Collaborative reference implementations and a compliance testing suite - Netflix, YouTube, Amazon Prime Video

Collaborative reference implementations and a compliance testing suite

Teaming with Netflix, YouTube and Amazon Prime Video on the DAB protocol

When enabling and distributing applications for Internet-connected living room devices such as televisions, set-top boxes, and gaming devices, each application needs to undergo a rigorous certification testing phase. This time-consuming process generally involves testing streaming applications on various device platforms to ensure the overall quality, performance, and stability of the streaming application. It is a complicated process because each device partner has non-standard (and sometimes proprietary) automation protocols to emulate user actions.

Working together to improve this process for device partners, Netflix, YouTube, and Amazon Prime Video created the Device Automation Bus (DAB), an open-source network protocol that enables device manufacturers and application developers to remotely control a device under test. DAB makes it possible to run commands such as "start a specific application", "press left button", "change screen resolution", "turn HDR on", and also obtain a screenshot from the application. Additionally, DAB can collect application telemetry data during tests to provide information to external tools and reduce test complexity and costs.

To reduce the barriers that enable broad adoption of DAB by manufacturers and developers alike, the group, formed by Netflix, YouTube, and Amazon Prime Video, worked with Collabora's open-source experts to create collaborative reference implementations and a compliance testing suite for the DAB protocol.

DAB for all

While there are two ways to implement DAB, the preferred method involves adding DAB directly into the device's platform so the application developer can enable DAB in a secure manner. To facilitate this, Collabora implemented an open-source DAB Native Adapter written in Rust, enabling manufacturers to create their own backend using platform-specific APIs and leverage the protocol in a secure manner. As a long-time member of the RDK community, Collabora also created a specific service that can be used directly by any RDK-based devices and as a reference to develop DAB on other platforms.

Keeping in mind manufacturers who already have a testing API and don't want to embed DAB in their products, Collabora also developed a reference JS SDK for the DAB bridge mode as defined by the DAB Consortium, a modular architecture written in JavaScript which allows manufacturers to implement their own backend.

As the last remaining piece of the puzzle, Collabora created an open-source Compliance Test Suite for DAB itself, enabling device vendors to confidently ensure their devices can be controlled via DAB.

Looking ahead

Already supported by major application developers and readily available to the RDK community, DAB will save time and money for device manufacturers and streaming application providers when testing applications, resulting in a better experience for the end-users.

"Collabora's Open Source expertise has enabled this complex multi-partner project to be a resounding success, and has helped accelerate our timeline from concept to delivery."Nick Newell, Device Operations & Partner Engineering Lead, YouTube
Netflix, YouTube, RDK

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