Cheetah Technologies has added video quality monitoring all the way into subscribers' homes with its V-Factor SM-STB.

V-Factor SM-STB, which is the newest addition to Cheetah's V-Factor Source Monitor line, was designed to emulate a subscriber surfing channels in order to accurately measure the viewing experience that is being delivered into a home.

In combination with headend V-Factor SM units, V-Factor SM-STB provides operators a way of tracking and comparing the visual quality of any video service at multiple critical points in the network and at the TV set, ensuring consistent delivery of high-quality video to their subscribers' living room.

"Operators' ability to see what the customer sees and to respond to issues in real time is a key factor in optimizing the video experience," said Jeremy Bennington, V-Factor general manager and vice president for Cheetah Technologies. "VF-SM-STB puts the operator in the customer's shoes and ensures the highest-quality video by monitoring service quality in a way that emulates everyday viewing behavior." 

Using the same algorithms as the V-Factor Source Monitor, V-Factor SM-STB can analyze decoded HD and SD video to detect any visual impairment, including blockiness, blur and jerkiness. Impairments are reported as both a severity level and errored minutes, and the overall visual quality is reported as a mean opinion score (MOS) that has more than 90 percent correlation with subjective testing by user groups and "golden eyes," according to Cheetah.

Data can be viewed instantaneously, averaged over a specified time, or correlated with other VF-SM and VF-SM-STB results in Cheetah's Q-Advisor SM element management system. 

V-Factor SM includes a Web-based management interface that allows operators to provision and manage post-set-top box and IP-based source video monitoring sessions.