15 Firms Participate in Addressable Ads Interoperability Event Held at CableLabs

LOUISVILLE, Colo. – CableLabs® hosted an Addressable Advertising Interfaces interoperability event during the week of November 10 at its laboratories here. The interoperability event is part of the technical support CableLabs is providing to enable new forms of advertising on cable networks.

Fifteen companies demonstrated interoperability among their products based on Society of Cable Telecommunications Engineers (SCTE) 130 standards for advanced digital advertising. This is the first time for multi-company testing held around these standards, and is also an early integration of the SCTE 130 standards with CableLabs ETV/EBIF standards for interactive television and advertising.

“We greatly appreciate the strong support and efforts by companies in this interop as well as others who are working hard to comply with our common standards,” said Paul Woidke, Senior Vice President and General Manager, Advanced Advertising for OpenTV, and Chairman of DVS/Working Group 5, the SCTE committee that is working on addressable advertising. “This is an important step in validating key technologies that will enable new forms of advertising,” added Don Dulchinos, Senior Vice President, Advanced Platforms at CableLabs.

The participating companies were ARRIS, BIAP, BlackArrow, Concurrent Computer Corporation, Ensequence, Front Porch, INVIDI, Microsoft Advertising, Motorola, OpenTV, Sigma Systems, TANDBERG Television, Part of the Ericsson Group, This Technology, UniSoft Corporation and Visible World.

The vendors’ products included advertisement campaign managers, advertising decision servers, and information systems that support subscribers, organize content, and define advertising placement opportunities. By coming together, the vendors were able to demonstrate critical components in an end-to-end process demonstrating how an advertisement can be selected, dynamically inserted into a programming stream and delivered to a digital television customer. The customer responses can then be aggregated (no personally identifiable information is exposed) and shared with either the cable operator or the advertiser.

It is the intent of CableLabs to use this interoperability event as a starting point for future activities into 2009. Vendors who have a competency in digital ad insertion, placement or management should contact Phil Bender, Senior Manager of Vendor Relations at CableLabs to participate. Using SCTE 130 as a framework, CableLabs and participating vendors plan to make further technological advances in this field and hold future interoperability events. Additional parts of the standard are nearing completion.

The week culminated with vendor demonstrations which were observed by cable operators, programming providers and ad agencies.

CableLabs’ interoperability events provide vendors with an informal, laboratory setting in which they gain the opportunity to test their latest products within CableLabs’ headends and testing environment, determine compliance with CableLabs’ specifications and the ability of their products to interoperate with other devices in an end-to-end system. CableLabs uses these events as an opportunity to improve and validate its test environment and procedures. There is no charge to participate in an OpenCable™ interoperability event.

Founded in 1988 by members of the cable television industry, Cable Television Laboratories is a non-profit research and development consortium that is dedicated to pursuing new cable telecommunications technologies and to helping its cable operator members integrate those advancements into their business objectives. Cable operators from around the world are members. CableLabs maintains web sites at www.cablelabs.com; www.packetcable.com; www.cablemodem.com; www.cablenet.org; and www.opencable.com.