Traditionally the CATV Operator has had the option of grooming the signals carried over their plants. Applications have included arranging the RF channel line-up, the logical channel line-up, Conditional Access tiering and local ad insertion.
Digital material is carried within MPEG Transport Streams, each with multiple services. Without the ability to separate those services the CATV Operator is faced with a choice between two undesirable options: surrendering control of many of these options to a remote satellite content provider, or paying for their own real-time MPEG encoding.
However there is a third option. MPEG Transport Streams can be managed in the headend, without decompression or recompression. With the techniques described the CATV Operator will once again have the tools to exercise per-service control over packaging the material carried on their network.
Techniques covered include selecting material from incoming MPEG Transport Streams, creating new MPEG Transport Streams from a mixture of remote and/or local sources, adding data and other services using the same downstream RF channels, and handling of local ad insertion in the digital domain.