Advanced Television

Video watermarking boost for Dynamic Ad Insertion

January 3, 2020

Standards-based watermarking solutions provider Verance has confirmed the availability of video watermark technology as part of its Aspect platform.

The Aspect video watermark provides a high-performance, commercial implementation of the ATSC video watermark specification. It brings enhanced capabilities to the Aspect audio watermark that has already been deployed by major broadcasters in the United States, including FOX, NBC and PBS. Both the audio and video watermarks support multiple standards and work in today’s ATSC 1.0 broadcast environment.

Together, Aspect audio and video watermarking solutions empower programmers with a highly robust and reliable solution to activate Dynamic Ad Insertion (DAI) at the lowest cost and with the highest reach of viewers, creating a path to maximise addressable advertising revenue. According to Verance, key features of Aspect watermarking include:

  • 100 per cent Reach: Capable of activating DAI across all devices and distribution paths.
  • Cost-Efficient: 10x cheaper than comparable, fingerprint-based solutions.
  • Match Rate: 100 per cent positive identification of live and time-shifted content, distinguishing between DVR playback and VoD.
  • Frame-Accurate Timing: Enables the announcement, discovery, insertion and synchronisation of ads with 1/500th of a second of timing accuracy.
  • Psychovisual Imperceptibility: Tuned to be invisible to the viewer.
  • Broad Functionality: Interoperable with existing and future DAI services including ATSC, HbbTV/DVB-Targeted Advertising & Project OAR.

Both watermarks allow the information required for DAI activation in a television set to pass through any distribution environment seamlessly, including over HDMI links and through existing distribution equipment and set-top boxes. Without watermarking, viewers receiving television service via cable, satellite and over-the-top distribution paths (over 80 per cent of current US households) will be unable to receive dynamically addressable advertising.

In trick play, a feature of digital video systems including DVRs and VoD systems, the video watermark complements the audio watermark. When trick play features such as fast-forward and rewind are activated and the audio is muted, the video watermark allows televisions to capture station identifier and time code information and insert a replacement ad with frame-level accuracy.

“The pairing of Aspect audio and video watermarks provides our programming and ecosystem partners with an accelerated path to capture revenue from addressable advertising,” advised Joe Winograd, Executive Vice President & Chief Technology Officer for Verance, explained. “Together, they provide superior reach, reliability and performance capabilities, which is precisely why the ATSC and HbbTV standards include specifications for both watermarks.”

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