Cable Show 2010: Canoe To Float Interactive, VOD Ad Demos

Complete coverage of Cable Show 2010 from Multichannel News and B&C

Canoe Ventures will roll out the first public looks at two key projects from inside its boathouse at the 2010 Cable Show in Los Angeles next week.
The company, the joint venture of six largest U.S. cable companies, will show off an initial interactive TV advertising feature publicly for the first time at the show, as well as how it expects to deliver dynamic video-on-demand ads nationwide.
The show floor's Canoe Channel, at channel position 1200, will comprise short videos with commercial breaks featuring Canoe's request-for-information application template. The demo, to be housed in the My World exhibit, will trigger mocked-up RFIs during spots -- including PSAs for Autism Speaks and Broadband for America, and a History Channel promo -- that let viewers request a brochure.

The Canoe demo is being powered by a special-purpose headend Time Warner Cable is setting up at the Los Angeles Convention Center. "It's a real EBIF application being sent by Time Warner specifically for the show," Canoe chief technology officer Arthur Orduna said.

Canoe anticipates commercially launching the RFI service within the next two months with one unnamed cable network. That will deliver a national RFI campaign that let subscribers request coupons, product samples or information to be sent in the mail. Canoe has been field-testing the interactive template, which is based on CableLabs' Enhanced TV Binary Interchange Format, with all MSO members since late 2009.
"We've tested the RFI template with all the commercially deployed EBIF UAs [user agents] and across multiple classes of set-tops," Orduna said. Canoe's demo at the Cable Show will use a higher-end TWC set-top capable of displaying 8-bit graphics, but the EBIF apps also can run on low-powered cable boxes such as the Motorola DCT 2000.
In addition to the RFI app, Canoe will stage a multivendor demonstration in the CableNET exhibit area that shows dynamic insert of different ads into VOD content. That demo will use the SCTE 130 standard for ad insertion as well as CableLabs' Stewardship & Fulfillment Interfaces spec.
"It's to prove that Canoe can work with national programmers and their non-linear inventory, and steward a national campaign across multiple MSO systems," Orduna said.
The dynamic VOD ad-insertion project is being developed at Canoe's Innovation Lab in Centennial, Colo. Vendors working in the lab's prototype-only environment, established with CableLabs to test prototypes of future applications, include Cisco Systems, OpenTV, Ericsson, Motorola and This Technology LLC.
The Cable Show demo will feature VOD ads being served in two ways: one in which the campaign execution is handled by the MSO at the local level through its ad decision server; and another in which Canoe handles the execution at a national level.
Canoe was formed in 2008 by Comcast, Time Warner Cable, Cox Communications, Charter Communications, Cablevision Systems and Bright House Networks. The company this month is moving to new office space in New York City.