Institute for Telecommunication Sciences
the research laboratory of the National Telecommunications and Information Administration

Margaret H. Pinson; Stephen Wolf; Robert B. Stafford

Abstract: The Public Safety Statement of Requirements (PS-SoR) for Communications and Interoperability focuses on the needs of first responders to communicate and share information as authorized, when it is needed, where it is needed, and in a mode or form that allows the practitioners to effectively use it. PS-SoR Volume I defined functional communication and interoperability requirements. Published in September, 2006, PS-SoR Volume II identifies quantitative performance metrics, including minimum video performance requirements for public safety's tactical video applications. The goal was not to identify what is achievable with current technology but rather, looking towards the future, to investigate the minimum level of performance that first responders need in order to effectively use their video equipment. On behalf of the SAFECOM Program and the Office of Law Enforcement Standards, the Institute for Telecommunication Sciences (ITS) conducted subjective video quality testing to estimate the level of video quality that first responders find acceptable for tactical video applications. This subjective testing utilized source video content that is typical of public safety operations in structured subjective viewing experiments with 35 first responders. The evaluations from these first responders, in viewing high quality video (original video) and purposefully degraded video (using video compression and transmission equipment), allowed determination of basic quality thresholds for public safety tactical video applications. These perceptual quality thresholds have been translated into technical parameters for use by video equipment designers, manufacturers, and customers. This paper summarizes those findings. Other testing to evaluate requirements for other public safety applications is underway.

Keywords: telecommunication standards; measurement; Degradation; Law enforcement; manufacturing; Safety devices; Testing; Video compression; Video equipment; Video sharing


To request a reprint of this report, contact:

Lilli Segre, Publications Officer
Institute for Telecommunication Sciences
(303) 497-3572
LSegre@ntia.gov

For technical information concerning this report, contact:

Margaret H. Pinson
Institute for Telecommunication Sciences
(303) 497-3579
mpinson@ntia.doc.gov


Disclaimer: Certain commercial equipment, components, and software may be identified in this report to specify adequately the technical aspects of the reported results. In no case does such identification imply recommendation or endorsement by the National Telecommunications and Information Administration, nor does it imply that the equipment or software identified is necessarily the best available for the particular application or uses.

Back to Search Results