CableLabs Issues VOD Specification


Cable Television Laboratories Inc. has provided the cable industry with its
first standardized tool to manage video-on-demand.

The Louisville, Colo.-based cable-television consortium Monday issued 'VOD
Content Specification V1.0,' the first such standardized guideline for VOD.

V1.0 deals primarily with setting a common method to handling metadata, the
descriptive data associated with VOD content.

Metadata includes simple elements, such as the title of a VOD movie, along
with more complex elements, including information on how the content is licensed
and displayed. Up to now, VOD-content owners, server-system providers and
set-top-box makers have used their own proprietary medadata schemes.

Creating a common metadata specification could help cable operators to cut
VOD-operating costs and make it easier for them to manage available

Content providers could reduce production costs and, for set-top makers, it
would be easier to integrate metadata with channel-navigation software and
electronic programming guides, according to CableLabs.

To make the technology available for the V1.0 specification, CableLabs has
formed a royalty-free intellectual-property-rights pool with contributions from
the likes of Time Warner Cable, N2 Broadband, Diva Systems Corp., SeaChange
International Inc., Concurrent Computer Corp. and nCUBE.

Meanwhile, CableLabs will work on added VOD specifications this