The SCTE standards program broke records last year. Thirty-one revisions and 19 brand-new standards made it through their respective committees and were approved by the engineering committee (EC). This compares to only 20 making it to final approval in 2005.

"In 2001, when we made [standards] a formal program with membership dues, we had a fair amount of work going on. A lot of that work came to culmination in 2002. That was our previous best year," said Steve Oksala, vice president, standards. The most recent Standards Annual Report shows that approximately 45 were approved by the EC that year.

The highlights for 2006 include EC approval of the three-part standard, SCTE 118, for program-specific ad insertion, which was under the guidance of the Digital Video Subcommittee (DVS). "The whole area is a really hot topic for the standards program," Oksala said. SCTE 118-1 covers data field definitions and provides a functional overview and application guidelines; SCTE 118-2 offers a content provider to traffic communication applications data model; and SCTE 118-3 is a traffic system to ad insertion system file format specification.

The Data Standards Subcommittee (DSS) worked on facets of IP Cablecom in 2006, including SCTE 24-4, Dynamic Quality of Service for the Provision of Real-Time Services over Cable Television Networks Using Cable Modems; SCTE 24-7, Media Terminal Adapter Management Information Base Requirements, and SCTE 24-8, Signaling Management Information Base Requirements.

Oksala also mentioned the Hybrid Management Sub-layer Subcommittee work in 2006 on the four-part SCTE 25, which deals with Hybrid/Fiber Coax Outside Plant Status Monitoring. He expects 2007 to be another busy year with several standards originally approved in 2002 coming up for a five-year review, including additional parts of IP Cablecom (SCTE 24).

Oksala said that while the Cable Applications Platform Subcommittee didn’t have any releases in 2006, there should be a new SCTE 90-1, SCTE Application Platform Standard OCAP 1.0 Profile, in 2007. DSS will tackle DOCSIS 3.0, and DVS will continue revising the Emergency Alert Standard and digital insertion standards (SCTE 30-35).

As always, the SCTE Web site offers free downloads of all its standards. Also available is a project register, detailing standards activity for 2006. It can be accessed from the Standards home page.

The site also shows what your colleagues are the most interested in. There is a "top 10" list of standards, that includes, incidentally, SCTE 22-1 and SCTE 79-1, the parts of DOCIS 1.0 and DOCSIS 2.0 that deal with Radio Frequency Interface.

– Monta Hernon

The Daily

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