Cabot Communications, the DVB middleware solution provider, has launched Robotester, a revolutionary new automated hardware and software testing framework for the digital TV industry. Robotester’s automated system performs key tests on DVB-enabled devices in five per cent of the time it takes a person to do it manually, reducing time to market and the associated costs.
With speed to market being of critical importance to digital device manufacturers as well as satellite and cable operators, product testing often represents a time consuming and resource intensive phase of product development. This is especially the case for products being deployed across multiple countries and regions which can involve thousands of tests, often resulting in ‘tester fatigue.’ A typical digital television requires 20,000 to 30,000 tests to be done, taking an average 100-150 days. With Robotester, manufacturers and operators can automate and perform 3,000 tests in six continuous hours.
Bob Lamb, Managing Director of Cabot Communications stated, “Testing is an important part of the digital TV product development process, but it is very time consuming and difficult to manage. Robotester is a welcome solution to this and will dramatically reduce the time taken to test each device as well as improve the precision of the process. The automation of testing minimises the need for human intervention and error, overall improving the quality of testing and thus the quality and quantity of devices produced.”
Robotester runs on a Windows PC and includes several peripheral devices which are used to simulate ‘real user’ tests. Although the system is fully automated, the user can monitor the test progress at any time and is presented with a detailed structural log of the test results at completion. In addition, Robotester is fully customisable and includes an Application Programme Interface (API) that enables users to write and run their own tests using the Python programming language. Robotester can also be easily integrated with customers’ existing test infrastructure and can be used during the product development phase or even at production.
After spending ten years in charge of testing and integration of the consumer product roadmap for Virgin media and Telewest, Richard Carlton is well aware of the issues facing the industry. Richard, now head of testing at Cabot Communications commented, “In the age of the Connected TV, automated testing is becoming increasingly significant. As the role of the internet expands in digital TV, so too does the amount of tests required and therefore the time it takes for devices to be tested for market, creating a need for automated and more timely solutions.”
Additional features of Robotester include seamless integration into existing infrastructures and the ability to upgrade and adapt as industry standards evolve and technology advances. Robotester was created to be easily expanded and modified according to these ever changing requirements.
Cabot’s ability to fully support this innovative solution derives from the extensive service options provided, from full installation of Robotester software, platform and development customisation and post production maintenance.