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QoE vs. QoS

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Learn more about QoS and QoE at Streaming Media East Connect 2021.

Read the complete transcript of this clip:

Ian Greenblatt: Quality of experience versus quality of service. I come from the cable world. I sold video on-demand servers to cable companies. It was always making sure that they were quite literally bullet-proof. Underlying the quality of service aspect, my own personal opinion would be that, five-nines reliable, that never a macroblock ever, that audio and video in perfect sync every time, highest playback experience at the highest possible bitrate with no stutters. In my mind, that would be the quality and reliability aspect of quality of service. And by the way, I think these are overlapping circles in the Venn diagram. The larger circle around that has quality of experience. And that's where we move into things in addition to--not aside from--that hardcore outstanding ultra-high quality streaming is the UI, the search, discover, recommend, fulfill--all of the dark magic. All of the little boxes on the functional diagram that is presenting a fantastic experience in next-generation television, which is what I think all of this comes down to--the quality of experience pulling all of those things that are really difficult to execute well, pulling all of those together in a completely seamless and invisible way, and delivering that total package to the consumer. That, to me, is quality of experience.

Tim Siglin: I know quality of service used to go hand in hand with SLAs--service level agreements--making sure that there were guarantees of bandwidth and delivering quality of experiences, the user's experience, what happens at the user's end. Rob, do you have a take on that? Ian said everybody would have a different definition of it, so let's test that theory.

Robert Coluantoni: He's 100 percent correct. Even within Disney Streaming itself, we have different terminology for it in different areas. But we will generally apply terms like quality service to the underlying delivery components that make up the holistic experience that the viewer sees. Whereas, quality of experience metrics, we typically quantify as being the authoritative end user experience--things like a rebuffer, things that are experienced by the user quality of the actual video, those sorts of things. Then we'll build out underlying quality of service KPIs for components upon which that is built. So, for example, we'll have a quality of service KPI for something like the average client throughput on each CDN.

Now, the quality of experience metrics that we're dealing with there are like the average bit rate selected by the client when the player is playing back the video. You could be in a situation where the underlying quality of service KPI is slightly higher or lower per CDN, but it doesn't ultimately affect the average bitrate selected based on, perhaps, the bitrate ladder being sufficiently separate from each other. It doesn't actually cause a quality of experience degradation. This is what we do in a multi-screen environment. We look at each individual CDN from a standpoint of both their quality of service metrics. But ultimately, the authoritative metrics for us are the quality of experience metrics. We want to understand that we want to build towards that ultimate end-user experience. And if a particular CDN may be delivering slightly faster than all the other CDNs, but it doesn't make an impact on the quality of experience metric, then that QoS metric doesn't necessarily matter to us.

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