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Video: SCTE 224 Primer, Part 4: What's Next

Learn more about live linear channels at the next Live Streaming Summit.

Watch the complete video of this panel, LS105: Live Streaming Spotlight: Dead Air is Not an Option, in the Streaming Media Conference Video Portal.

Read the complete transcript of this clip:

Stuart Kurkowski: So, that's kind of where we're at today in the world of SCTE 224 and where our content providers are and where our distribution partners are. So what's coming next? One of the things that people figured out is, now that they've figured out how to program starts and program ends, the next logical step is all those other breaks that come in our content. That really centers around ad support.

If I can get 14 days’ worth of program starts and ends, if you can also add your ad break data in there for me, I can also see where the breaks are coming up over the next 14 days. In theory, the business folks could tie to that and start doing sales of where the local ad avails are versus other ones.

There's a second part of this ad support that's just now coming in, and if you saw the latest version of SCTE 224, which just came out about a month ago, there's a bunch of examples added in for ad support where I can identify my national ads and what's in those ad breaks, so that when you get a local ad we can do ad exclusion, things like that.

If I just played a national Ford ad, then at your local break you could look at information and say I don't want to play a Honda ad or something, or maybe I want to play a local Ford dealer ad that ties to the previous one, things like that. You can do a lot of that now in the ad break information, just like we could control the program starts and ends, now we can look at that for ad break information, I think the sky's the limit as we start to add ad information in there.

The big burden on ad one is obviously on the people producing the streams. They got to be able to convey that information. Often times they don't know that until right before the show ends, not 14 days out. Trying to get ahead of that is the issue, but the mechanics and the mechanisms and the templates and things are there to make that happen.

Second is advanced auditing. Auditing is a big one for the content providers because they're kind of letting the ropes loose over the IRD traditionally. How we audit that, we push the rope a little bit in the newest version of SCTE 224 where we're mandating some things on the distant end for people to be able to audit, and query the decision manager and things like that is very difficult.

If you have a particular feed and it hits a distribution partner that's device-based and zip code-based, that feed can turn into multiple different scenarios, different combinations of device and zip code and location. It could be also unique for each content provider, so I can't just say how many streams did you produce? Did you spread that into 10 streams? You might only have audiences in nine of the 10 combinations, and so if you missed one is that bad on you or is it just because you didn't have anybody in that category.

Auditing is still an issue that we're looking at. Also, then how do we streamline these video workflows. If I'm a content provider that's pitching you this live content and I'm also giving you all the ADIs and all that kind of stuff so that you can do live-to-VOD capture and have everything you need added instantly to your VOD library, that streamlines a lot of workflows, but it also means that you have to have confidence in that feed and be able to do all that before you're ever going to turn off your VOD pitch.

So, streamlining those workflows is definitely something that's coming. Then, another one is really the support for satellite-to-terrestrial distribution. A lot of folks are already doing terrestrial distribution, but some of the big broadcasters are still slow, and we're starting to see several of them know that are coming off of satellite contracts, not renewing satellite contracts, things like that.

For them to be able to transition from that controlled world of IRDs and steering and tuning off the satellite to a terrestrial delivery where I give you all of my content in one big pipe, that takes some confidence on their part.

Being able to work through that process, there are obviously great benefits. You can get a higher-quality video. I can give you mezz feeds and things like that I can't do off the satellite. I think the gradual part, is the waiting for “I'm not going to do anything as a distribution partner until the content providers give it to me and vice versa.” We've broken through that deadlock and so now I think you see that there's a lot of SCTE 224 things flowing, and like I say, we're seeing content providers come to us saying, “I want to be able to give 224 to my partners and I want full 224 to decorate my streams.”

We're also seeing partners come to us saying, “Hey, I want this content from this content provider, but I want it to have 224 in it, and pull that through.” I think we've broken through that to where sudden now is the talk with 224, and then these things will be coming soon to add on top of it, which will definitely make it the cornerstone of delivering those instructions.

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