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Selection of WiFi adapter for IPTV set-top box


A Russian company engaged in the development of service delivery platforms for interactive digital television (IPTV, DVB, hybrid, satellite, Internet TV), advanced client applications, user interfaces, set-top boxes, and other innovative solutions for service providers and corporations.


Our customer developed a new set-top box and instructed us to prepare it for entering the market: to perform testing and debugging. Knowing that wireless internet connection is one of the most popular functions among STB users, we proposed our customer to include a WiFi adapter in their delivery set. So we started a separate project to test and select the best WiFi adapter.


  1. Develop a test plan for multiple adapters, provided by the customer.
  2. Choose and configure an environment for testing the adapters.
  3. Develop an algorithm for automated testing of the adapters.
  4. Develop a report form for the collected results during testing.
  5. Test adapters in the following cases: (1) when the set-top box is a client and connects to an access point, (2) when the STB is the access point itself.
  6. Provide an expert opinion on the quality of customer's adapters, and offer the best option.


  1. An automated testing algorithm, based on an open source tool Netperf, has been developed to select the best WiFi adapter.
  2. Each of the 30 adapters has been tested in seven different conditions (at various distances from the access point, placing set-top box and access point in different rooms, etc.).
  3. We tested WiFi adapters connection quality in the following cases: (1) when the set-top box is a client and connects to an access point, (2) when the STB is the access point itself.
  4. Each test consisted of three trials of receiving video/audio streams over UDP and TCP protocols (3 per each protocol) – overall more than 2000 tests.
  5. Tests were performed both in the building and in open areas with direct line of sight: at a distance of 50, 100 and 150 meters from the access point.
  6. All the test results, as well as information on the characteristics of each of the adapters — name, manufacturer, supplier, price, size, specifications, etc. — were consolidated into a specially designed report form that allowed us to choose the best option.

The specifics of the project

  1. Our customer provided us with a large number of adapters, based on different chips, requiring different drivers and settings of the test environment.
  2. An enormous amount of output data for the final report and subsequent analysis: more than 2000 tests, each involving up to 10 output parameters.
  3. Work indoors and outdoors.


The customer received a detailed and deeply researched report, which reflected the connection quality, all the advantages and disadvantages of the tested adapters, as well as the expert opinion of our department. These data allowed the customer to make the best choice and increase user value of the final product.