CableLabs® Conducts Advanced Testing on Digital Ad Insertion
BigBand, Cisco Systems, Harmonic, nCUBE, SeaChange International and Terayon Communication Corp. provided the ad servers and splicers that were tested for compliance with Society of Cable and Telecommunications Engineers (SCTE) standards SCTE 35 2001 (formerly DVS253), SCTE 30 2001 (formerly DVS380), and with certain Moving Picture Experts Group (MPEG) standards.
"The equipment demonstrated a high degree of compliance with the standards," said Dr. Mukta Kar, CableLabs Senior Advisor, Digital Network Architecture. Generally, the equipment is functionally capable of meeting the DPI Level 1 Profile and is ready for deployment by MSOs into live environments. Joe Davis, the co-chair of DVS Working Group 5 and a CableLabs consultant, assisted in the testing.
CableLabs conducted Phase 1 and Phase 2 Testing of this equipment last summer and fall, respectively. SCTE 35 2001 is a standard for cue tone messaging; SCTE 30 2001 is for communication and control protocols between splicers and ad servers.
The earlier Phase 2 Testing in October concentrated on measuring a high degree of compliance to an (informally defined) 'simple' profile that approximates, in the digital domain, functionality of the analog environment. Phase 2 also included a live end-to-end demo over a satellite link with an SCTE 35 encoder at the ESPN uplink site in Bristol, Connecticut, and SCTE 35 / SCTE 30 Splicers and Ad Servers at the CableLabs (downlink) site.
The Phase 3 Tests in April built upon the Phase 2 results and strove for fuller compliance to the now well-defined CableLabs DPI Level 1 Profile (formerly the 'simple' profile). These major areas were concentrated on during Phase 3:
- Error Handling of several severe failure modes
- Rigorous splice time accuracy measurements
- Multiple audio switching capabilities
- MPEG compliance of a splicer's output
- Miscellaneous Level 1 functionality.
"CableLabs' leadership in the testing process for these standards is a significant contribution to the industry," said Paul Woidke, Adlink SVP/CTO and chair of SCTE's DVS Working Group 5. "The collegial environment, the laboratory facilities, and the rigorous test standards supported by CableLabs are a benefit to vendors and MSOs alike as we work together to develop these important new technologies."
About CableLabs: Cable Television Laboratories (www.cablelabs.com) was founded in 1988 by members of the cable television industry. A non-profit research and development consortium, CableLabs delivers innovations that enable cable operators to be the providers of choice in their markets. Cable operators from around the world are members. CableLabs maintains additional web sites at www.cablenet.org.
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