Perception Analyzer Online: Frequently Asked Questions

Questions or Help?


What type of media (video/audio) can be tested?

Perception Analyzer Online (PA Online) supports the testing of any recorded video or audio media content. Our clients regularly test various forms of media from 30- to 90-second clips up to 20- to 45-minute episodes. The types of media we regularly test include advertisements, TV pilots, movie/TV trailers, radio programming (song evaluation and show content), speeches, debates, animatics, detail aids, and sales presentations and pitches.

What media formats are supported?

PA Online supports .MP4 and .MOV file formats. Other formats will be converted to meet those specifications. Please see here for more detail on required media formatting.

How and where is the media hosted?

Dialsmith hosts all media to be tested with PA Online using a tier-one media host and content delivery network (CDN). Once the media clips are delivered to us, we handle uploading, transcoding, hosting and fielding for you.

What is the recommended length of the media being tested?

Media length can vary from as short as 30-second ads to 45-minute TV pilots and anything in-between. Experience has taught us that anything under approximately 20 minutes is the ideal length, but longer clips may be used when needed. Whenever possible we suggest cutting longer clips into multiple shorter ones to help keep respondents attentive and focused.

When are online rating results available for review and analysis?

If PA Online is only powering the media rating portion of the study, results for each respondent are available the moment each respondent completes the PA Online media evaluation. If PA Online is powering the whole survey, results for each respondent will be available as soon as they complete the survey.

How can I access the data that’s been collected?

PA Online offers a DIY reporting portal to which you will have access to during and after fielding. The portal is updated with new data with every completed survey. From there you will have access to the moment-to-moment video overlay, line charts of the dial ratings, crosstabs, and you will have the ability to export raw data in most any format you need including .CSV, Excel, SPSS and many more.

Can I use PA Online with my own survey or qual platform?

You bet! We’ve had great success having PA Online interface with multiple qualitative research platforms, so we may have already successfully worked with your platform of choice. If you’re not already wed to a specific platform, we’re happy to program, host and field the whole project for you. PA Online can also interface with online focus group and community platforms for use in all manners of online quant and qual environments. Please contact us so we can verify that PA Online will work with your platform.

Can PA Online be used for focus groups and IDIs?

Yes. But because PA Online offers asynchronous polling it is not ideal for focus groups where all respondents need to keep to the same schedule. For that scenario, we offer the Perception Analyzer in-person dial system. However, PA Online is ideally suited for in-person and online IDIs, with results available for review by the interviewer the moment rating of a given media clip is complete.

How do you keep respondents engaged, especially during longer media clips?

It’s true that the longer the clip the greater the risk of fatigue and loss of focus. To help with this we start with very specific instructions on what’s expected of respondents during the rating exercise. During the rating, if a respondent stops moving their slider for a pre-determined period of time we display a subtle on-screen reminder to stay focused and keep rating.

What is the “Take Action” button and how is it used?

The “Take Action” button is an optional feature that sits below the moment-to-moment rating slider. The button is designed to record a single moment in time when the respondent would take a specific action. For TV pilot testing that could be a “tune-out” moment if they would change the channel at some point. For ads and infomercials that could be a purchase intent, or “buy,” moment if they would make a purchase at some point. That moment is recorded in the data file and respondents are asked to continue with their moment-to-moment rating until the end of the media clip.

What devices and browsers are supported?

PA Online works with all modern browsers and is available on traditional computers, touchscreen computers and tablets.

What security protections do you have for the media?

Because your media is being hosted by a tier-one content delivery network (CDN), it is stored in a highly secured environment. During the study all mouse and browser functionality for accessing the media directly is disabled (e.g., right-click, Save As, etc.). For additional security when needed, PA Online offers watermarking on the video, which can be static text or the respondent’s individual IP address can be displayed in a fixed location in the video window or floating randomly.

 What lead time is required to build and field a study?

Three (3) business days is generally required for media hosting, programming, editing, QA testing and having everything ready to field. Exceptions may be made when needed for faster turnaround requirements or when complex requirements require longer lead times.

What sample providers can you work with and does Dialsmith offer sample?

We can work with any sample provider you’d like, and, if needed, we can also source sample on your behalf.

How do results from online dial testing compare to those from in-person Perception Analyzer dials?

In side-by-side testing, we have found that the overall sentiment is the same for online and in-person dial testing. In-person respondents tend to dial using a wider range whereas online respondents tend to move the slider a bit less to the extremes, but the overall sentiment and shape of the moment-to-moment lines are very consistent between online and in-person.

Can I see a demo or test out Perception Analyzer Online?

Yes. We’d be happy to schedule a personalized demo for you and your team and discuss options for testing for your specific use case. Please CONTACT US to get things rolling.