Symmetricom released its 2007 Cable Operator Video Quality Study
, an independent survey conducted by Multimedia Research Group assessing cable operators’ requirements for video quality test, measurement and monitoring solutions. A similar independent study released in February, the 2007 IPTV Video Quality Study, assessed telecommunications service providers’ requirements for IPTV test, measurement and monitoring solutions with somewhat parallel results.
The Cable Operator Video Quality Study confirms that video quality monitoring continues to be central to cable operators who were pioneers in video, yet they don’t feel they currently have the right tools implemented to accurately measure video quality from the customers’ perspective. In addition, cable operators indicated that service quality problems are one of the main reasons for customer support calls, resulting in a significant reason for customer churn. With millions of customers across the country, end-user video quality monitoring is an integral part of a cable operator’s business.
Key results of the cable operator study show:
- 90.4% reported end-user video quality monitoring as either “critical,” “very important,” or “important” to their video initiatives.
- 61.9% said they learn of video quality problems via customer phone calls; only 31% said they use network monitoring tools to discover quality problems.
- 80% said that service quality problems are the reasons for high support calls.
- 40% said Video-on-Demand is the service causing the most quality problems today, while 51.6% said HDTV is expected to produce the most quality problems one year from now.
- 58.1% said that end-user quality of experience is "critical" and needs to be monitored.
- Top issues with current monitoring solutions deployed today are: they are not an accurate measure of end-user experience, and they are too costly.
- 68% said that cost is the biggest reason for customer churn, while service quality problems were next with 40%.
President and Principal Analyst of MRG Gary Schultz commented on the study’s findings, “This independent study points out cable operators are aware that video quality issues are important and are affecting their business, driving up operating costs. The study also indicates that cable operators feel they don’t have a monitoring solution today that provides an accurate measure of the customers’ experience.”
In December 2007, Symmetricom commissioned MRG to do an independent survey of executives (VP, Director, Manager-level) from operations groups in top tier U.S. MSOs. The survey received responses from a total of 9 MSOs, all within the top 20 MSOs in the U.S. The study was conducted using a written survey questionnaire, and many were interviewed additionally by phone.
The survey focused on gaining insight into the criticality of quality issues for cable operators as well as the use of video quality monitoring, and where the video quality issues are coming from. In addition, the survey also addressed analysis of video content, video delivery and test infrastructure, customer satisfaction and budgeting for video test, measurement and monitoring solutions.