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Video Quality in Today's IP Communications Environment
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March 12, 2009

Video Quality in Today's IP Communications Environment

By Erik Linask, Group Editorial Director

It seems that every day the communications industry is seeing increased momentum in the video services side — video conferencing, IPTV (News - Alert), video telephony, streaming video, etc. Irrespective of the specific use cases or the deployment scenarios, video is having a real impact on the communications landscape, and vendors, service providers, and end users are all having to consider video as the move forward with their initiatives.

The fact is that IP-based video is growing already. Businesses are using video communications to enhance their voice communications and collaboration capabilities, and consumers are watching online video content at an almost alarming rate.
This presents a significant challenge for network operators, hardware vendors, and businesses alike. While the demand for video solutions is growing, and the hardware and applications are being developed to make video accessible, the user experience doesn’t necessarily live up to expectations.
It’s not unlike the struggles the VoIP industry faced several years ago, when poor call quality cast a dark shadow over the industry at large, and much effort was required to convince businesses and consumers that VoIP quality had increased.
Of course, with video services, there are many more variables than with pure voice service — bandwidth, frame rate, new codecs, video size, synchronization, and more. And when you factor in high definition video, the complexity is increased another degree. Part of this is because video is still relatively new, but it’s also simply a result of the sophistication of video services. Despite the knowledge based gained from the voice market, there is significant work that must go into ensuring video quality.
To help drive the quality of video services, RADVISION has developed a suite of video test capabilities — for service providers, enterprise networks, as well as equipment vendors, like media server developers.
RADVISION has developed a testing and monitoring solution — eVident — which combines the subjective and objective elements of the video experience to deliver a single, comprehensive assessment of real-time video quality, as well as pre-deployment assessments through its traffic simulation capability.
While the objective component is a fundamental competency of any test solution, RADVISION has integrated a subjective element that uses previously collected user data to develop an automatic system to rate video quality as the human eye would. This level of innovation, allowing RADVISION to effectively predict user assessment, is unique to its solution, according to the firm.
The idea, of course, is to develop and improve video standards across all delivery and access infrastructures, by creating an algorithm that considers both elements, both pre- and post-deployment.
For instance, service providers testing their video services between IMS and 3G networks can monitor the video quality being delivered to their subscribers in real-time; they can also test their infrastructures before launching services to predict video quality; media processing server vendors can use the testing and call generation features to test complete product viability; and businesses can assess the likely quality of a scheduled video conference minutes before it takes place.
These are only a few examples. To hear much more about why video services are growing, and how network operators, NEMs, and enterprises can address their common concerns about video quality, join RADVISION’s Eli Cohen for an educational Webinar, called, Improving Video Quality in Your Network, Thursday, March 19.
Cohen will discuss the growth and evolution of the video market, as well as how that growth has driven the need for enhanced video monitoring and assessment solutions, like RADVISION’s eVident. He will also be answering your questions during a Q&A session immediately following his presentation.
Register today for this event. Whether you are an end user, a service provider, or an equipment vendor, you either are already or will soon experience the growth of video communications, and you’ll need to be prepared.

Erik Linask (News - Alert) is Group Managing Editor of TMCnet, which brings news and compelling feature articles, podcasts, and videos to nearly 3,000,000 visitors each month. To see more of his articles, please visit his columnist page.

Edited by Erik Linask

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