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Voluntary Standards Cover the Spectrum: from Visual Acuity Charts to Multimedia Distribution Quality

In an effort to communicate the vital role that standards play in daily life, the American National Standards Institute (ANSI) will publish, on an ongoing basis, a series of snapshots of the diverse standards initiatives undertaken in the global and national standards arena, many of which are performed by ANSI members and ANSI-accredited standards developers. Two of the latest selections follow:

Visual Acuity Charts
Students across the country are once again gearing up for a new school year. To give kids the greatest chance for academic success, optometrists recommend they get an annual eye exam before heading back to the classroom. The most commonly used tool to test vision is a visual acuity chart using optotypes - uniquely shaped letters, numbers, or geometric symbols of varying sizes. ANSI Z80.21-2010, Ophthalmics - Instruments - General-Purpose Clinical Visual Acuity Charts, is a recently published standard that helps to ensure that vision tests utilizing such visual acuity charts are accurate.

Published by ANSI organizational member and accredited standards developer The Vision Council, ANSI Z80.21-2010 applies to displays of optotypes for all clinical visual acuity measurement systems that use recognition of high-contrast optotypes, including those printed on opaque media, intended for transillumination, electronically generated, or on projected displays. This American National Standard (ANS) does not apply to special testing of visual acuity such as low-vision or low-contrast charts.

Dedicated to enhancing life through better vision, The Vision Council represents the manufacturers and suppliers of the optical industry through advocacy and the promotion of quality vision care products and services in the global community. The non-profit membership organization offers research and training to the industry, and serves as a liaison with consumers, providing education about the importance of vision care and the options in vision care products.

Multimedia Distribution Quality
As digital broadband technologies continue to evolve, operators face an increasingly competitive multimedia distribution landscape. In order to remain competitive, providers need to increase operations efficiency and achieve high levels of customer satisfaction to gain new customers and minimize subscriber attrition. A recently released standard from the Society of Cable Telecommunications Engineers (SCTE), an ANSI organizational member and accredited standards developer, arms cable operators with a cohesive strategy and new reliability tools to ensure, measure, and improve the customer experience.

ANSI/SCTE 168-6 2010, Recommended Practice for Monitoring Multimedia Distribution Quality, provides background and discussion on Multimedia Management (MMM) system requirements to assist the cable operator with MMM deployment design tradeoffs. This ANS also provides guidance and recommendations on several topics related to the deployment of MMM systems based on the experiences of participating committee operators, vendor companies, and the ongoing work of the SCTE Hybrid Fiber Coax (HFC) Management Subcommittee (HMS). ANSI/SCTE 168-6 2010 topics include integrated and independent monitoring strategies; recommendations for quality and service assurance data acquisition, visualization, reporting, and export; and MMM system security considerations. The document is intended to provide guidance to operators who are planning to deploy or are currently deploying MMM systems, and can be used with information provided in other HMS MMM documents.

SCTE is a non-profit, professional association that provides technical leadership for the telecommunications industry, serving its members through excellence in professional development, standards, certification, and information. SCTE works to enhance the careers of technical employees, as well as to provide operators with a well-trained workforce for more efficient systems leading to economic benefits and an improved customer experience.


Jana Zabinski

Senior Director, Communications & Public Relations


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Beth Goodbaum

Journalist/Communications Specialist


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