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Originally featured on BroadcastEngineering.com
Mar 31

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3/31/2009 7:00 AM  RssIcon

tandberg-tv.jpgCable operators have for years tried to implement targeted advertising. This year, TANDBERG Television (exhibiting at NAB booth SU5108) has both a new product and a technology demonstration that appear to support that goal. Both solutions can be viewed in the TANDBERG Television booth at this year’s show.

Let’s first look at their new product. It is called WatchPoint CMS. This is a content management system that’s designed to give service providers centralized control over a wide range of content and how that content is used. The system permits service operators to see and manage all aspects of content, including transcoding, metadata normalization, CA and targeted distribution —all with a uniform and centralized user interface. With WatchPoint CMS, operators can increase their operational efficiency, minimize deployment costs, reduce errors, decrease content processing costs and easily expand VOD services to new platforms. The system can lower facility OPEX by driving all the needed tasks through a rules-based management interface. What’s not to like about that?

A facility’s file-based content typically includes VOD, advertising, music and games, all of which operators want to monetize on new platforms like the Internet and mobile. Unfortunately, supporting these new services and platforms makes content management even harder, not only because of the sheer increase in content volume, but because these new platforms have different metatadata, middleware and signal requirements. The solution lies in a new way to manage the required processing.

Andrew Rowe, TANDBERG Television’s vice president of Software Product Management, said the solution allows service providers to both automate virtually any content flow processes and expand those processes to support new capabilities and platforms without requiring new resources. “The system enables easy expansion and a scalable infrastructure to support efficient multiscreen outputs,” he said.

One example of where the new technology is especially appropriate is that of targeted advertising for time-shifted programs. This might include VOD or other user-demand services. WatchPoint CMS allows operators to monetize those time-shifted shows not only with just advertising, but also targeted advertising.

This is where TANDBERG Television’s new technology demonstration comes in. The company will demonstrate dynamic ad insertion into multiple live, time-shifted program streams. Through the combination of the company’s Xport Time-Shifted TV (TSTV ) and AdPoint’s Advanced Advertising Platform, the demonstration will insert commercials on a live basis to targeted demographics.

Using AdPoint’s Campaign Manager in conjunction with the TSTV solution, a cable or satellite system can dynamically insert a targeted advertisement into user-requested content. AdPoint permits on-demand advertising over multiple platforms, and the ads can be targeted across any variety of demographic-based audiences. Key for sports applications, the solution simplifies the complex process of managing the recording and rebroadcast rights in a time-shifted environment.

Operators control this complex process either from a centralized location, or they can delegate control to distributed locations. This solution blends business rules and metadata to control which programs can be recorded and when they can be viewed in on a time-shifted basis.

Rowe emphasized that TANDBERG Television was developing these new services to support the service operators’ need to monetize new ad opportunities, while simultaneously controlling operating costs. “There is an explosive growth in content and this places new demands on what and how service providers store and move content to viewers,” Rowe said. “System operators want to expand not only their VOD infrastructure and capability, but they also need ways to replicate that functionality to their Internet and mobile screens,” he said. The solution allows operators to automate the required daily tasks, thereby helping them grow new profitable services without adding new resources.

That sounds good to this former engineer.

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