User perception of adapting video quality

Nicola Cranley, Philip Perry, Liam Murphy

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

111 Citations (Scopus)


In general, video quality adaptation and video quality evaluation are distinct activities. Most adaptive delivery mechanisms for streaming multimedia content do not explicitly consider user-perceived quality when making adaptation decisions. Equally, video quality evaluation techniques are not designed to evaluate instantaneous quality where the quality is changing over time. We propose that an Optimal Adaptation Trajectory (OAT) through the set of possible encoding exists, and that it indicates how to adapt encoding quality in response to changes in network conditions in order to maximize user-perceived quality. The subjective and objective tests carried out to find such trajectories for a number of different MPEG-4 video clips are described. Experimental subjective testing results are presented that demonstrate the dynamic nature of user perception with adapting multimedia. The results demonstrate that adaptation using the OAT out-performs conventional adaptation strategies in which only a single aspect of the video quality is adapted. In contrast, the OAT provides a mechanism to adapt multiple aspects of the video quality thereby giving better user-perceived quality in both the short and long term.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)637-647
Number of pages11
JournalInternational Journal of Human Computer Studies
Issue number8
Publication statusPublished (in print/issue) - 1 Aug 2006


  • Adaptation
  • Evaluation/methodology
  • Perception
  • Subjective and objective quality
  • Video quality


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