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Fnac Laboratories Selects Tektronix PQA500 for Picture Quality Rating of Blu-ray & DVD Players
Posted on Monday, August 24, 2009

Perceptual-based Measurements a Key Element in Helping Fnac Quickly and Efficiently Evaluate Dozens of Disc Players for Ratings Catalog

BEAVERTON, Ore., August 24, 2009– Tektronix, Inc., a leading worldwide provider of test, measurement and monitoring instrumentation, announced that Fnac Laboratories has selected the Tektronix PQA500 Picture Quality Analyzer to help assess Blu-ray and DVDplayers. The perceptual-based objective picture quality rating from the PQA500 is a key element in rating players by the laboratory arm of the leading French entertainment retail chain Fnac.

An independent entity from its retail parent, Fnac Laboratories publishes semi-annual catalogs featuring technical evaluations and “Stars” ratings of a wide range of video and audio products. Consumers regularly turn to Fnac Laboratories’ ratings to make purchasing decisions, while manufacturers work hard to earn top ratings. This puts pressure on Fnac Laboratories’ evaluators to ensure they use consistent, repeatable and reliable test methodologies that produce results consistent with viewers’ subjective ratings and let them work within a compressed timetable.

The PQA500 is the only picture quality measurement solution fully able to meet Fnac’s requirements. This is because the award-winning PQA500 uses an accurate model of the human vision system to detect the same differences between reference and test videos that viewers detect. This enables Fnac to use the PQA500’s perceptual-based measurement to assess the picture quality of dozens of Blu-ray and DVD players and avoid costly and time-consuming testing with actual human viewers.  

Unlike human viewers, the PQA500 does not get fatigued or distracted. Instead it makes accurate, reliable, consistent and repeatable picture quality measurements that match viewers’ subjective assessments. This enhances Fnac Laboratories’ ability to achieve its brand promise to deliver reliable ratings to consumers.

“For many consumers, our ratings make a big difference in what products they buy. If we say a product in a particular category is the best for something critical like picture quality, it really must be the best ? and we have to be able to prove it,” said M. Pascal Petitpas, director of Fnac Laboratories. “We have a high degree of confidence that the Tektronix PQA500 provides a superior way to assess the picture quality of Blu-ray and DVD players, and that our ratings will be accepted by both consumers and manufacturers.”

High-volume testing

Beyond its advanced picture quality measurement capabilities, the PQA500 offers a number of other features that assist Fnac Laboratories in its player evaluation efforts.

Blu-ray and DVD players can slightly over-scan, under-scan, or shift video output relative to the original source. These variations can lead to misleading or inconsistent results. To address this problem, the PQA500 provides a robust spatial alignment capability that ensures Fnac evaluators do not need to spend time and effort compensating for spatial variations.

“Picture quality is notoriously difficult to evaluate as instruments to date have not been able to produce results that match human perception. For a busy lab like Fnac, the need for human evaluation presented a major obstacle to evaluating picture quality across a never-ending flow of devices,” said Eben Jenkins, director, Video Test, Tektronix. “By using an objective measurement tool like the Tektronix PQA500 and a formal evaluation process, Fnac enhances its credibility and reputation as an objective, trusted evaluator.”

Another essential time-saver for Fnac is the PQA500’s scripting capability that allows Fnac to use an XML script to sequentially perform multiple measurements on several different video files. PQA500 users can easily create these scripts by configuring a measurement in the PQA500’s user interface and exporting the measurement to a script file. Fnac uses this scripting capability to significantly improve workflow efficiency and reduce overall test times.

About the PQA500

The Tektronix PQA500 Picture Quality Analyzer is a next-generation picture quality analysis tool incorporating eight new Tektronix patents and embodying the most comprehensive Human Vision Model yet implemented. The PQA500 provides the most complete suite of measurement and diagnostic tools for picture quality analysis, including full support of high definition (HD) formats. With the PQA500 video developers and broadcasters can quantify subjective video responses, enabling them to consistently produce an optimal customer viewing experience through tuning video offerings for differences in format and delivery channels.