's key news from MediaVillage member companies and the wider media industry. This week, financial results from Comcast and Google shed more light on viewer and advertising trends, Nielsen fixes ESPN data, digital disrupts jobs at media companies, Yahoo tries to turn around its turnaround, Viceland’s executive landscape becomes clearer and how many digital ads a Super Bowl TV spot can buy.

Why I’m Excited About the Super Bowl for the First Time Ever
I have never been excited about the Super Bowl. I’m not a football fan. I neither enjoy nor understand it. The ads, which I do enjoy, are either released before the game or available immediately afterwards. I rarely care about the half-time performance. I do not like beer, buffalo wings, plain potato chips or really most go-to Super Bowl party refreshments. I do not like Sunday night engagements, as they conflict with “Downton Abbey.” Lest anyone rescind my invitation to their Super Bowl party, I am pleased to say that this year I am extremely excited about the big game. Why? Two words: Fantasy football.

ANA vs. 4As: The Advertiser Agency Battle Rumbles On
The argument between advertisers and media agencies in the USA over transparency rumbles on. Earlier Cog Blogs have commented on advertisers’ concerns over the agencies’ media buying practices, and their hiring (via their trade body the ANA) of two consultancies to look into the whole matter of where the money goes. Now, in what sounds like an attempt to get their retaliation in way before the consultants have even reported, the agencies’ trade body (the 4As) last week issued something called “Transparency Guiding Principles of Conduct.” In line with what seems to be something of a strained atmosphere between the two parties, the 4As did this without any discussion with their clients, whose trade body is as we said in mid-consultation and who might have had something interesting to input into what they consider to be the principles of transparency.

NBC Digital’s Bill Smee on the Evolution of News
News creation and coverage is one area of the media that has seen particular change in the past few years. Affordable easy-to-use production equipment, the shift from film to video to digital formats, advancements in production technology and expansive access to anyone and everyone via the Internet have dramatically shifted the business of news content formation.

Click Here for Membership Information