How to Fix Stuttering During Ad Breaks on the End-User Side: Use Case for Operators

Many Telco operators face a problem of stuttering during advertising on the end-user side. To understand the root of the problem, it is necessary to analyze the stream. To do that, the operator needs a monitoring system that helps to localize issues. Monitoring of streamed content throughout delivery networks is a must: It helps to fix problems asap, retain customers and resolve arguments between content providers and operators.

We recommend using a client-server software solution where the client (we call it a probe) can be installed anywhere in the network. These probes continuously check the health of IPTV and OTT streams and send statistics to the server where it is analyzed.

So, our customer experienced video freezes and blinking on the end-user TVs when inserting regional ads. Probes were installed before DVB modulators on the head-end station and in regions.

Solution scheme

The stream was smooth, bitrate was good and we did not have any CC errors, but the probe detected the Video Information Changed event. This event occurs quite often when inserting any kind of content. No problem was found on the transport level, but the system detected a problem with video elementary stream: parameters of regional advertising were different: aspect ratio was 16:9 instead of 4:3, and scan type was interlaced instead of progressive. Some other parameters may be different too, i. e. codec of a frame rate. Some TV sets and STBs whose decoders cannot adapt to the dynamic change of parameters stop decoding the picture and wait for the parameters to return to the previous values. Any changes on this level can affect proper decoding on the end-user device and significantly reduce the Quality of Experience for subscribers, especially if these changes are regular.

Logs in the monitoring system

The customer sent statistics data gathered by the monitoring system to providers of advertising in regions and asked to adjust the parameters.

In this case, we used the Elecard Boro monitoring system — a software solution for UDP, RTP, HTTP, and HLS streams quality control and measurement of QoS and QoE parameters in all segments of distributed networks.

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