Edgeware tracks pirates with new forensic watermarking solution

Edgeware, the pioneer of TV-specific content delivery networks, has integrated ContentArmor’s bitstream-based forensic watermarking solution into its TV CDN technology. The functionality can be deployed for IPTV and OTT services and will be demonstrated for the first time at IBC2017 on Edgeware’s stand – 14.F15. 

This new capability is built on ContentArmor’s bitstream-based watermarking system. Its forensic watermarking technology inserts information into the video bitstream in an intelligent way that makes it invisible to the viewer, yet makes its robust enough to withstand video transformations such as recompression and cropping.

Integrating this into Edgeware’s TV CDN technology means every stream can have a different code embedded at the edge of the network without any extra processing, resulting in each viewer having their own identifiable version of the content.

“Our integration with Edgeware’s TV CDN architecture demonstrates the key advantages of bitstream watermarking in Edge servers” says ContentArmor’s vp of sales & marketing, Eric Benetiere. “It allows content owners to put in place an anti-piracy measure that’s more efficient than other options, as it doesn’t require any additional versions of the show to be distributed through the CDN (content delivery network). It’s harder to erase and means content owners can quickly identify specific sources of illegally shared programs.”

“Content piracy existed long before TV and movies were available online. But selling pirated VHS tapes and DVDs on street corners was higher risk and cost more,” says Edgeware CMO Richard Brandon. “Now it’s relatively simple to re-stream live content as it’s transmitting. This ease of access to illegal content is why it’s so vital that watermarking solutions are integrated within delivery networks, especially if they’re purposely built for delivering TV.”

The Alliance for Creativity and Entertainment (ACE) – a global coalition dedicated to protecting the legal market for content and reducing online piracy – announced that last year there was an estimated 5.4 billion downloads of pirated films and television shows worldwide. UFC’s CEO has stated to US congress that his anti-piracy team uncovered 271 illegal streams of just one UFC (Ultimate Fighting Championship) event which served over 140,000 viewers.

“Illegitimate content distribution harms the interests of all in the value chain – the broadcaster, content rights owners, the Pay TV or OTT video operator as well as the genuine subscribers,” says Vidya S Nath, research director, Digital Media, at analyst firm Frost & Sullivan. “In a multimedia world, it’s pertinent to have a system in place that helps trace the origin of theft and captures the trail through the network to clamp down on pirates.”

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