SCTE-104 and SCTE-35 digital marks in the federal programs of the REN-TV channel

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Since April 2014, signals of 5 zonal federal programs of the REN-TV channel will contain (in test mode) the SCTE-35 digital data. The SCTE-104 marks as a part of SDI signals and SCTE-35 marks as a part of transport streams are the element of technology for automated insert of commercials and contain the control information for the regional broadcasting systems of a new generation, that allow automatic implementing of incuts into the transport streams of the federal multiplexes.


The SCTE-104 data is formed in the 12th line of the VANC interval of the output SD/HD SDI signal from SL NEO SkyLark servers that are the basis for the automated broadcasting complex of the REN-TV channel. Matrix switches, DSK keyers and backup switchers, placed by the scheme "after the broadcasting servers", have the function of the "pass-through" passage the VBI-data: it makes possible broadcasting SCTE-104 marks from the broadcasting servers to the program SDI-outputs of the on-air equipment-room.


MPEG-coders that receive the formed program SDI signals, receive information about the 104-marks and form an additional PID in every transport stream, depending on the SCTE-35 protocol. Using the SCTE marks in the transport streams, extended to the broadcasting territory of the channel, allows the regional systems to identify the received program, every event of the incut, to define with frame-by-frame accuracy the time of beginning and the end of the incut and implement the changeover to the advertising block with the specified ID.   


Besides, using the SCTE marks serves for providing confidentiality and security from the unauthorized incut of commercials. Regional broadcasting systems that use the technology of automatic incut, may function in the autonomous unattended mode: it considerably decreases the exploitation costs.


The SCTE-104 marks are generated, as a rule, directly before the transitions to commercials and before the end of every regional block. In case of "manual" changeovers to commercials during the on-air broadcasting at the central station, the possibility of generating marks with frame-by-frame accuracy is also saved.


The SL NEO platform software was improved especially for this task: the software at the broadcasting platform was updated. Extension of the system functionality hasn't required using the external hardware inserters of the additional digital data in the output SDI (it has essentially decreased the costs). Besides, the possibilities of the SL NEO platform software allow reading off the data for generating marks directly from the playlist columns (up to 10 SCTE-104/35 parameters, including splice_event_id - the identifier of the advertising block), which may not be implemented by using the external hardware inserters with GPI-interfaces.


Except the marks, the possibilities of SL NEO software allow operative sending (in the on-line mode, with frame-by-frame accuracy) the information from the executed playlists of 5 federal REN-TV channels to the "Video International" servers - including data about the current and next events, the time of start of main and "subordinate" graphic events, flags that forbid broadcast of the regional graphics during the commercials. This function, besides sending the additional data, is also a reserve for the SCTE marks: if the satellite signal gets worse, the regional commercials will be broadcasted in any case.


The companies "REN-TV", "SkyLark Technology" and "Video International" jointly implement the current project and are the innovators, because the technology of using only broadcasting servers for generating marks without the external "tying" and sending the dynamically changing data to the regional broadcasting systems, using 2 independent channel, is implemented in Russia for the first time.