Better picture quality on Internet TV

A new app lets viewers report poor quality while they are watching Internet TV – and get a better picture.

Researchers have created algorithms that allow viewers to report when their mobile phone, tablet or computer has a poor quality Internet TV picture. The app uses a scale of between one and five stars, plus a discussion field. When the network provider receives a message, it can instantly redistribute bandwidth to give viewers better quality.

Communicating Internet quality

The quality of Internet TV depends on the quality supplied by the network provider. Limited bandwidth has to be shared by numerous users, and we as viewers do not need the maximum quality all the time. For example, if we are watching the news, we don’t need the same quality as when we’re watching a football match, when we want to follow everything happening on the pitch. “That is why it is important to obtain information not only about picture quality but also about the context in which we are watching Internet TV.

The new app does both, says Senior Scientist Amela Karahasanovic at SINTEF ICT.

Prototypes ready

The researchers have created prototypes of the new technology and can confirm that they work. Feedback from the test users will be useful in the work to design network capacity and optimize every stage from content provider to user.

However, Karahasanovic emphasizes that we as viewers still have to be aware that there is a limit to how high the quality can be, that we get what we pay for, and that upgrading our own Internet line is another option if we are not satisfied.

Åse Dragland