Watch Out — Here Comes HD Advertising

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Terayon Communication Systems Inc. and nCUBE Corp. said they have developed a way to bring digital ad insertion into the high-definition world.

At upcoming cable-industry events, the two companies said, they will demonstrate a system that combines digital program-insertion technology developed by the Society of Cable Telecommunications Engineers with high-definition transmission formats.

An ongoing demonstration system has been up and running for more than five days, delivering high-definition ads every two minutes into an HDTV stream without errors, according to the companies.

The recently solidified SCTE standard provides digital cues for ads, replacing the older analog cue-tone system. This allows cable operators to insert standard-definition digital ads into their digital programming channels.

In August, Cox Communications Inc. said it had started to insert ads on digital channels in Orange County, Calif., using gear from SeaChange International Inc.

The Terayon and nCUBE project extends that to high-definition formats. The system combines Terayon's new DM 6400 Network CherryPicker ad inserter with nCUBE's DPI Premium System, which stores advertisements in a digital format.

Triggered by the digital cue, the DPI Premium fires the ad off to the CherryPicker, which then aligns its bit rate to that of program stream and splices it into the stream.

"Fortunately, the work we have done with nCUBE shows that the SCTE's DPI standards — which were originally developed for SD digital ad insertion — can work for HD, as well," Mark Jeffery, Terayon's senior product line manager for digital-video solutions, said in a statement.

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