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Terayon Pushes Targeted Ad Tech for Cable, Satellite, Telco

Video networking supplier Terayon Communication Systems has introduced three new graphical processing applications that will help cable, satellite and telcos operators deliver targeted advertising.

Static Graphic Overlay, Motion Graphic Overlay and SqueezeBack—are applications that allow video service providers to insert programming, information, and advertising into content in real-time while staying within the compressed MPEG-2 domain. They are designed to work with existing Terayon products that help operators deliver tailored “bouquets” of digital channels to their customers.

“They give the ability to customize or localize the content to make it more interesting or more relevant to their DMA,” says Buddy Snow, head of product marketing for Terayon. “These types of things are not new to the world. But in terms of techniques, we’re the first people to do it within the compressed MPEG domain. Previously you had to decompress, and then recompress, the signal to do it.”

Snow says the new applications, currently being tested at a handful of cable and satellite companies, are derived from MPEG-2-compliant channel branding systems that Terayon developed for Fox’s broadcast stations as part of the network’s HDTV launch. Those “splicing” systems let stations insert local bugs and ID’s without having to decompress Fox’s MPEG-2 network feed.

“It went over really well for Fox and a lot of people said, 'Wow, this is great stuff,' ” says Snow.

Examples of features that the new applications can provide include on-screen “bugs” that identify networks and stations; static overlays that localize commercials with specific pricing, retailer information and promotions; insertion of video “tags” at the beginning or end of an advertisement to localize an ad originally designed for a broader audience; regional or local sports and business information services utilizing real-time, dynamically updated data, crawls, picture-in-picture displays, and other motion graphics; creation of on-screen “real-estate,” including L-Bars and side panels, that are populated with static and/or motion graphics for branding, information or advertising; and Emergency Alert System (EAS) information.

The applications are due for commercial launch this quarter. While they currently only work for standard-definition MPEG-2, Snow says that high-definition and MPEG-4 versions are “in the road map.”