Network Traffic’s up – Now is the Time to Optimize the Bitrate

Deliver HD Quality with SD bitrate: SSIMWAVE can help you reduce the average bitrate by at least 25% and still deliver equivalent or better Viewer Experience

A report by Nielsen predicts that staying at home due to the coronavirus lockdown can lead to almost 61% increase in streaming. This is going to put great pressure on the networks to deliver good content quality with the increased demand. On March 19, EU officials asked streaming services to move to SD to ensure Internet access is available for all, especially crucial healthcare related functions. News reports have noted that Netflix, Disney+, Amazon, Apple TV and YouTube have agreed to lower their bitrates.

In a world where networks are congested your priorities change and you need to answer:

Do we need to adjust encoding ladders and resolutions to now reflect lower throughput? How to still deliver good Viewer Experience under those constraints?

SSIMWAVE can help you answer these questions and choose the best course of action.

1. Understand how the current situation affects your subscribers:

If the Viewer Experience starts to suffer, video businesses need to adapt before it’s too late and subscribers abandon their service. The first step is to measure the Viewer Experience in real time to get a quick test of how the strain on network performance and congestion situation is affecting it. You still want to deliver the best experience possible under those constraints. It does not matter if you are a broadcaster, D2C, IPTV or MVPD, SSIMWAVE’s Cloud solutions can quickly measure if the viewer abandoned the content due to poor video quality.

2. Optimize to deliver video without disruptions to the Viewer Experience:

Quickly figure out what is the optimal bitrate your service should target without jeopardizing the Viewer Experience. SSIMWAVE’s unique understanding of the Human Visual System provides real-time insights in an automated fashion. Squeezing the bitrate for all assets without knowing the effect on the Viewer Experience can be detrimental. SSIMWAVE’s real-time Viewer Experience optimization eliminates this risk. Based on SSIMWAVE’s viewer insights, streaming services can make optimal decisions about the bitrate cap without having to go down to SD.

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Read below if you want to learn more about how congestion can damage the Viewer Experience and spike your budget:

Viewer Experience issues due to:

  • Players start to switch frequently between resolutions which negatively impacts the Viewer Experience;
  • Players go for lower resolution profiles like 576 or even 328p which can lead to very bad video quality;
  • Packet loss due to the full memory can lead to macroblocking and many other Viewer Experience degradations.

Budget issues due to:

  • CDN costs increase 2-3 times as all video providers go over peak-ratios. Most contracts specify an agreed peak ratio of 20-25% for a typical video business.
  • Broadband providers are under a lot of pressure trying to handle the traffic surge—affecting their bottom lines due to this unprecedented “Black Swan” type event.
  • Content owners, D2Cs and MVPDs have to cope with delivering poor experience going from HD to SD—exasperating their viewers, leading to long-term revenue loss and brand reputation damage.