Thomson is to add a forensic marking solution to its set-top boxes. The first boxes featuring NexGuard will be introduced at Germany’s CeBIT show that kicks off today, Thursday, in Hannover.
According to Thomson “the NexGuard video watermarking technology is the first to work with standard and next generation compression codecs: MPEG-2, MPEG-4 AVC (H.264) and VC-1”.
The boxes are based on chipsets made by leading STB chipmanaufacturer STMicroelectronics (a Thomson Group spin-off), that include the watermarking technology. “NexGuard for STBs has been integrated into the STx7100 family of System-on- Chips (SoC)”, Thomson said in a statement.
The first chips and subsequent boxes will be available from this summer onwards, not just from Thomson, but other vendors as well. “It will be available to all STB companies, conditional access system (CAS) vendors, and Video-on-Demand (VOD) and push-VOD operators, summer 2007”.
With Nexguard the watermark is not generated at the content source or the operator, but generated in the set-top-box itself.
NexGuard’s watermarking technology embeds unique identification information into the STB video stream upon play-out that specifies the operator distributing the content as well as the individual STB serial number.
The forensic mark is present on all STB video outputs; standard definition, digital high-definition multimedia interfaces (HDMI); and analog HD components. It may also be recovered from illicitly distributed copies.