Specifications developed by the digital program insertion (DPI) working group of the SCTE digital video subcommittee (DVS) have passed into the realm of standards.

Last week’s announcement that the SCTE Engineering Committee had approved the first half of the DPI advanced advertising interface standard is a milestone in the long march that goes back at least six years to SCTE 35 and SCTE 30, which respectively govern cue messages and splicing.

The approved advanced advertising interface, now known officially as SCTE 130, includes the following four parts:

1. Advertising systems overview
2. Core data elements
3. Ad management service interface
4. Content information service

What remains "in drafting, in various stages of completion," said SCTE Standards Director Tom Russell, are the following four parts:

5. Placement opportunity information service
6. Subscriber information service
7. Message transport compliance
8. General Information service

The standard was designed to be open, so that "may or may not be the end of it," Russell said. Whatever else lies ahead, a rising sense of urgency to move forward has surrounded this category, with vendors "waiting for it to become a standard so what they build will become interoperable," he added. From weeks to milliseconds Once published, standards do act as catalysts. "This allows us to actually build products," ARRIS Director of Product Strategy Paul Delzio said.

"It takes this industry a long time to adopt new technologies," Delzio admitted. "What’s nice today is that we have an operational working solution for advanced advertising for VOD. We’ve had it for DPI. (This) makes it faster and more real-time."

Delzio said that the typical schedules for VOD ads are completed several weeks in advance. Under SCTE 130, the timing for dynamic ad insertion and replacement collapses by multiple orders of magnitude.

"These specs use milliseconds," he said.

– Jonathan Tombes

Read more news and analysis on Communications Technology‘s Web site at http://www.cable360.net/ct/news/.

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