Thursday, April 17, 2008

Mirimon Measures the Viewer's Video Experience

Also at NAB I sat down with Paul Tinkler, CEO and David Richards, outside Director of Mirifice. This company offers agent software that sits in a set-top box and measures the video quality of experience of the viewer. This agent in the set-top box sends alarms to a central management system that makes the operator aware of the problem. This system can be used to identify and resolve problems before the viewers are aware of them. It is also used to identify whether the problem is unique to a single user or is common to a number of users and caused by a failure in a network element. This system can be applied to both cable and IPTV systems.

Comstar in Russia will deploy the Mirifice agent on its Amino set-top boxes. Comstar plans to start by putting the agent in 100 thousand IPTV set-top boxes but plans to expand that number rapidly.

Tinkler believes that this agent will be an important tool for the technical support representatives that will increase satisfaction and decrease churn. He has found that there is a high correlation between the level of dissatisfaction and the propensity to change service providers. The happy customers tend to stay where they are.

The other video quality of experience systems that I have seen focus on network issues. I have always felt that measuring the video quality of experience at the viewer's home was key. The problem resolution process should work back from there. Obviously monitoring the network is important, but if the operators do not know what the viewer is seeing, they do not really know what is going on.

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