Test and Measurement News
Topfield test HD ready set top box with dScope series IIICambridge, UK - July 2006: Korean manufacturer Topfield, which produces a range of Set-Top-Boxes (STBs) and Personal Video Recorders (PVRs), has adopted Prism Sound's solution for all audio test functions. The first product to be tested using the Prism Sound dScope Series III audio analyzer was the recently launched TF7000HTB high-definition STB.
Topfield TF7000HTB high definition set top box
Established in 1998, Topfield is renowned throughout the world for its innovative digital broadcasting products. The company's emphasis on quality and reliability, backed by its focus on Research and Development, has enabled it to gather a multitude of Best Product awards in key global territories and become one of the largest suppliers of set top boxes in the UK.
Prior to launching its latest High Definition Terrestrial DVB STB, the TF7000HT, Topfield used Prism Sound's dScope Series III to run exhaustive laboratory tests that checked all of the unit's audio functions, including testing proper operation of sound decoding. The project was conducted with assistance from Prism Sound's applications support team who provided customized automation scripts enabling Topfield to carry out the most up-to-date tests to the latest STB audio specifications.
Manufacturers of STB and Personal Video Recorders (PVR) whose in-house testing requires compliance with Dolby Laboratories sound specifications now have an easy and inexpensive test option open to them in the shape of Prism Sound's dScope Series III audio test and measurement tool.
The compact and powerful dScope Series III is suitable for a wide range of digital and analogue audio applications, from R&D to maintenance and field service. Its highly competitive price, combined with its speed, accuracy, automation facilities and computer-control also make it the ideal test tool for production testing and quality control.
The project engineer from Topfield said: "I did not expect it to be so easy - dScope Series III was very simple to use and, coupled with Prism Sound's automation, performed the tests very quickly. Customized scripts written for us by Prism Sound presented the required results for submission with the sample TF7000HT unit. We are now beginning production."
Prism Sound engineering support staff who worked closely with Topfield to develop the testing procedure. Prism Sound sales & marketing director Graham Boswell, says: "Prism Sound's dScope Series III solution measures product performance using the standard transport stream files or DVD test discs, while our test scripts can record test results to output documents in Microsoft's Word or Excel formats."
Prism Sound's dScope Series III, combined with the company's engineering expertise provide an economical alternative test platform for product developers wishing to develop and manufacture high-performance consumer electronics for digital television and related applications. The test process can be further speeded up if automated I/O switching is employed, so that the test operator does not need to manually connect the relevant channels from the 5.1 format outputs of the equipment under test (EUT) as the testing progresses. This is achieved using the Prism Sound dS-Net I/O Switcher, controlled from the dScope Series III unit using the dS-Net connection. With this device the unit can test up to 16 input or output channels on one switcher - and up to a maximum of 1024 channels using multiple switchers.
"dScope Series III is small enough to fit into a briefcase and employs a USB connection to its host computer so it is easy to share among several engineers," Boswell adds. "We can also provide scripted solutions for automated Infra-Red remote control of external devices such as STBs or DVD players to speed up the test process and avoid the need for a user to operate the STB/DVD."
Since its launch in 2002, Prism Sound's dScope Series III has become the audio test tool of choice in many market sectors including broadcast, multimedia, CD, DVD, computer audio, transducer, digital telephony and communications. As well as covering the traditional audio test functions, dScope incorporates the important new features needed to work with the latest audio technologies. These include digital interface test tools such as carrier waveform and eye-pattern display, jitter measurement and AES3/IEC60958 channel status generation and analysis as well as support for higher sampling rates. dScope has a uniquely simple, state-of-the-art synchronous multi-tone capability, which can measure dozens of parameters simultaneously. The fact that it costs significantly less than other popular test systems commonly used for Dolby Digital conformance tests makes it ideal for all STB and PVR manufacturers looking for a simple, quick and cost-effective audio tests.
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