Call Metrics to Assess Video Quality

5 min read
March 23, 2023

It's no secret that video conferencing has become a key part of our lives. It helps us communicate with our friends and colleagues across the globe. Because of this, businesses and developers are increasingly looking to create and integrate video conferencing capabilities into their apps.

One of the best ways of creating a video conferencing solution that delivers seamless, high-quality video calls is integrating an existing solution into your app using a Software Development Kit (SDK). To do this properly, you must understand SDK metrics and how to use them. These metrics give you essential information about your video call performance, including quality, speed and reliability.

Table of Contents 

  1. What are SDK Metrics?
  2. Common SDK Metrics for Video Conferencing
  3. Factors that Affect SDK Metrics
  4. Best Practices for Optimising Video Conferencing Performance
  5. Final Thought

This article will explore the key SDK metrics you need to understand and troubleshoot video call performance. We’ll also explore the best practices for optimising video conferencing performance using SDK metrics and how to troubleshoot potential issues. 

What are SDK Metrics?

SDK metrics are performance indicators used by developers to monitor and measure the performance of an SDK. Within the video conferencing space, they refer to data points that provide insight into video calls' speed, quality and reliability.

SDK metrics are important. They give developers the information they need to create video conferencing solutions that consistently deliver high-quality video calls. Measuring key performance indicators like bandwidth, latency, and packet loss lets developers address performance issues before they impact the user experience.

Common SDK Metrics for Video Conferencing

Bandwidth and Connection Quality:

These critically impact the quality of your video call. Developers use these metrics to monitor bandwidth usage and connection quality to ensure visitors have a seamless, high-quality video conferencing experience.

Latency and Jitter:

These refer to the delay and variation in the time it takes for data to travel from one point to another. High latency can cause delay or "lag" in a video call.

Packet Loss and Error Rates:

Refers to the percentage of data packets lost or damaged due to transmission. High packet loss and error rates cause video calls to freeze or drop unexpectedly. 

Frame Rate and Resolution:

These refer to the video quality transmitted between participants. Higher frame rates and resolutions result in higher-quality video calls and a more enjoyable user experience. Frame rate and resolution can be used to ensure that users are receiving a high-quality video conferencing experience.

Bitrate and Encoding:

The amount of data being transmitted between users and the method used to compress and decompress the data. Efficient encoding and high bitrates produce smooth, high-quality video calls. 

CPU and Memory Usage:

High CPU and Memory usage can cause your video conferencing solution to slow down or crash altogether. It can also place unnecessary stress on a user's device.

Factors that Affect SDK Metrics

Several factors can impact SDK metrics in video conferencing. Developers need to be aware of them to optimise video conferencing performance effectively. Here are the main factors to consider:

  • Network Connection: Network quality can dramatically impact SDK metrics like latency, packet loss, and jitter. Poor network connections can degrade video quality and increase latency.
  • Device Performance: Device performance can have a huge impact on SDK performance. Older devices with lower specifications may struggle to handle newer software. 
  • Application Features: Functionalities and features of your video conferencing app can negatively impact SDK metrics. Screen sharing, chat, and file sharing consume bandwidth and increase application processing requirements.
  • User Behaviour: Users multitasking or with poor connection will likely suffer from increased latency and packet loss, resulting in degraded video quality.
  • Server Capacity: Insufficient server capacity can result in higher latency and packet loss, harming video quality.

Developers can use these metrics to identify and address video performance issues. Addressing these performance issues allows developers to optimise video performance and deliver high-quality video calls to their users. 

Best Practices for Optimising Video Conferencing Performance

To ensure optimal video conferencing performance, developers must follow these best practices:

  • Optimise Video Codec: Developers should use a video codec that delivers high-quality video with low bandwidth requirements. H.264 is the most common video codec for video conferencing purposes. Developers may also consider other codes such as VP8, VP9, or AV1.
  • Minimise Latency: Latency can be reduced by selecting a video codec with low latency and optimising the video conferencing solution for low-latency transmission.
  • Optimise Network bandwidth: Developers should select a video codec with low bandwidth requirements. They should also consider implementing network bandwidth and congestion control mechanisms.
  • Optimise Packet Loss: Certain video codecs are error resilient and can recover lost packets. These should be considered to implement packet retransmission mechanisms to minimise packet loss.
  • Frame Rate and Resolution: Developers should implement frame rate control mechanisms to adjust frame rate dynamically based on network conditions.
  • Bitrate: A video codec optimising bitrate should deliver high-quality video with a low bitrate requirement. 
  • CPU and Memory Usage: Developers must optimise CPU and Memory usage by choosing a video conferencing solution that uses hardware acceleration and optimising the software for low CPU and Memory usage.

By following these best practices, developers can create video conferencing solutions that deliver high-quality video calls with low bandwidth requirements, latency, and packet loss. 

Integrating a Video SDK into an Existing Software Solution

Bespoke video conferencing solutions can be expensive and time-consuming. Integrating a video conferencing SDK into an existing software solution is a cheaper and faster alternative. A video conferencing SDK can give businesses a range of video conferencing features, including live HD video, screen sharing, and chat functionality. Integrating an SDK into an existing app has the added benefit of retaining existing workflows and systems. 

The Digital Samba Video SDKWhen selecting a video SDK for an existing solution, businesses should consider the SDK's performance, security, reliability and compatibility with existing systems. The level of support and resources provided by the SDK vendor will also be critical to the success of a project.

Integrating an SDK with an existing solution can provide businesses with a tailored video conferencing solution that meets their needs while improving their workflows and processes.

Final Thought

A high-level understanding of SDK metrics will help businesses that rely on video conferencing solutions to communicate with their users. Monitoring and optimising key metrics such as packet loss, latency, jitter, resolution and frame rate allows businesses to deliver high-quality video calls with low latency, high reliability and an optimal user experience.

By embedding video call SDK into an existing solution, businesses can create a custom video conferencing app tailored to their unique needs, giving them a competitive advantage in a crowded market.

As video conferencing continues to play a pivotal role in the success of businesses, developers must stay up-to-date with the latest advancements in video conferencing technology and best practice

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