Our Technology

Dialsmith’s legacy with market research technology spans more than three decades. In that time, we’ve developed and evolved the industry’s gold standard, dial testing solutions for both in-person and online research. We are the developers and worldwide service providers for the Perception Analyzer dial testing technology used in more than 40 countries around the world, and, through the development of Perception Analyzer Online and Slidermetrix, have become the go-to resource for both online dial testing and online qual.  

Perception Analyzer

Used in more than 45 countries around the world by some of the most recognized brands and organizations, the Perception Analyzer® is the gold standard dial testing research solution for focus groups, in-depth interviews (IDIs) and other live research sessions. The portable system can be set up in virtually any testing environment and can be used to test groups from 10 (or less) to 100 (or more).

Collect Real-Time Feedback With All Research Question Types

The Perception Analyzer is best known for it’s ability to gather continuous, in-the-moment feedback, but it is also an effective tool for collecting individualized response to a variety of research question types while facilitating an engaging, interactive environment for participants.

Supported question types include these and many more:

Discrete Choice | Categorical
Intensity Scale | Attitudinal
 Trade-offs | Conjoint

Your project objectives and analytical requirements drive which question types to use, what the questions should be and when to ask them. Our team can help during this project design phase. Then, if needed, we can program the system for your study or event and support your team on-site.

Here’s How Perception Analyzer Works

Questions and test media are programmed into the Perception Analyzer in advance. The system is flexible enough to allow you to add and modify questions on-the-fly during your sessions, so you can quickly adapt based on real-time feedback.

The Perception Analyzer dials give research participants the ability to individually answer each question and rate each media clip while also offering greater privacy to answer even the most private questions. This enables you to gather more accurate data and greatly reduce the impact of group dynamics.

The combination of the easy-to-use dials and powerful Perception Analyzer software simplifies and accelerates your data collection, making it easier to engage participants and allowing you to get started on analysis and report-writing as quickly as within minutes of the end of a session.

Perception Analyzer Components

The Perception Analyzer system includes:

 Intuitive, hand-held dials so participants can privately respond to questions and keep their focus on the testing material
 Software to program the system, capture individual responses and analyze data
 Wireless receiver and other audio visual components to communicate with the dials and display both stimulus and results

The privacy and immediacy of the dials allow research participants to answer more honestly and minimizes the impact of groupthink. With results immediately available, you can respond quickly to adapt new strategies, guide group discussions and explore new ideas. And the software is flexible enough to allow real-time analysis and/or export data to your analytic software of choice.

Purchasing a System

You won’t find any team more knowledgeable and passionate about dial testing than Dialsmith. Whether you’re in the market to purchase a Perception Analyzer system to run yourself or would like to tap into our expertise for consultation, equipment and on-site support, we can help. CONTACT US and we’ll get things rolling.

Perception Analyzer 9.0 + 9.0 Media

Dialsmith’s latest versions of Perception Analyzer, PA 9.0 and PA 9.0 Media, have fully modernized our dial testing research solution with support for the latest operating systems and high-resolution displays. The upgrade also adds key enhancements to output high quality, moment-to-moment overlays and export data faster and easier.

Here are some resources for more details:

PA 9.0 + PA 9.0 Media release notes
 Dialsmith’s Dan Welch Talks New Perception Analyzer 9.0 and 9.0 Media
Press release: Dialsmith releases Perception Analyzer 9.0 and 9.0 Media

Do you have a specific question about PA 9.0 or PA 9.0 Media or looking for help upgrading your system? Contact Us

Wishing you had the expert’s playbook on dial testing?
You do.

▼Download It

dial testing state of the union address

Perception Analyzer Online

Building upon our expertise in the development of dial testing technologies for in-the-moment research, Dialsmith offers Perception Analyzer Online®, a state-of-the-art online dial testing solution for moment-to-moment evaluation of recorded media that can be paired with online quantitative and qualitative tools such as surveys, online focus groups and communities.

Reach Participants Where They Live and Consume Media

Perception Analyzer Online offers the ability to conduct testing on desktop and notebook computers as well as iPads and other tablets. Additionally, the flexibility of Perception Analyzer Online offers the option to interface with other research tools so you can seamlessly add the ability to dial test video/audio clips, or even longer-form media, to your own survey or other online research platform of choice.

Here’s How Perception Analyzer Online Works

Perception Analyzer Online is a fully hosted and managed service. We handle the programming, hosting and fielding so you can focus on your study and delivering the best results for your clients.

Continuous Media Evaluation

Through the use of an intuitive on-screen slider embedded in the media player, respondents continuously make adjustments based on how they feel in the moment. An optional hot key button can also be used to register “tune out,” “buy,” or other action the participant would take during the evaluation. The result is a line graph, broken out by banner segment, and superimposed over the video.


Perception Analyzer Online’s Reporting Portal gives you real-time access to your survey and media rating data when and where you need it. Each respondent’s second-by-second data points are saved to the project’s data file, making it easy to access field and data reports, easily create banners, tables and crosstabs right in the portal, or export your data out to Excel, SPSS or most any analytic software tool.

Full Service or A La Carte—We’ve Got You Covered

Whether you’re looking to just add Perception Analyzer Online’s dial testing capability to your existing online research tools or have the need for a full-service online survey research solution, Dialsmith can help. CONTACT US for a personalized demo or to discuss how we can help meet your research needs.

To support and complement Perception Analyzer Online, we offer a range of services to help you meet your research goals and requirements, including:

Survey programming and hosting
Project management (including support for integrating with other online services)
Management and hosting of online focus groups
Invitation emails and reminders
Sample procurement and quota management
Coding of verbatims
Localization and multi-language support

Here are a couple of useful resources for understanding more about online dial testing and/or sharing this information with colleagues:

 An Overview of Online Research Options (PDF one pager)

 Add Online Dial Testing to Your Virtual Focus Group (Demo)

Frequently Asked Questions

▼View the PAO FAQ

Online Focus Groups

Focus groups can be conducted efficiently and effectively online, but only with the right tools and the right team. Bring in our team of senior market research technicians to ensure your online groups go off without a hitch. We’ve spent hundreds of hours refining our processes and have best-in-industry technology at our disposal. Read The Anatomy of Better Online Focus Groups

We offer:

White-glove treatment is a hallmark of our company built upon more than a decade of going above and beyond to ensure our clients’ success. We prep for and produce your online focus group with the same high-touch, premier-level service that we’ve delivered again and again for our in-person projects.

One-stop convenience. Lean on us to do the heavy lifting so you can focus on your research. From recruitment to results and everything in-between, we’ve got you covered.

Uncompromising security. The privacy and security of your online research is critical to us. That’s why we’ve invested in the highest level of security and encryption for our online platform, which is both HIPPA- and FedRAMP-compliant. Our security protocols also include the use of password-protected, project-specific links, participant waiting rooms, restricted use of screenshare, chat and other meeting features, and many more. Security for online focus groups overview (PDF) 

Seamless dial testing integration. With our in-house dial testing expertise, we can seamlessly integrate synchronous or asynchronous dial testing into any online focus group. See how we do it.  

How It Works

We manage all the technical set-up and needs: meeting platform, respondent tech checks, etc. Additionally, our team provides live, dedicated tech support throughout the session, and a secure and confidential backroom for client observations. Each group is recorded as a deliverable.

🎯 Web-based In-depth Interviews (IDIs)

We’ve successfully conducted hundreds of IDIs. We provide the video chat platform and in-house moderator. Each IDI is recorded as a deliverable.

Bulletproof online focus groups?
Here’s how it’s done.

View Demo (YouTube)

Download the Tips Sheet (PDF)


Create, customize and field your own online dial testing studies quickly and easily. View dial line results and respondent data in real-time. Easily export data for analysis.

Capture second-by-second feedback on video and audio content from 30 seconds to 45 minutes or longer. Allow respondents to view and rate media content on their smartphones, tablets and computers.     

What is Slidermetrix?

Slidermetrix is a subscription-based, web application that allows you to quickly and easily set up and field your own online dial testing studies. As a web application, there’s no hardware to purchase and no software to download or configure. Built and supported by the developers and worldwide sellers/service providers of the industry’s leading dial testing research tools. Download the one-page overview.

What can you test?

With Slidermetrix, you can dial test a wide range of video and audio content. You can use Slidermetrix to test advertisements, demos, talent segments, sales pitches, presentations, trailers, radio programming, full-length television shows, infomercials and more.

Key features:

Online, subscription-based service (no hardware or software required)
Access 24/7 from any computer with internet access
Cross-platform-, Smartphone- and Tablet-friendly for Respondents
Do-it-yourself (DIY) for full flexibility and quick turnarounds
Industry-grade with robust dial testing collection and reporting features
View second-by-second, dial line results in real-time
Gain additional, qualitative insights by asking questions before, during, or after the dial testing exercise
Add “Hotkey” buttons to have respondents identify specific moments they’d take action (such as “tune-out” or “buy”)
Test various forms of media from 30 seconds up to 45 minutes or more
Pair with other online survey and research platforms (supports importing and exporting of respondent variables)
Data and content is secured using Amazon Web Service (AWS) and the highest security protocols

Contact Us for pricing or to schedule a full demo.

What does a Slidermetrix survey look like?  

View Respondent Demo