Testronic Labs Launches Digital TV Testing Service

Thursday, April 10th, 2008 
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LONDON — Testronic Laboratories has announced a new digital testing service to broadcasters, IRD and set top box manufacturers and related digital television software and service providers.

The new testing service, designed to ensure the highest possible quality of user experience in digital television has been developed to identify compatibility and functionality issues which are often only manifest on the end user’s TV set. Common – but serious problems – have included picture problems due to unsupported resolutions on the TV, parental control that still permits children to view adult material, loss of image or sound, wrong tiering of Pay TV services and channel tuning set-up failures.

With its experience of providing quality assurance and certification across the home entertainment, hardware and software industries, Testronic Labs has developed a global solution to quality assurance issues facing the digital TV industry. Skilled operatives provide testing from labs in Belgium, Poland, UK and USA or at the client’s facility measuring not only the technical aspects of the equipment and services but also the user experience and functions.

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Testronic Labs offers both testing for known quality assurance issues and tailored testing solutions for the client in order to ensure that new problems are detected. Digital TV services include the IRD (Integrated Receiver Decoders) BluePrint Suite which provides an elaborate library of pre-designed and pre-implemented test cases and the expertise to deliver specific test cases to meet the requirements of broadcasters, satellite operators, cable operators, IRD manufacturers and subscriber management service providers.

“Our initial research into digital television presented us with some surprises,” explains Johan Craeybeckx, CTO of Testronic Labs, “Contrary to expectations, we found that consumers have no guarantee of the optimal viewing experience. Happily we found that our knowledge of how consumers interact with DVDs and computer games has enabled us to detect user problems with the set top box, the remote control and the functions within digital TV and as a result, we have been able to develop a truly tailored service to meet the needs of the digital TV industry.”

Testronic Labs Digital TV QA service has a multitude of testing facilities:

  • High Speed Interface Testing Lab (USB, HDMI,”¦)
    • Levels: Physical Layer, Protocol Layers, Application Layer
    • Tools: Oscilloscopes, Advanced Waveform Generators, Data Generators, Time Domain
  • Reflectometry, Protocol Analyzers, Automated Testing Tools
    • USB, WUSB, WiMedia, Ethernet, WiFi, PCIe, S-ATA, Expresscard, Displayport, DVI, HDMI
  • PC Matrix & Peripheral Matrix. In-home Networking Lab (UPnP, DLNA”¦)
  • DVB headend at Testronic Labs Belgium (previously PMTC)
    • Demodulators & Modulators
    • CA Descramblers
    • Digital Content Manager & PSI / SI System
    • Pre-defined testing configurations and testing streams
  • Content Testing (TV Programmes, Movies and Interactive)

In addition to the technical tests, skilled operatives at Testronic Labs check the digital TV service (both hardware and software components) in a real situation against a bank of typical TV sets to check for problems which would otherwise not be detected.