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Why Android TV testing automation is more important than ever

In a world where most users have Smart TVs, STBs, gaming consoles and mobile devices capable of playing streaming apps on their home entertainment set-ups, how can any provider become the go-to method for watching video? The answer is simple: by providing the best end-user experience. This means testing automation and proactive monitoring are essential tools for any operator working with Android TV. Content providers on Android TV should also be testing how their own app works and interacts with Google’s OS.

Mathieu Planche, CEO, Witbe
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Google’s Android TV operating system has come a long way in the last six years. Back in 2016, only eight companies were officially using it. Today, over 150 companies use Android TV as their OS of choice on Smart TVs and set-top boxes (STB), including Sony, Philips, and TCL. In fact, it’s gone so well that Google is officially renaming it Google TV.

The reasons for its popularity are clear. Android TV works well and is easy to use. It has an intuitive interface, includes access to any streaming app viewers could want, and offers important features like voice control and deep search. For operators making their own Smart TVs and STBs, Android TV eliminates the hassle of developing a proprietary OS. Of course, they still must customise their Android TV OS by modifying it to personalise their brand, user experience, and available or highlighted content, as well as controlling things like security, analytics, and billing.

In a world where most users have Smart TVs, STBs, gaming consoles, and mobile devices capable of playing streaming apps on their home entertainment set-ups, how can any provider become the go-to method for watching video? The answer is simple: by providing the best end-user experience. After all, if a customer is watching Apple TV+ on one operator’s STB and it crashes, they will go watch it somewhere else.

Continual testing and monitoring of the Quality of Experience (QoE) being delivered to customers is the best way to retain them. It isn’t about monitoring only one service, either. Content providers on Android TV should be testing how their own app works, how it interacts with Google’s OS, and even how popular third-party apps perform and interact.

Another common concern for providers on Android TV is content availability. If consumers search for a movie, is watching it using their service or someone else’s the first option given? Does using voice control search or different keywords yield different results? After each new asset integration, content providers need to make sure their content is being properly annexed and is easily accessible for users at home.

The other issue for operators using Android TV is that they have no control over the future of the OS, or even a timeline for updates. Google can push an OS update at any time. Even if an operator’s services, apps, and content were working perfectly before, they could immediately be altered by an unexpected update. The only way to prepare and protect their service is to continually test and monitor its performance, making sure to benchmark the results over time and through different updates.

In fact, continual testing and monitoring of video services is the best approach for all operators using Android TV to ensure that their customers are receiving excellent streaming quality and will continue to use their products. It’s the most effective way to make sure their content is accessible and available in the ways they want it to be, keep performance consistent across OS updates, and be proactive about QoE while using Android TV.

Many of these testing and monitoring scenarios can’t be accomplished manually. It’s difficult to find a human willing to sit and monitor Android TV’s performance on their device 24 hours a day, or type in the same title over and over to ensure the results work. That’s why testing automation exists – to cover the endurance, stress, and performance testing that cannot be accomplished manually.

Testing automation and proactive monitoring are essential tools for any operator working with Android TV. It lets their team sleep soundly at night, knowing their service’s performance is still being measured. It helps avoid technological catastrophes and retain customers. Since Android TV is only getting more popular and reliable, it’s an excellent time for operators to choose it for their OS – and combine it with testing automation to ensure their own success.


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