Cable moved a few steps closer to developing an industry-wide common advertising platform during a set of interoperability tests at the end of last month.

CableLabs said that several combinations of equipment from various vendors that previously hadn’t been tested together turned out to operate with each other, all demonstrating the ability to perform dynamic ad insertion in VOD streams.

CableLabs said the interop was a testament to the viability of the SCTE 130 standards, which describe a set of common interfaces among the different elements of an automated ad insertion system.

CableLabs said the participants also demonstrated the integration of national and local advertising content and the delivery of specific viewer-relevant messages.

Those participants included Canoe Ventures, Avail-TVN, BlackArrow, Harris Corp., Nagra-OpenTV, SeaChange and This Technology. The vendors represented various pieces of equipment to be used in dynamic ad insertion, including ad decision managers (ADMs) and ad decision servers (ADSs).

Participants provided encoding and metadata preparation using Web-based software solutions for an inventory of entertainment content and ad spots, CableLabs announced.

The key achievements of the Interop, according to CableLabs, were:

  • The ADM and ADS systems were able to identify ad placement opportunities within a VOD listing; draw from the inventory of advertising inventory; and dynamically place the most relevant ad in either a pre-roll, mid-roll or post-roll location.
  • Placement opportunity, content and subscriber information systems were involved to select the most relevant ad to be played out to the specific subscriber.
  • Using multiple ad decision servers and a decision router, ads were dynamically placed from national, regional or local inventories as defined by the placement opportunity information.
  • A number of participant combinations were integrated for the first time during this Interop, demonstrating the value of the CableLabs SCTE 130 profile and the CableLabs Document Profile Architecture, which streamlines the testing and validation process for SCTE 130-compliant technologies by allowing developers to emulate multi-platform architectures.
  • SCTE 130 messaging was demonstrated between systems using the IPv6 addressing protocol.

“This CableLabs event demonstrated that MSOs’ systems, enabled by leading technology providers, are ready to handle national and local inventory splits for VOD advertising. This is a milestone along the path to delivering the appropriate operational support for nationally stewarded VOD advertising, which will enhance the value of the platform for programmers and advertisers alike,” said Arthur Orduna, chief product officer of Canoe Ventures.

“By coming together in the CableLabs setting, we continue to validate the SCTE 130 advertising interface standard, with a particular focus on the VOD revenue opportunities that cable operators are poised to exploit,” said Paul Woidke, chairman of the SCTE’s DVS Working Group 5 and senior vice president and general manager of advanced advertising at Nagra-OpenTV.

“By having multiple participants bring their routers, servers and other infrastructure, we were able to replicate an environment that would be valuable to a cable operator. This event demonstrated that national, regional and local advertising opportunities can be served from multiple sources and coexist within a single VOD session,” stated Rob Klippel, vice president of new products and operations at Comcast Spotlight.