Why Promptlink Automated STB Solution is Right for You

The set-top box (STB), also known as a cable box in layman's terms, is one of the most important pieces of hardware for any person setting up a home cable or satellite television system. The STB serves to receive, interpret, as well as decode digital images on a television screen. When a user switches to his or her favorite television channel, the STB filters through all the signals being received to find the appropriate signals for the requested channel or service; this is then displayed on the television set.

Given the importance of the STB to a cable or satellite television set up, it is rigorously tested to ensure that it is functioning optimally before being deployed to a user. Done manually, STB testing is a time-intensive and laborious process, as there are many features that need to be tested, such as video and audio quality, integration testing, and user experience, among other things. Additionally, there are often hundreds, if not thousands, of STB units that typically are tested at a given time; this large volume significantly extends the testing process. To shorten the testing time and to increase the number of STB units that can be tested, it is necessary to automate the STB testing process.

Why Promptlink Automated STB Solution is Right for You

What Is Automated STB Testing

With automated STB testing, the tester does not have to analyze each STB unit manually. Instead, the automated tester executes a script that goes through all the scenarios involved in using the STB units; this script is typically executed through the push of a button or automatically triggered when an STB is connected. At the end of the script execution, a log is generated for review by the tester; the log details which STB units passed the testing process and those that failed. This data is then stored in a reporting database for future data analysis.

Benefits of Automated STB Testing

There are several advantages of automating the STB testing process rather than doing them manually:

  • Improved testing efficiency: One of the reasons STB unit testing is time-intensive is due to the number of features that must be individually tested. With automated STB testing, the testing scripts are written in such a way as to ensure that the STB features are tested as efficiently as possible which, consequently, shortens the testing time.
  • Improved testing quality: Automated STB testing improves the overall quality of the testing process because the test scripts are written to implement optimal testing techniques for each of the features being tested. Manual testing is simply too time-intensive to test new features such as Wi-Fi, Bluetooth and upgrade firmware to a current level.
  • Reduced costs: As a result of enhanced testing efficiency and quality during automated STB testing, wasteful processes and spending are eliminated such that companies save money in labor expenses, as well as inventory savings by turning inventory over quickly from customer return to reissue.
  • Reduced repetitive tasks: STB testing is a repetitive process, with the same testing techniques executed repeatedly across multiple STB units. If done manually, STB testing can lead to mental as well as physical fatigue on the tester's part, which may compromise the quality of the testing process. Automated STB testing reduces the repetitive tasks performed by the tester.
  • Reduced testing errors: There is an increased risk of errors when STB testing is done manually; if not detected and rectified, these errors may impair the quality of the testing process as well as the final product. With STB automated testing, the risk of testing errors is significantly reduced by removing the subjective nature of manual testing.
  • Reduced demand for specialized skill sets: Individuals with unique skill sets are needed for manual STB testing. The unique and specialized nature of these skills often makes finding the right testers difficult; furthermore, these testers could command a high price due to the unique nature of their skills. With automated STB testing, these specialized skills are not needed; testers are primarily needed to connect the devices and evaluate the result at the end of the test process.

Use Promptlink Automated STB Testing Solutions for Your Business Needs

At Promptlink, we offer a high-volume STB testing solution that supports satellite, DAC, DVB and IPTV-based set-tops. Our testing platform guarantees efficient and speedy testing as well as maximum uptime. We assess device state, remote functions, audio and video outputs and native resolutions, firmware validation, among other things. With over 20 years of CPE testing experience, we guarantee complete satisfaction with the efficiency as well as the quality of our testing solution. For more information, and to get started, contact us.