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Difference between Smart TV & Mobile Testing

December 9, 2017
Mobile and Smart TV, Mobile and Smart TV testing, challenges in Mobile and Smart TV testing, difference between Mobile and Smart TV testing, difference between Smart TV and Mobile Testing

In this article we will cover how testing of Smart TV applications is different from the testing of Mobile and website applications, what are the differences, challenges between Mobile and Smart TV testing, how limited and dynamic the testing is between these two platforms. We will also know how much flexibility is between these two platforms for testing from the user perspective. This blog is going to be in a tabular form for the quick comparison as compared to be in bullet or paragraph form.

So, let’s get started and understand the difference between Mobile and Smart TV testing with respect to different areas.

Accessibility of Mobile and Smart TV

Mobile or Website: Mobile devices are more accessible to the users and the related apps or websites can be accessed on the mobile device or from a computer.

Smart TV: Smart TV accessibility is comparatively less currently.

Emulator for Mobile and Smart TV

Mobile or Website: The emulator for the Apple and Android phones are standard and very common. You can easily test your application on the lower or the higher version of the iOS and Android via emulators to make sure that your application will work across all the mobile platforms currently available in the user market, without actually buying the real devices.

Smart TV: Smart TV emulator may be not available or if available then it is made only by its own manufacturers at the moment. Due to this limitation, you can not use only one Smart TV emulator for the testing of your application across all the Smart TV platforms. There are some other issues as well with using the Emulators such as:

  • The Video player stream can only work on a real device as the Emulator might not have the support for all the required codecs to play the video stream.
  •  Keyboard handling is not supported currently.
  •  Network checking is not possible so the testing of the network

Cost of Mobile and Smart TV

Mobile or Website: Mobile devices are cheaper to buy as compared to the Smart TV. It is possible to buy multiple mobile devices to test your app.

Smart TV: Smart TVs are very expensive to buy in the condition where the testing is required to be run on a real device. Not anyone can afford to buy the multiple smart TVs to test their apps.

Mobile and Smart TV Size

Mobile or Website: Mobile devices are comparatively small in size and in screen size and easy to handle.

Smart TV: The size of Smart TV is big as compared to the hand held the device. So a user has to watch and deal with a very big screen all the time to test it. Which can be quite uncomfortable.

Flexibility of Mobile and Smart TV

Mobile or Website: Due to a smaller size of mobile devices you can take them in your hands and perform testing as comfortable you are. It eases the mobility as well.

Smart TV: In Smart TV testing you need to put the TV on a table or on a wall due to its big size. It is not something which you can take into your hands and perform the testing. So text on App should be readable from a specified distance.

Input for Mobile and Smart TV

Mobile or Website: On mobile devices, you get onscreen keyboard driven by your fingers which is easier and faster to type.

Smart TV: The input to Smart TV is mostly given by the remote control so if a user has to browse any website then they have to type using the onscreen keyboard and selecting virtual keys using the navigation keys on the remote control which makes the whole experience a bit slow comparatively.

Debugging in Mobile and Smart TV

Mobile or Website: Taking debug logs on mobile devices is comparatively easy as there is standard set of tool available for this purpose.

Smart TV: If you are testing an app developed on TV platform then it is a bit cumbersome to take logs of the app if it gets a crash during its operation.

Standard Platform of Mobile and Smart TV

Mobile or Website: For mobile and websites, one can develop an app for one OS and it can run on different platforms.

Smart TV: So far there has not been a standard or common TV platform where one can develop one smart TV app and it can run on a different smart TV.

Resources for Mobile and Smart TV

Mobile or Website: On websites, it is possible to hold or buffer the media content as it has more resources as compared to the Smart tv.

Smart TV: As Smart TV does not come up with big RAM or memory’s so sometimes it is important to check for how long the TV can hold up the media content buffer in its memory. The popularity of Smart TV comes from their capability of streaming videos. Hence, every scenario related to streaming is required to be properly tested. This includes:

  • Video Streaming after the internet re-connects
  • Audio and video should be in the sync
  • Live video should be in sync on multiple platforms
  • Buffering of video with forwarding and rewind features
  • Audio play with the earphones
  • Screensaver functioning while the video is playing.

CPU & Memory of Mobile and Smart TV

Mobile or Website: It is possible for the user to track how much memory or CPU an app is consuming on the mobile device.

Smart TV: It is also not possible to track very easily how much the CPU and the memory a TV app is consuming on the TV operating system as the TV platform do not give those statistics to the users at the moment.

Areas of Testing for Mobile and Smart TV

Mobile or Website: Website and Mobile device platforms are more user-friendly, easy to understand and easy & comfortable to test with.

Smart TV: Smart TV is required to be tested with core TV functionalities which a general user is not likely to be aware of like DID compatibility, HDCP hot-plug functionality, PSNR testing, channel zapping testing.

Resolution testing for Mobile and Smart TV

Mobile or Website: On mobile devices, there is only one available resolution and the user can not change it on their own.

Smart TV: With different resolutions such as 8K, 4K, Ultra HD, Full HD, 720p, an app might work well on one resolution while the freeze on the other. The culprit here the most often is the CSS as it is written with pixel or EM. Most TVs don’t support pixel CSS and therefore much care must be taken only by the dev team.

Limited functionality of Mobile and Smart TV

Mobile or Website: Many features can be added through the different apps and designing on the mobile apps and websites.

Smart TV: Mostly the app works fine under normal network conditions. Sometimes they behave unexpectedly especially when the network is too low or not available. During such times, the app may freeze, abruptly exit, may show distort images and links, it may create some functional issues or corrupt the database.

  • In the case of no network, a proper error message is required to be displayed to the end users.
  • Error message should have the Retry option
  • Video streaming is a basic feature of smart TV. Testing internet scenarios i.e. resuming of video streaming after the network is regained is an important tip in testing.
  • In the case of no network, a proper message on Splash screen is a must.

Platform Store guidelines for Mobile and Smart TV

Mobile or Website: One platform guide for all Android and iOS phones so it is easy to develop app by following one platform guidelines.

Smart TV: Every Smart TV has their own set of platform guidelines. So for an app developer, it is tedious to follow platform guidelines for each Smart TV.

UI issues in Mobile and Smart TV

Mobile or Website: UI issues are not that important until they are not able to serve the application purpose completely.

Smart TV: For SmartTV it is a must to have a good and flawless UI. While testing on the different platforms, the design issues are bound to come up. Smart TV apps must have minimalistic feature sets with the minimal user steps.

Screen Transition in Mobile and Smart TV

Mobile or Website: Many numbers of screen transitions are possible.

Smart TV: Limited screen transitions.

User Navigation in Mobile and Smart TV

Mobile or Website: User can touch anywhere on the screen.

Smart TV: Navigation events are required to be predictable as the end user input is through remote control.

Software Update testing in Mobile and Smart TV

Mobile or Website: Easy to rollback to the previous software update or factory reset the device to restore the factory settings.

Smart TV: It is not very easy to test the software update testing as the new software is required to be designed in a way that it should not break the existing running functionality of the User’s TV as the Smart TV software is required to interact with underlying TV hardware as well.

Load Testing for Mobile and Smart TV

Mobile or Website: Dedicated CPU and RAM is available on mobile devices.

Smart TV: Smart TV does not come up with dedicated CPU or RAM for processing so it is very important to check the app’s responsiveness and put in place load indicator in case it takes more than 3 seconds to respond.

About the author

Palak Agarwal author

Palak Agarwal has years of work experience as a quality assurance professional in the domain of Manual testing on different kind of platforms including Smart TV's which includes various test methodologies. She is also actively learning and gaining experience in Automation testing using Selenium.

1 Comment

peter kpobi

February 3, 2018 at 1:03 pm

can this company help to develop a Universal Operating System fit for all Operating Systems for smart Tvs and set up boxes. i will like to sponsor its development. if not can you refer me to any developer who is capable of doing that?

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