SeaChange, Civolution partner on premium VOD watermarking

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3 Nov 2010
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SeaChange is partnering with Civolution to offer NexGuard forensic watermarking for premium video-on-demand (VOD), which has been launched by DirecTV and is expected to be rolled out by Comcast and Time Warner Cable soon.

Operators are launching the "Home Premiere" service to offer movies within just 60 days of theatrical release, charging as much as $30 per rental for the early home access to films. The idea is to bolster home VOD against the likes of Netflix, which has to wait 28 days after DVD release to stream a film.

Studios are however nervous about cannibalising box-office revenue and piracy, and have put the watermarking requirement in place as a condition of granting access to early window content. The watermark detects suspected pirate video samples, and helps content rights owners to identify the source of piracy with a fast turn-around in case of content theft. Civolution VOD watermarks can be automatically detected without the need for original content.

"NexGuard forensic watermarking solutions are already in operations worldwide in digital cinema systems, hospitality markets and direct to home (DTH) satellite operations," said Alex Terpstra, CEO for Civolution. "The technology is proven and meets the studios requirements for Home Premiere content, released ahead of DVD and Blu-ray Disc. The combined solution will help SeaChange customers worldwide to launch attractive new services in their existing or new VOD platforms for cable and TV everywhere.''

The NexGuard application for cable VOD includes a content pre-processing phase to ensure ease of integration, scalability and utmost performance upon streaming in MPEG-2 or H.264. To offer the most efficient operations upon content ingest this pre-processing is available either as a plug-in for transcoders or as a transparent standalone application able to pre-process content already prepared for cable distribution.

The solution is designed to be compatible with any VOD streaming server and all CAS and DRM encryption systems. The watermark embedding is performed on a per-VOD transaction basis upon streaming the content to the viewer by SeaChange or third party VOD servers.
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