Both S&T's SoftOC and TSBroadcaster build MPEG-2 transport streams containing OCAP or other iTV applications, but they are designed for very different purposes:
SoftOC is a fine-grain tool which gives the user substantial flexibility over the structure and content of the transport streams it creates. SoftOC generates a stream of MPEG-2 transport stream packets whose payload consists of one or more encoded DSM-CC object or data carousels along with the associated PSI and SI sections. It is primarily designed to assist in receiver testing and is driven by an XML script file.
As a consequence, SoftOC is a core component of CableLabs's Automatic Test Environment (OCAP ATE). The Test Manager of the OCAP ATE generates XML appropriate to control the test transport streams generated by SoftOC.
TSBroadcaster is GUI-driven package designed for deployment of ETV and OCAP applications in the lab or from a live headend. It's features include automatic scheduled play-out of applications, real time updates to application data, bandwidth allocation, creation/definition/play-out of multiple transport streams and n+1 redundancy with automatic failover. TSBroadcaster also includes full OCAP unbound application and OCAP Common Download support.
Both products use TSPlayer for multiplexing and play-out and are written in Java. TSBroadcaster is tightly integrated with TSPlayer.
Both SoftOC and TSBroadcaster can be installed on the same TSPlayer system if required.
SoftOC has the ability to create generic tables and descriptors. You can use this feature to create tables and descriptors with syntax errors which is extremely useful for receiver testing.
SoftOC can use generic table to add proprietary tables, defined as hexadecimal, a string or from a file.
Easy integration of SoftOC with test environments, such as the MHP and OCAP ATEs.
TSBroadcaster puts all object carousel data on one PID, for each object carousel; whereas SoftOC can split an OC over many PIDS (e.g. 100), with an unlikely MPEG section size (e.g. 50 byte) to test receiver edge conditions.
It is very easy to add a new application to a TSBroadcaster play-out. The process of building an application set and adding it to the play-out takes around 2 minutes. The same process with SoftOC takes longer and requires careful editing of the XML control file.