Historically, cable operators have relied on Radio Frequency (RF) measurement as the standard approach for analysing system performance. However, the advent of ubiquitous IP-based on-demand video has brought a new level of solution complexity and a new set of operational integrity and customer satisfaction challenges. As the technology landscape for cable providers evolves, so must the tools and techniques used to assess and assure customer QOE. These tools must not only address the specific characteristics of IP video over the outside plant, but also the increasing use of Wi-Fi for in-home distribution to consumer end-point devices.
Although a lot of problems will still originate in the physical plant and it’s important to consider RF-related metrics as an essential input to analytics and troubleshooting activities, they are only one component in assembling an end-to-end view of the enriched service delivery environment. Even if the physical plant is performing to specification, in the IP video domain there are a host of other issues or stresses which can lead to a poor consumer experience. These may be perceived by consumers as playout initiation failures or delays, stream re-buffering, content freezing or premature termination, or low or variable video quality. Examples of the diversity of possible underlying causes include content preparation issues (including ABR manifests), CDN cache errors or inefficiencies, streaming server load issues, device/os/application incompatibilities, or IP network congestion or configuration problems.
Mariner xVuTM has a long history of pinpointing and providing insight and guidance regarding faults and degradations in IP-based consumer services, with a particular focus on video. This experience and expertise is extremely relevant for cable providers as they increase their activity in the IP arena.
At its heart, Mariner xVuTM contains a flexible analytics engine which ingests massive amounts of operational instrumentation in real time, correlating and triangulating this data to derive useful KPIs for specific service provider stakeholders. The ‘domains’ of correlation and triangulation can include network topology, service topology, CDN distribution, content item and consumer device/app. Additionally, Mariner xVuTM can integrate with the latest PNM solutions (based on DOCSIS pre-equalisation) to include RF measurements and broadcast channel performance in its end-to-end service view.
Mariner xVu offers cable operators:
- Real-time consumer IP video monitoring on over 40 million devices, providing state-of-the-art patented Software Defined Monitoring (SDM) for cable operators’ NexGen video service delivery networks
- 24×7 visibility of end-point consumer device performance across the entire cable network
- Set-Top-Box and cable modem metrics, combined with patented multi-domain triangulation engines that scale to the entire network
- The ability to turn each and every monitored consumer device into a software probe, leveraging DOCSIS for broadband service monitoring, as well as STB middleware-based solutions for monitoring legacy QAM broadcast and VOD services
- Video consumption performance monitoring on multiscreen devices, including tablets and smartphones
- Smart decision workflow automation with targeted XpertVu signatures and recommendations to the various operations teams, avoiding the need for manual SME interpretation of complex big data visualisations