SSIMWAVE measures video quality via its perception index

The system is based on independent tests of more than 100,000 human views. (Getty Images)

SSIMWAVE, which takes on the challenging task of providing metrics to the inherently subjective assessments of video quality, will have a large presence at NAB 2019 next month in Las Vegas.

SSIMWAVE's platform is SSIMPLUS. It’s a structural similarity index method that aims to "measure and objectively score performance" throughout the video delivery pipeline. The scores are used to conduct A/B tests and compare equipment including encoders, transcoders and packagers.

The platform, the company says, enhances QoS and QoE metrics and is being written into service level agreements. SSIMWAVE co-founder and Chief Science Officer Zhou Wang won an engineer EMMY in 2015 for his work on the index.

"SSIMPLUS is a proprietary algorithm that mimics the human visual system, incorporating the biology of how we see and the neuroscience on how we react," SSIMWAVE Vice President of Accounts Dianne Mercer told FierceVideo. "We’ve put it into a platform for the media and entertainment processing and delivery business. It is the most accurate proxy for how actual human beings would rate the video quality across any network and any device."

She said that the system is based on independent tests of more than 100,000 human views, and the company claims it is 90% accurate across different content types and viewing devices. The idea is to break up process, flow and equipment performance into small pieces that can be assessed and, if necessary, corrected or upgraded.

"It allows the business to trace and control the degradation of video content (live, VOD, ads) moving from source to playout and the various transformations that have to happen along the way," Mercer said.

The company says its platform is useful in purchasing decisions, network operations center performance, encoder and transcoder performance and service level agreements.

"Encoders are the most important, as they do the biggest transformation of the content," she told FierceVideo. "Then transcoders, followed by packagers. A lesser role—but one that is growing—is for service level agreements when content providers are working with third party workflow providers, including encoding, transcoder and packaging vendors. This involves setting and meeting vendor objectives … including SLAs for validating source inputs and for handing-off outputs for any stage/company in the workflow."

SSIMPLUS Live Monitor is in production with a Tier 1 IPTV provider and syndicates to monitor health of the system and agreements between vendors and providers. It is monitoring the streams of tens of millions subscribers in North America, according to Mercer.