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Terayon Adds Features to ‘CherryPicker’

Terayon Communication Systems Inc. has added two new software features to its “DM 6400 Network CherryPicker” aimed at making digital advertising insertion more efficient.

The first allows operators to convert legacy dual-tone multifrequency (DTMF) cue tones into the digital tones inside the CherryPicker.

The second enables MSOs to connect ad servers via gigabit Ethernet, allowing for the efficient exchange of ads over longer distances.

Many of the existing cue tones deployed by cable networks use the DTMF frequency, Terayon director of product marketing Mark Jeffrey said. Typically, a network feed is sent to an encoder for video/audio encoding, while the DTMF cue tone is sent to the ad server for conversion to an SCTE-30 splice command.

By adding new software, the video/audio encoding and SCTE-30 splice command is handled by the CherryPicker, which also converts the SCTE-30 command to an SCTE-35 cue tone.

“The SCTE-35 cue tone is embedded and the program is primed,” Jeffery said. This method ensures picture quality by removing the traditional decode/re-encode procedure that increases cost, lowers picture quality and has more points of failure.

Jeffery contended that gigabit Ethernet is an improvement over existing architectures. With traditional ASI distribution networks, ad servers and ad splicers have to be co-located at the master headend, he said, with the same setup replicated at the hubs at the edge of operators’ networks for local ad insertion.

The gigabit-Ethernet model reduces overall network complexity by allowing for the centralization of ad content, he added, optimizing the number of ad servers required.

“You can manage them all from one place,” he said. “You can centralize ad servers, traffic and billing. This is proven in the enterprise space.”

Terayon is working with its cable customers, including Comcast Corp., in testing the new software, according to Jeffery.