Google launches ‘Video Quality Report’ initiative to test ISPs’ performance

google launches video quality report youtube hd verified isp

Google is launching an initiative it hopes will help consumers better understand the kind of service its Internet Service Provider (ISP) offers while at the same time encouraging the ISPs to provide the best possible connection speeds, and is using YouTube streaming as the basis of its project.

Aware that for Web users there are few things more frustrating than a video that freezes mid-play, or a picture that crumbles into a mass of unwatchable fuzziness, Google will measure the video streaming quality of ISPs and rate them according to “the video streaming quality you can expect (at least 90% of the time) when you watch YouTube on an ISP in a specific area.” 

On its new Video Quality Report site highlighting the initiative, Google explains that YouTube quality, as well as Internet speeds in general, can also be affected by other factors, including how your Wi-Fi is set up, the number of connected devices, and the level of congestion along any part of the content’s end-to-end path, a factor that can vary widely throughout the day.

With this in mind, the Mountain View company aims to produce accurate results by drawing its data from billions of YouTube videos watched across thousands of ISPs during a 30-day period, starting with Canada, a country that in Google’s eyes already has plenty of ISPs offering a high level of service. Results will be made available for viewing region by region, though the Web company’s timetable for taking its research to other countries isn’t currently known.

Ratings

Once Google has evaluated the data, it’ll rate the ISPs in the following way:

A ‘YouTube HD Verified‘ rating, for example, means watching HD videos (720p or 1080p) should be a breeze the vast majority of the time, with fast load times and no annoying hiccups in performance.

A ‘Standard Definition‘ rating means standard definition videos (at least 360p) should be watchable with “moderate” load times.

The ‘Lower Definition‘ rating – one that all ISPs will certainly want to avoid – means low resolution videos load slowly and could freeze from time to time.

Speaking to the Financial Post about the project, YouTube’s Shiva Rajaraman said it’s designed to offer Web users a clear and simple measure of performance, while at the same time giving ISPs the chance to more easily describe their various products and price points. He added that the ISPs would be welcome to use its video quality ratings in their marketing campaigns to help consumers better understand the kind of service they can expect to receive.

Mobile

Midrange phones can’t do A.I., but MediaTek’s P90 chip aims to change that

MediaTek has announced the Helio P90 mobile processor, which it says will bring the best A.I. features we see on high-end smartphones, to the mid-range. We spoke to the company about the chip.
Movies & TV

The best movies on Amazon Prime right now (December 2018)

Prime Video provides subscribers with access to a host of fantastic films, but sorting through the catalog can be an undertaking. Luckily, we've done the work for you. Here are the best movies on Amazon Prime Video right now.
Home Theater

What’s new on Amazon Prime Video (January 2019)

Amazon Prime Video adds new titles each month that are available for free to all Prime members. Check out our list to find all the content hitting Amazon Prime Video in December 2018 and January 2019, from new original series to classic…
Smart Home

People are stealing Ring doorbells (and it’s no knock-knock joke)

Ring Video Doorbell thefts in a Denver neighborhood raise questions about how much security the smart home devices actually provide. One homeowner and the police have a video of the theft. Here's what to do if your Ring device is stolen.
Gaming

With our Steam guide, you can give the gift of gaming this holiday season

The holidays may have passed, but it's always a good time to give the gift of gaming (especially when there's a Steam sale)! Here's our quick guide on how to give a Steam game as a gift.
Photography

Forget painting-style transfers, this A.I. creates realistic portraits of fake people

Do these images look computer-generated? Nvidia researchers recently published a paper on a new variation on style transfer artificial intelligence that's able to generate entirely new portraits.
Computing

Leaked HP laptop listing reveals entry-level Nvidia MX250 GPU

Alongside powerful graphics cards, Nvidia may have more mobile GPUs to show off at next year's CES show in January. The MX250 has been spotted in a listing for an HP laptop, potentially replacing the entry-level MX150.
Computing

ZSpace’s laptop brings education to life with its own 3D technology

The ZSpace laptop wants to overhaul education and training by offering affordable access to 3D mixed reality through a bespoke screen and glasses technology that is already supported by a wide array of applications.
Computing

Former Microsoft intern claims Google may have sabotaged Edge browser

Google's Chrome web browser has been able to establish such dominance that Microsoft is abandoning its web rendering engine, switching Edge over to Chromium, but did Google play dirty in an attempt to force Microsoft to make the decision?
Computing

ViewSonic’s 1080p gaming monitor lets you experience the action in style

ViewSonic is catering to gamers with its latest monitor, the XG240R. Featuring a 1080p 144Hz panel, RGB lighting, and a fast 1ms response time, you can conquer your opponents and do it in style.
Computing

Here’s why you might still be using Wi-Fi after cellular 5G launches

Cellular 5G might be around the corner and promising to deliver lightning fast speeds, but the folks over at the Wi-Fi Alliance have a few reasons why they think you shouldn't dump Wi-Fi just yet.
Computing

Pinning websites to your taskbar is as easy as following these quick steps

Would you like to know how to pin a website to the taskbar in Windows 10 in order to use browser links like apps? Whichever browser you're using, it's easier than you might think. Here's how to get it done.
Computing

Detangle your desk with a mighty wireless mouse. Here are our six favorites

If you're looking for the best wireless mouse on the market, we've got the list for you!. These six models have something for everyone, whether you're a hardcore gamer or simply looking to ward off carpal tunnel.
Web

Canceling Amazon Prime is easy, and you might get a refund

Don't be intimidated. Learning how to cancel Amazon Prime is easier than you might think. You might even get a partial or full refund on the cost, depending on how much you've used it. Check out our quick-hit guide for doing so.