Automating Blu-ray Disc Player Video and Audio Testing Using LabVIEW and PXI

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"To develop a more flexible and reliable testing system, we based our system design on NI PXI hardware and LabVIEW graphical programming software, which shortened the programming development time."

- Koh Chee Lit, Sony EMCS

The Challenge:
Developing a reliable, automated, and cost-efficient test system for Blu-ray Disc player products to shorten the quality test check time.

The Solution:
Using NI LabVIEW and PXI modular instruments including a high-speed digitizer, an image acquisition module, a dynamic signal acquisition module, and a multifunction data acquisition module to achieve our test system cost target, meet performance and quality requirements, and improve test throughput by 33 percent.

Koh Chee Lit - Sony EMCS

Blu-ray Disc is a next-generation optical disc format for recording, rewriting, and playback of high-definition video. To achieve consistent quality across Blu-ray Disc products from multiple vendors, the Blu-ray Disc Association developed device specifications and a compliance test program. We used these specifications to create an automated Blu-ray Disc player diagnostic test program with LabVIEW and PXI modular instrumentation to achieve reliable, automated, and cost-efficient testing of our Blu-ray Disc player products. 

Testing Constraints with the Legacy System

Our previous test system consisted of a PC and an oscilloscope with GPIB control, but we encountered several constraints using this old design. With only four channels, the oscilloscope could not simultaneously test the multiple outputs of the Blu-ray Disc player. Therefore, we integrated a switch into the system, which still resulted in a long tact time. We also set up parallel test stations to meet the daily production targets, which resulted in higher equipment costs.

Developing a New System with PXI and LabVIEW

To develop a more flexible and reliable testing system, we based our system design on NI PXI hardware and LabVIEW graphical programming software, which shortened the programming development time.

We performed device identification over the RS232 interface and RJ45 Ethernet port, which are available on the PXI embedded controller in the system running a Windows OS. The system also detects USB devices connected to the device under test (DUT). We incorporated automated key button and infrared radiation (IR) remote check tests in the program using LabVIEW.

For video testing, we used a high-resolution NI digitizer to perform composite video measurements including white level, color burst amplitude, and sync pulse amplitude. Each acquired video image is displayed at the user interface for visual inspection by the operator. The PXI-based solution also allowed us to measure component video (Y, Pb, Pr) signals in the same system.

In addition, we measured the 7.1 channel audio output signals using an eight-channel NI dynamic signal acquisition module with 24-bit resolution. Also, we simultaneously measured and analyzed peak-to-peak and root-mean-square (rms) voltages and signal frequency across all eight channels using LabVIEW. Additional signals found on Blu-ray Disc products for the Japan market, such as D-terminal signals and the control voltage amplitude, are measured by the analog input of the data acquisition device. The system stores data logging for each DUT test result for sharing and data traceability.

For the system external hardware, we used a digital I/O module to provide automated control to the DUT. We also developed a custom controller box with a solenoid valve and cylinder to control the video and audio jacks, the HDMI and USB connectors, the Ethernet port, and the power supply connections to each DUT. We included a solid state relay to control the AC inlet to the DUT. With this implementation, operators can connect all terminals on a DUT to the test station by pressing one button on the keyboard. The system also provides fault detection.

Future Development

Using LabVIEW and PXI, we significantly reduced Blu-ray Disc player test times, which is important due to an increase in production demands. With our new Blu-ray Disc diagnostic test suite, we can simultaneously test multiple audio and video outputs, the Ethernet and USB ports, and several other components including the cooling fan. The new quality test system minimizes our test time to meet increasing daily production targets, while being able to run reliably for 24 hours per day and improve the performance of our production timeline. We are working to upgrade our current test system to implement NI TestStand test management software to further improve our test times, increase data logging efficiency, and deliver complete customer satisfaction. NI solutions, which offer lower-cost, off-the-shelf components, can help customers meet changing test needs and efficiently release new products.

Author Information:
Koh Chee Lit
Jalan Kemajuan Bangi Industrial Estate
Bandor Bara Bangi 43650
Tel: 03-89283758

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