Firmware Quality Assurance Of Switcher

DOI : 10.17577/IJERTCONV11IS05100

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Firmware Quality Assurance Of Switcher

Firmware Quality Assurance Of Switcher

Elugoti Shravan Kumar

Dept of Electronics and Communication Engineering

R.V College of Engineering, Benguluru

Nagaraj Bhat

Dept of Electronics and Communication Engineering

    1. College of Engineering, Benguluru

      AbstractThe HD-RX-4K-210-C-E Switcher is a sophisticated audiovisual device designed for seamless switching and distribu- tion of high-definition signals. Firmware and hardware quality are crucial for optimal performance and customer satisfaction.

      Firmware quality assurance involves requirements analysis, design verification, code review, and rigorous testing. Design verification ensures robustness and scalability, while code reviews enhance coding standards and identify vulnerabilities. Hardware quality assurance evaluates physical components. Inspections ensure quality standards during manufacturing and assembly. Functional tests verify signal integrity, conversion accuracy, and power stability. Environmental testing assesses performance under different conditions.

      Comprehensive testing, including functional, performance, and compatibility testing, verifies firmware reliability and compat- ibility with multimedia sources and destinations. Continuous monitoring and feedback loops address identified issues promptly. Collaboration between firmware and hardware teams ensures seamless integration between software and physical components.

      Index TermsSwitcher, Compatible, Functionality, Reliable, HDMI, Audio , Specification , Testcase , Regression Testing , Performance degradation


        The switcher, as a critical component in audiovisual sys- tems, plays a crucial role in facilitating seamless signal switch- ing and distribution. As multimedia environments become in- creasingly sophisticated, the need for high-quality and reliable switchers becomes paramount. This research paper aims to examine the testing methodologies and strategies employed in the evaluation of switchers, with a focus on their firmware and hardware components. By understanding and optimizing the testing process, manufacturers can ensure optimal performance and customer satisfaction.

        The firmware quality assurance process encompasses var- ious stages, including requirements analysis, design verifica- tion, code review, and rigorous testing. Each stage contributes to the overall reliability and functionality of the switcher. Requirements analysis helps identify and prioritize desired functionalities aligned with customer expectations and indus- try standards. Design verification ensures the robustness and scalability of the firmware architecture, while code reviews enhance coding standards and identify potential vulnerabilities or inefficiencies. Rigorous testing validates the firmwaresper- formance and compatibility with different multimedia sources and destinations.

        In parallel, the hardware quality assurance process focuses on the physical components of the switcher. Manufacturing and assembly inspections guarantee adherence to quality stan- dards and specifications. Functional tests verify the operational capabilities, such as signal input/output integrity, conversion accuracy, and power supply stability. Additionally, environ- mental testing assesses the switchers performance under vari- ous conditions, including temperature, humidity, and vibration.

      2. HD-RX-4K-210-C-E SWITCHER

        The HD-RX-4K-210-C-E is a versatile multiformat AV switch and receiver used in conference rooms, classrooms, and other settings. It supports HDMI video switching and audio presentation. It is compatible with DM Lite transmitters and has one DM Lite input.To transmit HDMI signals, a CATx twisted pair cable (CAT5e or higher) connects the transmit- ter to the HD-RX-4K-210-C-E. The maximum transmission distance is 230 ft (70 m) for resolutions up to 2K and 130 ft (40 m) for higher resolutions up to 4K. The HD-RX-4K- 210-C-E Switcher in fig 1 offers advanced signal management features, including seamless switching between input sources, scaling and resolution conversion, audio embedding and de- embedding, and flexible routing options. It allows for dynamic and versatile multimedia setups in various environments such as conference rooms, classrooms, digital signage installations, and entertainment venues.

        Fig. 1. HD-RX-4K-210-C-E Switcher

        A. Specifications

        The switcher is designed to operate within a temperature range of 32° to 104° F (0° to 40° C), ensuring reliable performance in various ambient conditions. It can effectively

        handle humidity levels ranging from 10% to 90% RH (non- condensing), further enhancing its adaptability to different environments. Additionally, the switchers heat dissipation rate is measured at 30.7 BTU/hr, demonstrating its ability to efficiently manage and dissipate heat generated during operation.

        The switcher features a metal chassis with a black finish and vented sides. It comes with two mounting flanges attached, allowing for easy surface or rack rail mounting. With a height of 5.11 inches (130 mm) and a width of 10.53 inches (268 mm) including the mounting flanges, the switcher provides a compact and space-efficient solution for installation in various setups.

        The audio specifications are mentioned in Table 2, to test a switcher include frequency response, signal-to-noise ratio, total harmonic distortion, and audio format compatibility.

        Fig. 2. Audio Specifications


        1. Implementation

          Regression testing focuses on retesting specific areas of a system to ensure that changes or updates havent introduced new bugs or issues. For the HD-RX-4K-210-C-E, regression testing involves:

          1. Identifying the test scope, such as video resolution and audio quality

          2. Developing test cases with clear steps and expected outcomes

          3. Executing tests, checking input/output compatibility, and verifying audio and video transmission

          4. Reporting any encountered issues and retesting fixed areas, ensuring no new issues have emerged

          5. Completing the regression testing cycle while recogniz- ing the need for regular testing when updates are made.

        2. Auto Routing

          Auto routing is enabled by default.Locked devices shall NOT switch host via auto or manual routing. Once configured as a locked device, it shall remain connected to the assigned

          host. No devices are locked by default. Platform will memorize following parameters:

          • Input sync detection order

          • Input sync detection states

          • Selected output source

          • Input priority order

          For the designated testcase as shown in Fig 3, the initial step involves restoring the device to its default settings. Upon completion of the restoration process, it is imperative to observe and record the first active port that becomes available. Subsequently, as part of the test, HDMI 5 should be routed following the device restoration. This specific testcase aims to assess the behavior of the device after restoration, particularly focusing on the activation of the first port. It further empha- sizes conducting the test with both the RX and TX components connected, ensuring comprehensive evaluation of the devices functionality.

          Fig. 3. Test Case Interface for Restore Behavior and Active Port Verification

        3. HW Change Validation

          In this testcase, power is supplied via PoE to the HD- RX- 4K-210-POE while local poer is connected to the TX. The objective is to evaluate the performance of different transmitters using the HD-RX-4K-210-POE. Tests conducted include 10 reboots, 10 power cycles, a 10-minute AV soak, and 5 rounds of DM Link with Rnr configuration. AV pass- through from TX to MD-210 ensures seamless audio and video transmission. An analog output speaker is connected to assess audio capabilities. Simultaneous charging of MD-210 and TX is tested alongside AV transmission.

          Fig. 4. Test Case Interface for Power and Performance Evaluation with HD- RX-4K-210-POE

        4. Soak Testing

          Soak testing of a switcher involves subjecting the device to continuous usage under normal operating conditions for

          an extended period. The purpose of this test is to evaluate the switchers performance, stability, and reliability over an extended duration. By simulating real-world usage scenarios, soak testing helps identify any potential issues such as memory leaks, resource depletion, or performance degradation that may occur over time. This type of testing provides valuable insights into the switchers ability to handle sustained operation with- out any detrimental effects, ensuring its suitability for long- term usage in professional multimedia environments.

        5. Input-Source Testing

        In this testcase, inputs were connected to different sources, each with varying resolutions and HDCP (High-bandwidth Digital Content Protection) capabilities. The objective of this test was to evaluate the switchers ability to handle and correctly display content from these diverse sources while maintaining HDCP compliance.

        The test involved connecting inputs from various sources, such as computers, Blu-ray players, and gaming consoles, to the switcher. Each source was set to different resolutions, including 1080p, 4K, and beyond. Additionally, the HDCP capabilities of the sources were taken into consideration, ensuring that the switcher correctly detected and managed the HDCP encryption requirements for each input.

        By conducting this testcase, the aim was to assess the switchers compatibility with different sources, its ability to handle varying resolutions seamlessly, and its compliance with HDCP protocols to prevent any unauthorized content usage. The results of this test provide valuable insights into the switchers performance and its ability to deliver high-quality, protected content across various sources and resolutions.

        Fig. 5. Various Input-Source Testing


        The purpose of this testcase is to assess the behavior of the switcher in managing the plugin sequence and auto routing functionality. The observed issue indicates that there may be a need for further investigation and potential fixes to ensure the correct application of the plugin sequence when auto routing is disabled and then enabled again, with inputs being removed sequentially. This testcase serves as valuable feedback for the development team to address and enhance the switchers auto routing capabilities for optimal performance and user experience.

        1. Defects in Auto Routing and Priority Routing

          The objective is to test the behavior of the switcher regard- ing the disabling of autoroute, managing plugin order, enabling auto route, and removing the last connected source. The test begins by disabling autoroute and connecting the inputs in the specified plugin order. Following that, auto route is enabled,

          and subsequently, the last connected source is removed. Asper the test specifications, the expected outcome is that the second last connected source, following the plugin order, should be routed. This testcase aims to verify the switchers ability to handle the dynamic routing of sources based on the plugin order and accurately adjust the routing when sources are added or removed.

        2. Defects

          During this testcase, an issue was identified with the plugin sequence when auto routing is disabled and then enabled again, while connected inputs are removed one after the other. The expected behavior was that the plugin sequence, initially established with auto routing disabled, would be maintained when auto routing is subsequently enabled. However, it was observed that the correct plugin sequence was not applied in this scenario. This discrepancy indicates a potential bug or inconsistency in the switchers auto routing functionality.

          The specific setup for this testcase involved the following topology: HD-TX-4KZ-401 as the transmitter, connected to the HD-RX-4K-210-C-E-POE via HDMI output. The HD- RX-4K-210-C-E-POE was further connected to a 4K TV. The firmware version of the HD-RX-4K-210-C-E-POE used in this setup was 1.0.5533.17100.

        3. Output

          • HDCP Transmitter Mode=Auto

          • Resolution=Auto

          • HDMI Out=4K TV

          • TV=Samsung TV

        In this testcase, the focus is on evaluating the devices ability to remember the plug-in order and correctly route to TX- HDMI 3. The objective is to verify whether the device can retain the order in which inputs are connected and consistently route the signal to the designated TX-HDMI 3 output.

        To perform this test, inputs are connected to the device in a specific order, ensuring that TX-HDMI 3 is one of the connected inputs. After establishing the plug-in order, the device is monitored to ensure that it correctly remembers the sequence.


This paper focuses on Firmware Quality Assurance for the HD-RX-4K-210-C-E Switcher, including hardware mod- ifications enabling power via new 4KZ transmitters. Testing encompasses evaluating Power over Ethernet (PoE) imple- mentation changes across Crestron devices, facilitating com- bined power and data transmission through a single Ethernet cable. The Power Sourcing Equipment (PSE) ensures power delivery according to diverse PoE standards within Ethernet networks, with PoE technology poised for expansion due to convenience and ratified standards supporting smart devices. Continuous improvement driven by customer feedback and field testing fosters ongoing advancements and innovation in future firmware updates and hardware revisions. Defect rectification and mitigation of network attacks are achieved

through timely software and firmware updates, along with disabling unnecessary network services or ports. Previous firmware issues are diligently addressed prior to subsequent release builds. By adhering to best practices and prioritizing firmware updates, compatibility testing, performance opti- mization, user experience, security enhancements, automated testing, industry standards compliance, field testing, documen- tation, and continuous improvement, a host of benefits are realized, including enhanced stability and reliability, compre- hensive compatibility testing across various input and output devices, optimized firmware and hardware components for maximum performance, refined video processing algorithms, reduced latency, improved response times, and heightened overall system efficiency.


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