Subjective assessment methods have been used reliably for many years to evaluate video quality. They continue to provide the most reliable assessments compared to objective methods. Some issues that arise with subjective assessment include the cost of conducting the evaluations and the fact that these methods cannot easily be used to monitor video quality in real time. Furthermore, traditional, analog objective methods, while still necessary, are not sufficient to measure the quality of digitally compressed video systems. Thus, there is a need to develop new objective methods utilizing the characteristics of the human visual system. While several new objective methods have been developed, there is to date no internationally standardized method. The Video Quality Experts Group (VQEG) was formed in October 1997 to address video quality issues. The group is composed of experts from various backgrounds and affiliations, including participants from several internationally recognized organizations working in the field of video quality assessment. The majority of participants are active in the International Telecommunications Union (ITU) and VQEG combines the expertise and resources found in several ITU Study Groups to work towards a common goal. The first task undertaken by VQEG was to provide a validation of objective video quality measurement methods leading to Recommendations in both the Telecommunications (ITU-T) and Radiocommunication (ITU-R) sectors of the ITU. To this end, VQEG designed and executed a test program to compare subjective video quality evaluations to the predictions of a number of proposed objective measurement methods for video quality in the bit rate range of 768 kb/s to 50 Mb/s. The results of this test show that there is no objective measurement system that is currently able to replace subjective testing. Depending on the metric used for evaluation, the performance of eight or nine models was found to be statistically equivalent, leading to the conclusion that no single model outperforms the others in all cases. The greatest achievement of this first validation effort is the unique data set assembled to help future development of objective models.