See the Difference: SSIMPLUS Video Quality Dial puts you in the driver’s seat

By February 12, 2021February 19th, 2021News, Science of Seeing

SSIMPLUS Video Quality Dial comparison with a state-of-the-art content-aware encoder

One of the key issues that stands in front of the streaming industry is how to deliver target Viewer Experiences that fulfill delivery cost and quality goals most effectively. Today, we want to show you some clear examples of how SSIMPLUS® Video Quality Dial can help you spend no more and no less than needed while still keeping subscribers happy. 

This blog post includes several visual comparisons between SSIMPLUS Video Quality Dial and one of the best commercially-available content-aware encoders. The comparisons represent different use cases; all use proven SSIMPLUS scores that provide objective measurement of video quality:

  1. Higher Quality, Consistent Costs – Example 1 shows how VQ Dial can improve viewer experiences at no additional cost by enabling delivery of a “excellent” 85 SSIMPLUS score vs. an “unacceptable” 43 using the same 3 Mbps bitrate.
  2. Higher Quality; Lower Costs – Example 2 shows how VQ dial can improve viewer experiences while reducing costs by optimizing the bitrate from 4Mbps to 3Mbps while increasing the Viewer Experience score from a “poor” 57 to an excellent 85. Just to give you a perspective – 85 is considered excellent quality while at 57 there is a high chance subscribers will be calling your helpline or just leaving the content.
  3. Keep Quality, Lower Costs – Example 3 shows how VQ Dial can increase efficiency of already high-quality video. The scenario shows a 50% bitrate savings on top of what the content-aware encoder was already delivering and some additional improvement in quality from a “good” 74 to an 85.

Video Quality Dial will achieve all this while respecting your current delivery and playback constraints as per your current encoding implementation to make sure that content decoding and playback are not impacted.

To see what the different Viewer Experience scores mean – please visit https://www.ssimwave.com/what-is-ssimplus/

Man riding dirt bike

This is the original image from that video

The majority of  mainstream streaming services deliver quality between 80 and 85. In Example 1 below, Video Quality Dial delivers a Viewer Score of 85 (excellent) vs. a Viewer Score of 43 (unacceptable) from the state-of-the-art content aware encoder, keeping the bitrate the same at 3Mbps. The content-aware encoded image is taken from the non-optimized video; with a SSIMPLUS Score of 43 there would be a high probability of subscribers abandoning the content and your service. You can use the slider with the arrows to switch between the two images.

Image from content-aware encoder

Image with SSIMPLUS VQ Dial*

Man riding dirt bike Man riding dirt bike

Both videos were encoded at 3Mbps, Viewer Score with the VQ Dial is 85 vs. 43. In the visual comparison below, you can see the difference in a zoomed in version of the images.

*The result is achieved by SSIMPLUS Video Quality Dial driving that same content-aware encoder.

Image from content-aware encoder

Image with SSIMPLUS VQ Dial*

Man riding dirt bike Man riding dirt bike

The images below represent SSIMPLUS Quality Maps – how our software sees the degradations in quality, where the darker the areas, the more degradation is seen.

Image from content-aware encoder

Image with SSIMPLUS VQ Dial*

Man riding dirt bike map Man riding dirt bike map

Section Two

In Visual Example 2, SSIMPLUS Video Quality Dial achieved a saving of 25% while increasing the Viewer Score from 57 to 85. The 25% can equate to millions of savings in delivery costs per year. To see exactly how much you can save with VQ Dial, please input your service numbers using the SSIMPLUS Savings Calculator 

Image from content-aware encoder

Image with SSIMPLUS VQ Dial*

Man riding dirt bike Man riding dirt bike

SSIMPLUS Video Quality Dial achieves a Viewer Score of 85 at 3Mbps, while the state-of-the-art encoder achieves a score of just 57 at 4Mbps.

  • Savings achieved by VQ Dial: 25%
  • 50% improvement in Viewer Experience putting you among the top streaming services and video providers in terms of quality.

Below are zoomed in parts of the same images.

*The result is achieved by SSIMPLUS Video Quality Dial driving that same content-aware encoder

Image from content-aware encoder

Image with SSIMPLUS VQ Dial*

Man riding dirt bike Man riding dirt bike

Section Three

In Example 3, SSIMPLUS Video Quality Dial delivers 50% savings, and again an Excellent Viewer Score of 85 at 3Mbps while the content-aware encoder achieves just 74 at 6Mbps. A 50% reduction in bitrate for a service with 5 million subscribers can equate to more than $20 million in delivery cost savings per year. An additional benefit is that subscribers on congested networks will enjoy significantly improved Viewer Experiences with less buffering, stalling and profile switching.

Encoder performance score graph

The above is a screenshot from SSIMPLUS Video Quality Dial that shows the direct comparison of the asset quality between the two versions. The blue line represents the asset encoded with the content-aware approach, while the stable purple line represents the asset after the optimization with SSIMPLUS Video Quality Dial driving the same content-aware encoder. Such big dips in Viewer Experience as seen in the blue line can cause subscriber churn and lost ad revenue.

Image from content-aware encoder

Image with SSIMPLUS VQ Dial*

Man riding dirt bike Man riding dirt bike

50% savings with an improved Viewer Score of 85 vs. 74.

*The result is achieved by SSIMPLUS Video Quality Dial driving that same content-aware encoder

Image from content-aware encoder

Image with SSIMPLUS VQ Dial*

Man riding dirt bike Man riding dirt bike