OpenTV, RGB Partner to Enable Standards-Based Real-Time Localization of Ads via Digital Overlays

--Arris Appoints OpenTV Vice Chairman, Jim Chiddix, to its Board of Directors

Interactive TV and advanced advertising technology provider, OpenTV, and network video processing specialist, RGB Networks, announced Monday that they have developed a demonstration that shows how cable operators can use a combination of the companies' standards-based advertising-related products to generate new revenues from their video-on-demand and linear programming.

The companies' joint solution is comprised of RGB's Broadcast Network Processor (BNP) and OpenTV's campaign-management platform. According to the companies, it allows operators to digitally overlay video, graphics or text onto ads or directly within programs. They claim that, based on the SCTE-35 and SCTE-130 standards, RGB's overlay capability, combined with OpenTV's real-time insertion and campaign management capabilities, gives operators several new advertising options, including 1) the ability to "localize" national ads by adding locally relevant information (for example, individual cable systems could add in real time the addresses and other promotional information for local franchises to a single, nationally broadcast ad, the companies say); 2) the ability to use overlays themselves as ads that can be added to live or on-demand programming (because the ads would appear within actual programs, they could not be skipped and would not interrupt viewing, the companies say); and 3) the ability to use overlays as triggers for interactive/telescoping ads. "We are moving beyond the traditional 30-second spot and opening up new advertising possibilities for cable operators," Bruce Dilger, VP of research and development and chief architect for advanced advertising at OpenTV, said in a prepared statement. "The combination of OpenTV's campaign management with RGB's overlay technology demonstrates a new breed of advertising product that is inherently addressable and audience focused. It's exciting to apply these new, flexible standards to achieve dynamic, localized ad insertions that enhance the viewer's experience while expanding the opportunities for advertisers." Added RGB's director of product marketing, Jeff Tyre: "Combining ad insertion, digital overlay and extremely high stream processing density, our Broadcast Network Processor gives cable operators unprecedented abilities to easily and continually localize ads based on location, language and other factors to generate new ad revenues."

The companies say that, while local advertising is a significant business for US cable operators (which are said to have earned over $4.3 billion from it last year), the extensive post-production work traditionally required in order to localize ads dramatically increases costs and limits the number of advertisers that can take advantage of it. They claim that the digital overlay capability of RGB's BNP can overcome this limitation, making it easy for operators to localize ads in real time. OpenTV's campaign-management technology works as an integrated solution with the BNP, the companies say, to manage and provide real-time ad decision rules based on selected ad type against the appropriate audience addressing criteria.

In related news: Arris, a company which last month announced that it had teamed with OpenTV to create a turnkey digital advertising solution, dubbed "Ad Insertion In A Box," for cable operators and telcos (see article published on, May 28th), announced last week that it has appointed OpenTV's former chairman and CEO and current vice chairman, seminal cable-industry figure Jim Chiddix, to its board of directors. Chiddix, who was formerly Time Warner Cable's CTO and president of its interactive video group, led the TWC team that conceived, developed and implemented the hybrid fiber/coax (HFC) broadband network architecture now used in cable systems worldwide; was a contributor to the DOCSIS cable modem standard; and oversaw TWC's development of VOD and digital television services.

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