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Video streaming via Transmission Control Protocol (TCP) networks has become a popular and highly demanded service, but its quality assessment in both objective and subjective terms has not been properly addressed. In this paper, based on statistical analysis a full analytic model of a no-reference objective metric, namely pause intensity (PI), for video quality assessment is presented. The model characterizes the video playout buffer behavior in connection with the network performance (throughput) and the video playout rate. This allows for instant quality measurement and control without requiring a reference video. PI specifically addresses the need for assessing the quality issue in terms of the continuity in the playout of TCP streaming videos, which cannot be properly measured by other objective metrics such as peak signal-to-noise-ratio, structural similarity, and buffer underrun or pause frequency. The performance of the analytical model is rigidly verified by simulation results and subjective tests using a range of video clips. It is demonstrated that PI is closely correlated with viewers' opinion scores regardless of the vastly different composition of individual elements, such as pause duration and pause frequency which jointly constitute this new quality metric. It is also shown that the correlation performance of PI is consistent and content independent.