Most video platforms deliver HD video in high bitrate encoding. Modern video-conferencing systems are capable of handling HD streams, but using multiparty conferencing, average internet connections in the home are on their bandwidth limit. For properly managing the encoding bitrate in videoconferencing, we must know what is the minimum bitrate requirement to provide users an acceptable experience, and what is the bitrate level after which QoE saturates?. Most available subjective studies in this area used rather dated technologies. We report on a multiparty study on video quality with HD resolution. We tested different encoding bitrates (256kbs, 1024kbs and 4096kbs) and packet loss rates (0, 0.5%) in groups of 4 participants with a scenario based on the ITU building blocks task. We discuss the influence of group interaction and individual idiosyncrasies based on different mixed models, and look at covariates engagement and enjoyment as further explanatory factors. We found that 256kbs is still sufficient to provide a fair overall experience, but video quality is noticed to be poor. On the higher bitrate end, most people will not perceive the difference between 1024kbs and 4096kbs, considering in both cases the quality to be close to excellent. Independent on bitrate, packet loss has a small but significant impact, quantifiable in, on average, less than half a point difference on a 5-point ITU scale.
, , ,
J.A. Redi (Judith) , D.C.A. Bulterman (Dick) , P.S. César Garcia (Pablo Santiago) , M.R. Schmitt (Marwin)
International Conference on Quality of Multimedia Experience
Distributed and Interactive Systems

Schmitt, M., Redi, J., César Garcia, P. S., & Bulterman, D. (2016). 1Mbps is enough: video quality and individual idiosyncrasies in multiparty HD video-conferencing. In J. Redi, D. Bulterman, P. S. César Garcia, & M. Schmitt (Eds.), Proceedings of 2016 Eighth International Conference on Quality of Multimedia Experience (QoMEX). IEEE. doi:10.1109/QoMEX.2016.7498961