Dissecting the Performance of VR Video Streaming Through the VR-EXP Experimentation Platform

ACM Transactions on Multimedia Computing, Communications, and Applications (TOMM)

Publication date: November 30, 2019

Roberto Iraja Tavares Da Costa Filho, Marcelo Caggiani Luizelli, Stefano Petrangeli, Maria Torres Vega, Jeroen van der Hooft, Tim Wauters, Filip De Turck, Luciano Paschoal Gaspary

To cope with the massive bandwidth demands of Virtual Reality (VR) video streaming, both the scientific community and the industry have been proposing optimization techniques such as viewport-aware streaming and tile-based adaptive bitrate heuristics. As most of the VR video traffic is expected to be delivered through mobile networks, a major problem arises: both the network performance and VR video optimization techniques have the potential to influence the video playout performance and the Quality of Experience (QoE). However, the interplay between them is neither trivial nor has it been properly investigated. To bridge this gap, in this paper we introduce VR-EXP, an open-source platform for carrying out VR video streaming performance evaluation. Furthermore, we consolidate a set of relevant VR video streaming techniques and evaluate them under variable network conditions, contributing to an in-depth understanding of what to expect when different combinations are employed. To the best of our knowledge, this is the first work to propose a systematic approach, accompanied by a software toolkit, which allows one to compare different optimization techniques under the same circumstances. Extensive evaluations carried out using realistic datasets demonstrate that VR-EXP is instrumental in providing valuable insights regarding the interplay between network performance and VR video streaming optimization techniques.