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Even before the pandemic hit, OTT platforms have been on a rampage in terms of growth and popularity. Netflix has multiplied its user base 10 times over the last 10 years. There is heavy competition amidst the existing big players and the number of OTT platforms entering the market is also on the rise. Even if you have the best content in the market and fail to provide a good user interface and user experience, users will move away. So no OTT platform can afford to have mediocre testing that lets bugs reach the user. As a leading QA company, we deliver uncompromised quality to all our clients and have created this conclusive list of test cases for OTT Platform Testing that will help you achieve maximum coverage.
OTT is an abbreviation for “over-the-top,” which refers to any streaming media service that delivers content via the internet. The term “over-the-top” refers to the fact that the service is delivered on top of another platform. In other words, it is any service that allows you to deliver video and/or live stream feeds to any internet-connected device.
OTT Platform Testing
Robust and exhaustive OTT platform testing is required to successfully deliver video content. There are numerous things to test when it comes to OTT platform testing, but as stated earlier, they boil down to these two major aspects.
- The user interface (UI) allows users to interact with the OTT platform and view the video content.
- The user experience (UX) the person takes away after interacting with the UI.
Let’s dig deeper to get a better understanding of why these two factors are important. Let’s take Netflix as an example as we’ve already discussed how it has grown over the years. In an age that had episodes airing every week, Netflix introduced the binge-watching culture by dropping all of the episodes in one go. They did not want you to leave their platform once you entered.
So instead of just changing the release pattern, they built an intuitive UI that keeps recommending content based on your preferences. But if in case Netflix kept suggesting shows we weren’t interested in, we would just leave. At the same time, even if Netflix was able to provide good recommendations after making the user wait for 2 minutes, nobody is going to wait. That is why it is vital to test how people interact with the product and analyze their experience as well.
As one of the best OTT testing companies, we have created a list of test cases under each category to obtain maximum coverage and quality. We have also mentioned a list of the best testing tools that can also be used as OTT Testing tools. But before we proceed to that, let’s start with the test cases for User Interface and functionality.
UI and Functionality
Playback: Check to see if the video plays/pauses when you click on the video play icon. Also, see if the volume controls, and mute functionality works. Check for audio-video sync as well.
Video Quality: Make sure that the user is able to choose the video playback quality based on their network conditions.
Replay: Check if that the user can replay the video if they wish to see it again once it is finished.
Search: Verify that the video can be found when searched by the movie title, artist names, or relevant keywords that can be found in the description.
Search Results: Check the video’s thumbnail, title, description, length, age rating, etc. and see if the search has relevant autosuggestions. Also, make sure to see if clicking on the video plays the video or opens the content to show additional information.
Voice Commands: Since a major share of the OTT content is consumed via smart televisions, make sure that the voice commands by various assistants also work correctly.
Browse Features: You must be able to filter your search results and content in general so that you can browse through the content without any hassle. Check if the suggested content is based on the user’s viewing history.
History: Once a user starts watching a show or a movie, they must be able to pick up from where they left off and not have to start over again. If it is an OTT platform like YouTube, make sure the history function works well and see if the user is able to remove a video from the history or clear the history on the whole.
Offline Mode: Verify if the user is able to download the content they wish to keep offline and watch it without any internet connection. Also, make sure the downloaded files are not available locally to the user outside the platform.
Bandwidth Capacity: Check how well the content is streamed under different network conditions. If there is limited connectivity, see how well the video is played with lower bitrates.
Direct Access Link: Make sure that the video page can be accessed via a direct link to the video. See if the link can be shared easily using a third-party app.
Browser Compatibility: Verify that both the video and audio play in all flash-enabled browsers. And if it doesn’t, ensure that a meaningful message is shown to the users using a browser without flash or the necessary codec.
Watch list: Add content to a watch later or watch list to see if it gets updated properly. If there are any new additions like a new season to a show in the watch list, make sure it is notified to the user.
Notifications: Other notifications should include the addition of popular and relevant content, release of any content that had a countdown timer or reminder.
Language & Captions: Check if the mentioned captions are available in the content and also see if it in sync with the audio and visuals. If there are other language captions or audios available, then it must be possible to switch easily.
Audio output: Users might be connected to a different audio device via wires or Bluetooth when watching content on a television or mobile. Make sure that the audio is routed to that device properly without any sync issues.
Most of these test cases will be the ones you’d have to cover when testing on mobile platforms. Since OTT platforms employ mobile-only plans, it is an important part of OTT platform testing that can’t be neglected.
Call: Make sure that the video pauses when the user is watching using a mobile device. Also, check if the video resumes from the exact same point once the call is disconnected.
Notifications: Make sure that pop-up notifications don’t pause the playback or disturb it in any way unless the user clicks on it.
Mini Player: If the user does click on the notification, check if the player gets minimized and continues to play. Make sure to drag the mini-player around to see if it works properly. If the mobile or tablet supports split-screen viewing, then make sure the mini player is compatible with that too.
Subscription: Ensure that only users who have paid the subscription fee are able to access the content and stream the video. If there are any ‘Pay per View’ or ‘Video on Demand’ content, test to see if it can be accessed by only those who have the extra payment.
User Profiles: The user must be able to create multiple user profiles and even have separate user histories. Verify if the user is able to select the profile through which he/she wants to watch as soon as the app is launched. There must also be kids or age-restricted profiles which can be accessed by the account with parental rights.
User Count: Make sure the platform is able to detect an account being used in more than the number of allotted screens for the package. Few plans allow different user profiles to access the platform at the same time and not allow the same content to be seen across multiple devices. The same applies to the number of devices that can have offline content. So keep an eye on such factors as well.
Login: Proper account recovery options must be available. But make sure that nobody else is able to access the account without the owner’s knowledge. If the account is being accessed from a new device, make sure that an OTP is sent for verification and enable the option to mark the device as a trusted device. Check if 2-factor authentication works if enabled.
Password: Make sure to suggest the user set a strong password. Ensure that older passwords cannot be reused. If the user wants to change the password, ensure that it is done with an OTP verification. There should also be an option to log out of all the devices.
Information: All the relevant account information like the plan name and so on should be easily accessible in one place for the user to review.
Payment and Security
Since there are both annual and monthly billing options, security features in any OTT platform can’t be taken lightly. User data has to be kept safe and a seamless payment process is very important in providing the best user experience. A user shouldn’t feel burdened or afraid while making the payment.
Successful Payment: Once the payment has been made, ensure that the changes reflect immediately in the account to prevent the user from having any doubts. Also, make sure the user is redirected back to the platform after a successful transaction.
Failure Scenarios: Make sure to think of various failure scenarios and test them out.
- Check what happens if the session ends during the payment process.
- Determine what happens if the payment gateway stops responding during the payment process.
- Make sure the account doesn’t get activated despite having a failed transaction.
- Observe what happens if the payment or transaction goes on hold.
- Check if the session expires within the time limit.
Payment Options: Try making a payment using all the various options like a credit card, debit card, and so on.
Localization: Make sure the amount is displayed in the current currency and the plans for that region are only being purchased. Also, try to change the payment gateway language during the payment process.
Pop-up Blocker: Examine the pop-up blocker settings and observe what happens when the pop-up blocker is turned on and off. At times few payment pages open only in a new window and the blocker might affect that.
Backend: Go beyond the front-end OTT platform testing and analyze what happens in the backend during the payment process.
Buffer Pages: Examine the buffer pages that exist between the payment gateway and the application.
Saved Payment options: If the user wishes to save the payment option, examine the database entries to see if they store credit card information.
- During the payment process, double-check the error and security pages.
- If you are sending any email for the transaction, ensure that the content is encrypted.
- Verify if all the sensitive information is masked.
- Check that the payment is being made through a secure channel. In other words, the link must begin with HTTPS and not HTTP.
Gateway: Check if the payment is processed with an integrated page or if it is navigated to the bank’s payment page. If it is a page within the platform, make sure the transaction is processed only with the right OTP and card information.
OTT Testing Tools
Though there are no dedicated OTT Testing tools that we use for OTT automation testing, we can still use standard automation testing tools such as Appium and BrowserStack. Now let’s see how these tools will be useful when performing OTT testing.
Since a major share of OTT devices is powered by Android, Appium can be used to perform OTT Automation Testing. We are not just talking about the wide variety of Android Smart TVs in the market, even devices such as Amazon Firestick run on their own Custom OS (FireOS) that is built with Android Nougat as its base. Since Appium is an already popular testing tool, it can serve as the go-to OTT Testing Tool when it comes to automation.
We have already seen how Appium can be used to achieve OTT Automation Testing on select devices. Another point of concern when it comes to OTT testing is numerous variations in the OTT devices in terms of an operating system, form factor, and so on. So a cloud testing platform such as BrowserStack is essential in assisting us in testing across a wide range of devices on the market. As an OTT Testing tool, BrowserStack currently supports both Android TVs and FireStick. But according to their website, other popular options like Roku and Apple Tv are on their way to the platform.
OTT Testing Tutorial with a Comprehensive Checklist
We hope you have found these test cases for OTT Platform Testing to be informative. Though there are many more avenues to explore in OTT platform testing, these are the fundamentals you have to follow. The OTT platform is constantly being updated so that it doesn’t get outdated. Seeing the rise of popularity for TikTok, YouTube has introduced the Shorts feature. Understanding the content for short content, Netflix has created the ‘Fast Laughs’ feature. Netflix is also working on integrating games along with their subscription. So the landscape will always be changing and you should be on a journey of constant learning to keep up with all the new challenges.
Frequently Asked Questions
- What is OTT testing?
OTT testing can be termed as the process of determining the capability of the platform to stream video and audio content over the internet by testing the platform’s UI, functionality, performance, and security.
- What is OTT Automation?
OTT Automation is similar to any type of automation testing as it is the process of using automation tools to maintain test data, execute the tests, and analyze the results to increase the OTT platform’s overall quality.
- What is an OTT Device?
Any device other than a desktop, laptop, tablet, or smartphone that is used to consume OTT content is called an OTT device. Some familiar examples are Smart TVs, Amazon FireStick, Roku TV, Apple TV, etc.
- What is Streaming Testing?
Streaming Testing is used to test if the videos stream with the expected quality & functionality over the internet under different network bandwidths & loads to deliver a great user experience.
- Are OTT and Connected TV the same?
No. OTT is the process of streaming content directly on a computer or mobile device and Connected TVs require the TV to be connected to a device with an active internet connection such as an Xbox, Apple TV, or Roku TV for streaming content.