How to interpret the CATS test protocol
This page will describe how to interpret the test result from a CATS test.
It will focus on the test results that are printed from the CATS SA300 Simple Mode. This will generate one summary page that looks like this:
1. Manufacturer Area
This area can be customized to include a logotype and/or a text that represents the manufacturer.
2. CATS Area
This is the most important area if you want to see if the test was OK or not.
In the upper right corner you have the CATS logotype that stands for CATS quality. Below the logo you see the result of the test. It can be one of the following three:
PASS The test is passed according to the applied limits. Notice however that the limits do not have to be set according to the standard specification. See 5 for more information about the limits.
Out Of Spec This means that the test failed. Below the text "Out Of Spec" there is a list of the first 9 failed parameters. If there are more than 9 parameters they are not presented here.
Nothing In case this area is empty it means that no simple conclusion could be made about the test. It might be that no limits at all were applied during the test, that some problem occurred during the test, or the test was aborted before it was finished. See Test Result under item 3 for more information.
Here are two examples of the first two cases:
3. Mandatory Test Information
This area looks the same on all printouts and contains information about the performed test. It looks like this:
Production Name is the name of the tested disc.
Production Number is the number of the tested disc.
Module(s) contains a list of all test modules involved in a test. If this only contains one entry, then it is a single-player test. If it contains more (up to 8) modules then it is a split test with several players and several discs.
Module Type(s) This is a list of all module types in a test. Here is a list of all possible module types.
Test Template Here is the name of the template that the test was created from.
Test Result This is the result of the test in a more detailed form than in area 2. Here is a list of some of the possible test results.
4. Customizable Test Information
This area contains information about the test that it is up to each manufacturer to configure.
These are just examples of fields that can be included in this area.
5. Parameter Tables
The major part of the summary page contains a list of all parameters that are measured. There are two modes for this table:
Low Detail Each parameter is presented with Min, Max and Average over the entire tested disc.
High Detail Each parameter is presented with Min, Max, Average and limits for each layer (if it is a DVD9).
If the printout is in high detail you can see the limits applied to the test here. The default limits used are the specification limits, but they may be altered by the manufacturer. Click here to see what limits apply to each parameter and format.
If a parameter's value is presented in green it means that it is within limits, and if it is red and underlined it is failed.
This is how it looks in High Detail:
In this case RN is between 4.11 and 22.07 with an average of 6.792. We can also see that RN should be between 0 and 16 for this format. From this we can conclude both that the parameter is failed and that the limit is set according to the specification (RN should be 0 - 16 for DVD9).
On the simple mode printouts there are three diagrams for three parameters. Each manufacturer sets up what three diagrams that they consider to be important.
It is also possible to substitute one of the parameters for disc information instead:
In this case you can see the format of the tested disc and the length of the disc (in sectors for DVD and in time for CD).
The footer contains information about the software version that was used when the page was printed. Notice that it is not when the test was done, only when it was printed.
In the bottom right corner you also have the page number. Normally there is only one page, and in those cases it says 1(1).
But it is possible to have up to three pages, one extra page with a detailed parameter table and one page with additional diagrams. In this case the page numbers are 1(3), 2(3) and 3(3).
Click here if you want to see how the additional two pages can look.