The Society of Cable Telecommunications Engineers (SCTE) announced the publication of three new industry technical standards that provide cable operators with new reliability tools to ensure, measure, and improve the customer experience.

These recommended practices are the first in a planned series of standards designed to provide a common method to verify the health of digital cable networks.

Developed under the auspices of SCTE’s HFC Management Subcommittee (HMS), the new SCTE 168 standards describe a framework to manage network components end-to-end by providing information to operators. This data will allow monitoring of network performance with the aim of making multimedia over IP, QAM, ASI, and other network elements visible throughout the signal chain, from headend to customer.
The three announced standards are:

SCTE 168-4 2010 Recommended Practice for Transport Stream Verification Metrics. This Recommended Practice provides a common methodology for defining the measurement points and “quality” metrics of interest in digital cable networks that impair the compressed multimedia (video/audio/data) quality.

SCTE 168-6 2010 Recommended Practice for Monitoring Multimedia Distribution Quality. The scope of this Recommended Practice document is to provide background and discussion on Multimedia Management (MMM) system requirements to assist the cable operator with MMM deployment design tradeoffs and provide guidance and recommendations on several topics related to the deployment of MMM systems. These recommendations are based on the experiences of the participating system operators and vendor companies.

SCTE 168-7 2010 Recommended Practice for Transport Stream Verification in an IP Transport Network. This document describes the protocols within the IP network and the possible IP layer causes of media impairments but does not provide metrics that correlate specific IP failures to media impairments. Industry-accepted metrics have been provided for IP packet loss, delay and jitter.

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