eggPlant for IPTV testing

The past few years have witnessed a phenomenal growth in digital cable and satellite services and it has changed the television landscape dramatically. But the introduction of Internet Protocol Television (IPTV) poised to offer more interactivity to television viewers. With more and more people getting connected to the Internet it is time that television also moves online and this is what exactly IPTV does. It lets you watch all your favourite TV shows, serials and channels online. The global IPTV subscriber base has been growing rapidly since 2005, at an average annual growth rate of 103.0%. By the end of 2009 global IPTV subscriber base was at 37.6 million and it is fore-casted that by 2014 the global subscriber base will go up to 267.9 million. It’s no wonder that telecom companies are spending millions on this as it will help them control voice, data, and video simultaneously.

When people talk about IPTV, they are talking about watching television shows with smoother, high resolution and lag free pictures, something that surpasses digital cable. To ensure customer satisfaction, network utilization, failure prediction, and validation of performance, testing of IPTV systems become crucial but testing of IPTV poses some unique challenges in itself. Testing of IPTV systems involves running multiple tests as these systems are capable of transmitting mixed media content and verifying multiple media encoding processes.

As IPTV systems transmits audio, video and text graphics the challenge it possesses is that each type of content is processed before transmission. But audio and video processing functions can result in delays which can jeopardize the final output. Furthermore when media is transmitted through IPTV systems it goes through several conversions, usually Lossy media compression is used. The media transmitted goes through a series of encoding and decoding and each time the media is converted, additional distortion occurs which affects the final output. Moreover as the data travels through the internet in the form of encrypted data packets so there is also the inability of measuring its quality.

eggPlant, an automated test tool from Test Plant is able to overcome these challenges and help the media industry deliver rich content to users. eggPlant is a graphical user interface (GUI) test tool capable of running multiple tests simultaneously across multiple browsers, devices and platforms. Being a GUI test tool eggPlant uses leading-class image recognition technology to compare the outcomes with expected results. The image recognition technology of eggPlant is capable of locating variances in expected results to the level of changes in color tones, not just changes in colours, icons, and text thus resulting in higher accuracy of test results and making it best suited for IPTV testing.

The IPTV market is rapidly growing and is expected to grow to $ 46.5 billion by 2014. New innovations in data transmission and user demand is fuelling the growth of IPTV making fast, accurate and affordable testing of IPTV systems a priority.

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