Getting real data

BBT HDMI 4K grabber, design and development

Getting real data

BBT HDMI 4K grabber, design and development

Nowadays, the development of complex professional electronics systems is constantly expanding. The goal of every manufacturer is to put their product on the market as fast as possible and offer it to the customers – on the other hand, a short production time should not affect the quality and reliability of it. Modern devices have many functionalities, from a coupling of different interfaces to combining multiple devices into a single device. Examination and testing of such complex systems has become a serious problem. During the development of a complex professional electronics system, over 40% of the time goes on verification and testing.

As an answer to such challenges in TV and set-top box (STB) industry, RT-RK provided complete testing framework exploiting Black Box Testing (BBT) approach. The missing puzzle was a device capable to grab video outputs from TV chassis or STB video outputs, in real time, each frame or audio/video sequence, to be saved and analyzed. The device was based on Xilinx Zynq SoC and had numerous audio and video interfaces: (HDMI, (High-Definition Multimedia Interface), YPbPr, S-Video (Separate Video), S/PDIF (Sony/Philips Digital Interconnect Format) optical, S/PDIF coaxial, CVBS (Composite Video, Blanking, and Sync)). The device had the ability to connect to the network via 1Gb LAN (Local Area Network) port, and was provided in three different form factors: as a standalone device, PC built-in peripheria in 5.25” case (as a replacement in CD/DVD optic device compartment), or as a desktop PC PCIe card.

Project overview:

  • Internal R&D project, triggered by RT-RK Marketing and Sales department due to increased number of requests for testing of 4K capable equipment within BBT framework

Engagement of the HW department:

  • Complete product requirements and functional specifications
  • Full MECH, HW and FPGA design, certification and release to manufacture
  • Prototype series for 4k capable video grabbing device, not losing any of the functions used in previous grabber versions (RT-AV100, RT-AV110)
  • Final device integration in BBT framework and PC SW


  • Real-time capturing and streaming of audio and video signals up to 4K over 1Gbps LAN, 10Gbps LAN or PCIe, 4x 2nd Gen.
  • The device was intended for head end monitoring as well as for STB/DVD/Blu-ray testing
  • Live preview through LAN interface and Automatic Video Signal and Standard Detection
  • Grabber inputs: HDMI, CVBS, RGB, S-Video, analog audio, S/PDIF (optical and coaxial)


RTAV4K was a very good example of complete product development cycle, starting from the business idea and market (testing industry) needs, to defining the technology, design, development and market release. Even more chalenging, the product’s small scale production, maintenance, and service over the product lifetime, has accumulated additional important knowledge within the team.

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