With Congress pushing off the DTV transition date until June 12, US cable operators have a little extra time to make sure their networks are really ready. North American broadcasters are migrating to SCTE-21 Closed Caption services. An immediate issue that operators may not be aware of is that several legacy set-top boxes are not able to support SCTE-21. The migration of those set-tops could lead to the need for a very costly mass replacement of devices currently in service. Alternatively, a network-based video processing solution can be employed that supports SCTE-21 to SCTE-20 conversion. Fortunately, RGB Networks offers such a solution through our Broadcast Network Processor (BNP).
Currently, the BNP offers the industry’s most advanced video processing platform with very high scalability for key applications such as grooming, statistical multiplexing, transrating and digital ad insertion. A critical new feature is the ability to convert SCTE-21 Closed Caption formatting into SCTE-20 formatting. This will enable cable operators in delivering Closed Caption services on older set-top boxes that don’t support SCTE-21.
Since new digital TVs support SCTE-21, while high definition set-top boxes and new standard definition set-top boxes can handle both SCTE-21 and SCTE-20, both SCTE-20 and SCTE-21 services will need to be supported in the cable network for some time to come. With support for both standards and the addition of SCTE-21 to SCTE-20 conversion, RGB’s BNP enables operators to continue Closed Captioning through the DTV transition without the massive cost of upgrading legacy set-top boxes or the loss of service to Closed Caption subscribers.
If you have questions, please contact us.