CableLabs Touts Ad-Insertion Interop With 16 Vendors


The cable industry patted itself on the back for making more progress at a CableLabs-hosted advanced-advertising specification interoperability event held earlier this month.

The Advertising and Interactive Services Interop was held June 14-18 at CableLabs' headquarters in Louisville, Colo., in conjunction with Canoe Ventures and the Society of Cable Telecommunications Engineers' Digital Video Subcommittee Working Group 5, which is developing advanced-ad standards.

The 16 companies that participated in the interop were: Alcatel-Lucent, Alticast, Arris, Avail-TVN, BigBand Networks, BlackArrow, FourthWall Media, Nielsen, OpenTV, SeaChange International, Sigma Systems, Softel, Strategy and Technology (S&T), Texscan, This Technology and UniSoft.

The primary focus of the weeklong interop was to show interoperability of the
SCTE 130 interfaces for ad insertion. In addition to inserting ads into linear
TV channels, the participants demonstrated inserting addressable
advertising into VOD content as well as dynamic Enhanced TV Binary Interchange Format application

Another goal of the interop was to develop profiles for SCTE 130 and the CableLabs Stewardship and Fulfillment Interfaces (SaFI). The SaFI spec provides the ability to track and manage ads deployed across multiple operators.

CableLabs has hosted similar interop events focused on SCTE 130 and other advertising specs, in November 2008, June 2009 and November 2009.

"The widespread adoption and implementation of these standards such as SCTE 130 as well as the SaFI specifications are critical for Canoe's market deployments," Canoe chief technology officer Arthur Orduña said in a statement. "We applaud both the participating companies and our good partner, CableLabs, for yet another successful interop, which we are proud to have co-sponsored."

"We are extremely encouraged to see the progress toward interoperability, not only in the VOD space but also in the linear space for advanced advertising," added Terri Swartz, Cox Communications director of advertising technology.

Canoe, owned by Comcast, Time Warner Cable, Cox, Charter Communications, Cablevision Systems and Bright House Networks, last week launched its first multiple-operator advertising service, delivering interactive TV overlays on top of 30-second ads across an unspecified number of households in Comcast's and TWC's footprints.

Wrigley's Orbit was among the initial advertisers, with RFIs debuting on Comcast's Style network offering viewers with EBIF-upgraded set-top boxes a free pack of gum.