As content owners struggle with balancing the need to bring forwards release with the fear of piracy, Verimatrix has launched a forensic watermarking solution to enhance layered security for new video distribution networks and delivery formats.

The multi-screen digital TV services provider believes that its new StreamMark system, developed in collaboration with major film studios, will be a valuable tool to support revenue generation in emerging video consumption models Indeed it is specifically designed to enable early release windows for the recently available premium video on demand (p-VOD) content.

Analysts believes that the market will see a rise in demand for security and encryption technologies for early release windows for premium VOD content over the next several months. Potential StreamMark applications thus include early release services with an additional protection for first-run, early release movie content delivery through traditional digital and over the top (OTT) pay-TV networks.

To StreamMark uses patent-pending technology to provide a server-side embedding process to uniquely mark compressed video files during delivery, even if the video files are encrypted. The result is that it can embed secure and imperceptible tracing information in compressed content in an on-the-fly process during delivery to standard decoders and media players.

The embedding process is designed with low overhead requirements, and as such a mark can be added to H.264 or MPEG-2 stream-based video with negligible performance impact, even when that delivery is facilitated through a content delivery network (CDN). No custom media player integration is required – the imperceptible marking information is rendered in all analogue and digital outputs of off-the-shelf player devices.

“With new release windows come new piracy challenges,” said Petr Peterka, CTO of Verimatrix. “Studios are now insisting on a combination of selectable output control (SOC) and forensic watermarking technologies that secure assets beyond the set-top. StreamMark meets this challenge by offering an efficient server-side watermarking technique that enables unique file delivery on a large scale basis on existing networks.”