Digital video compression is poised for initial CATV deployment in 1994. An important consideration for the cable operator contemplating the deployment of the new digital technology is the interoperability of different vendors' compression systems. Interoperability offers the potential advantages of interworking between different vendors' equipment, increased maintainability and reduced maintenance costs. Most significant is the creation of an extensible digital infrastructure that can readily support future interactive, networking applications.
This paper outlines the major areas that must be addressed to provide interoperability in an end-to-end compression system: the types of video and audio compression employed, specification of transport formats and transmission system characteristics (including signaling channels) for various media (e.g., satellite, coax, fiber), access control and encryption, and equipment interfaces and interconnection protocols.