Farncombe Launches Wi-Fi Product Benchmarking Service for the Connected Home

Thursday, August 30th, 2012 
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New Wi-Fi benchmark tests designed to rate throughput and reach of 802.11n Wi-Fi devices in the connected home; Helps operators understand “best-in-class” Wi-Fi products for price/performance and Quality of Service; Enables operators to ensure their subscribers enjoy a high Quality of Experience

LONDON — Farncombe, a leading specialist provider of Digital TV technology consultancy, system design, software/hardware engineering and testing services to the global digital TV and media industry, today announced a new initiative to overcome the problem of delivering Wi-Fi products with a guaranteed quality of service (QoS) for wireless-video applications in connected multi-screen homes.

“Wireless performance is the Achilles’ heel of the connected home. With consumers demanding HD video on multiple devices, the quality and reliability of wireless home networking products has become the gating factor in delivering TV Anywhere products and services,” said Ian Walsh, head of business development for farncombe’s test lab services.

To date the industry has focused on solving Wi-Fi’s inherent unpredictability and instability by adopting technology advances that support higher capacity and resilience. Farncombe is now presenting, for the first time, an approach based on benchmarking and test services – which allows QoS to be measured for today’s complex 802.11n-based devices.

Through a set of standardised tests, Farncombe’s service will help operators navigate the wide choice of Wi-Fi-enabled set-top boxes, gateways and routers by validating their performance. This will help them guarantee their subscribers’ quality of experience as they face increasing demands for simultaneous real-time streaming of HD video channels to multiple devices, increasing customer satisfaction and reducing calls to call-centres.

“When a viewer experiences artefacts through buffering or a dropped signal, it is often related to the router’s positioning in the home with respect to the receiver, its antenna setup, and its ability to adapt to changing network conditions in real-time,” Walsh explained. “This testing will help operators understand the performance capabilities of products so they can ensure their subscribers have the best-in-class device for their environment and enjoy the appropriate quality of experience.”

The service also supports the OEMs as they evaluate chipset reference platforms – as well as helping semiconductor vendors improve the performance of their chipset reference platforms and design of the complex MIMO (Multiple Input Multiple Output) antenna arrays involved in 802.11n devices. This will allow all industry stakeholders to reduce the costs of designing, specifying and field-testing their Wi-Fi products.

Farncombe is already delivering the new service to its first customers.