Tektronix’s Sentry digital content monitor now enables cable TV operators to ensure the quality of their live and on-demand services delivered using adaptive streaming through the quick identification and diagnosis of video and audio quality issues that can impact viewers’ quality of experience (QoE).

The key to Sentry’s new adaptive streaming monitoring capabilities is its ability to perform its Perceptual Video Quality (PVQ) analysis on video streams encoded in the H.264 codec used for adaptive streaming. PVQ enables Sentry to identify video artifacts that are due to over-compression, which commonly happens with motion-intensive programs like sports and action movies. Such over-compression artifacts are virtually undetectable by simply looking for packet loss and represent a major threat to video quality.

In an adaptive streaming monitoring application, Sentry examines H.264 video streams immediately after they have been transcoded from MPEG-2 and just prior to them being fragmented and encrypted. This is a critical point in the adaptive streaming process as transcoding can introduce QoE-impacting video errors that are virtually undetectable after encryption. Simultaneously with the H.264 monitoring, Sentry examines the accompanying audio programs encoded in the AAC codec predominantly used in adaptive streaming. This combination ensures that operators can detect video and audio issues that will propagate downstream and degrade customers’ viewing experience.

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