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Service Information Delivered Out-Of-Band For Digital Cable Television

This SCTE standard's Profile 6 is somewhat analogous to PSIP, the simularly numbered ATSC A/65 system informaton (Program and System Information for Broadcast and Cable) specification.  For the longest time, there were few to zero cable set top boxes capable of making use of this protocol, in favor of proprietary or Java-based interactive cable programming guides.  However, due in no small part to SCTE-65 being referenced for tru2way interactive devices, an increasing number of cable set top boxes have embraced SCTE-65.


The rest of this page only addresses SCTE-65 Profile 6.


While there are significant differences to the ATSC specification, several of the metadata tables specified in SCTE 65 are identical in format to the corresponding ATSC PSIP tables.  As a practical matter, SCTE-65 uses a base_pid of 8188/0x01FFC, where PSIP uses the base_pid of 8187/0x1FFB. The L-VCT (longform virtual channel table) in SCTE-65 is identical in syntax and semantics to the Cable Virtual Channel Table in PSIP, it just travels on pid 8188 instead of 8187.


The main differences between SCTE-65 and PSIP are that the former uses Aggregate Event Information Tables and Aggregate Extended Text Tables rather than PSIP's Event Information Tables and Extended Text Tables.  Also, the structure and repetition cycles of the respective System Time Tables differ and there are additional table_type code point in the Master Guide Table.  The same Master Guide Table that suffices for PSIP can also be included in SCTE-65 when the presence of SCTE-65 Profile 6 tables are included.


However, not all the semantics for tables and descriptors in SCTE-65 exactly match those in ATSC A/65 PSIP.  In some cases, this has to do with the documents being edited on different time scales, but other differences are quite intentional.  Besides the SCTE-65 system time table having a different form than the STT in PSIP, the former accounts for daylight savings quite differently than does PSIP (while using the same data elements and mechanism to signal daylight savings time.)


In addition the form of the Program Map Table specified in SCTE-65 is effectively indentical to the "cable version" of the PMT specified in PSIP for "cable."


The latest version of the SCTE-65 standard can be found here: (2008)


All EtherGuide Systems broadcast metadata generators offer dynamic, isochronous SCTE-65 (Profile 6) output alongside ATSC A/65 (PSIP) output.  EtherGuide Systems is relatively confident in saying that we provide the first metadata generator with this capability.

Please contact EtherGuide Systems for more details.  


This page was last modified on August 12, 2010.


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