Ad Insertion Enters the Digital Domain

A research group comprised of cable companies said it has completed its first
public demonstration of interoperable digital-program-insertion software and
hardware at Louisville, Colo.-based Cable Television Laboratories Inc.

The demonstration is part of a plan to standardize how cable operators offer
local advertising on their digital tiers.

Spearheaded by the Society of Cable Telecommunications Engineers'
digital-video subcommittee and one of its working groups, the exhibition tested
two digital ad-insertion standards: 'DVS 253,' which covers the cable-based
DPI-cueing message; and 'DVS 380,' an application-programming interface for DPI
splicing. That API is designed to enable ad insertion to be interoperable and

The DVS subcommittee's working group No. 5 has worked on those standards for
about three years.

Within that group, Motorola Broadband Communications Sector and
Scientific-Atlanta Inc. contributed encoders and cue injectors; nCUBE and
SeaChange International Inc. provided digital advertising servers; and Cisco
Systems Inc., Harmonic Inc. and Terayon Communication Systems Inc. provided
digital splicing and grooming gear.

The DPI 'will have a profound impact on our business in the Los Angeles
market,' working group No. 5 chairman and Adlink chief technology officer Paul
Woidke said in a press release.

Adlink -- a digital interconnect that reaches more than 3.4 million homes
across 80 cable systems -- generated about $130 million in revenue last