Preserving Video Quality in IPTV Networks
By Cisco Systems
Published September 2008; Posted October 2008
Growing numbers of service providers are implementing video services over Internet Protocol (IP) networks, and discovering the unique challenges of providing a high quality-of-experience (QoE) to subscribers. Delivering consistent QoE in packet-switched communication networks can be a complex proposition due to the high sensitivity of video traffic to packet loss, as well as to jitter and delay. Preserving video quality in IP Television (IPTV) networks that rely on copper access lines poses an even greater challenge. Service providers need intelligent mechanisms in core and distribution networks to prevent congestion which deteriorates video quality, as well as intelligence between the aggregation network and the user set-top-box (STB) to repair errors, speed up channel change times, and monitor the quality of the subscriber experience. The authors propose a series of core and aggregation layer approaches, collectively referred to as Video Quality of Experience (VQE), to address these issues. The proposed VQE approach encompasses on-path video connection admission control (CAC) employing Resource ReSerVation Protocol (RSVP) in the core and aggregation layers, and a real-time signaling mechanism operating between the provider aggregation edge and the subscriber STB to address bit errors, channel change time, and packet monitoring. This article discusses this VQE approach in detail, and highlights the advantages of extending quality control and monitoring capabilities from the core network to the provider edge.
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