Cable Show 2010: CMC Debuts ITV-Delivery Service For Programmers

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Comcast Media Center's HITS unit is pitching a managed solution designed to let cable networks deliver interactive TV applications to cable headends less expensively.

With the CMC service -- dubbed HITS AxIS ETV Solutions for Programmers -- cable programming networks can deliver apps written to the CableLabs Enhanced TV Binary Interchange Format (EBIF) without integrating them into their linear programming.

"Our content distribution and interactive video management capabilities allow us to provide programming networks with cost-effective options for delivering their ETV [enhanced TV] applications across a network's entire footprint, or for delivering individual applications to specific cable markets," CMC chief operating officer Gary Traver said in a statement.

CMC expects to show off the HITS AxIS ETV Solutions for Programmers at The Cable Show next week in Los Angeles.

According to CMC, because the HITS AxIS platform delivers the data feed terrestrially, a television programming network can add interactive TV applications without affecting its existing satellite loading or the quality of its audio and video distribution. The HITS AxIS managed solution also allows content providers to deliver ETV applications that are tailored to their cable operator affiliates and the markets they serve, the company said.

The service suite includes data PID (packet ID) distribution, management and monitoring, as well as Campaign Information Package (CIP) scheduling integration to insure applications perform as designed and are delivered to the right cable system at the right time.

The Campaign Information Package spec, defined by Canoe Ventures and CableLabs, provides information to the MSOs on the configuration of application messaging processing, such as identifiers relevant to the messages.

CMC's original HITS AxIS managed interactive TV service is aimed at small and midsize cable operators. The HITS AxIS solutions are delivered via the CMC's Interactive Video Services master control room, which provides interactive TV application hosting, satellite transmission delivery via widely viewed domestic satellites, fiber transport to cable system headends and monitoring for more than 400 linear channel feeds.

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