Set-Top Box Lexicon: Return Path Data

CIMM's Set-Top Box Data Lexicon is a compilation of terms and definitions associated with Set-Top Box data and its measurement. This Word-A-Week column highlights a term and definition from the CIMM Lexicon. It is our hope that this will help in creating a common language for Set-Top Box data usage and help expedite the roll-out of the data for its many industry applications.

We tend to use the term "Set-Top Box data" as the generic data term for all the data available in the hardware. But this is not as accurate a term as Return Path Data (also known as RPD) is to describe all of the available data possible in the stream. This is because not all the data exists solely on the box itself.

In fact, data exists in many areas of the media infrastructure - from the central server to the last edge device and intermediate points in between with data collecting in devices, gateways and clouds. For example, linear real time data is collected off the actual STB, guide user data is collected off the guide server, click stream data from the box, key stream data from the remote (any click on the remote - volume, mute, SOSO etc that does not impact linear) and interactive activity (such as VOD) are collected from other middleware. RPD data can also be collected from the network via Switched Digital software and any cloud-based data (such as a remote server DVR) is collected from the cloud.  And the gathering up of these data points from their various sources is both challenging and ever changing.



For the purposes of advancing a common language, CIMM has decided to continue to use the term Set-Top Box data as the generic, rather than the arguably more accurate term Return Path Data to describe all the data that can be extracted and used for measurement from various media software, hardware and environments. 

The official CIMM definition for RPD is:

RPD abbr Return Path Data

CIMM DEFINITION : Any data received from the return path. Data can be pulled from Set-Top Boxes, mobile, internet, networks etc.

Please refer to the CIMM Lexicon online at for additional information on these and other terms.

1 comment about "Set-Top Box Lexicon: Return Path Data ".
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  1. Mike Einstein from the Brothers Einstein, February 11, 2011 at 5:38 p.m.

    This is a joke, right? If not, perhaps you and the other good folk at CIMM should consider opening a clinic for incurable insomniacs.

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