Verance Automatic Content Recognition recommended for ATSC 3.0 standard

Monday, April 6th, 2015
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Advanced Television Systems Committee Specialist Group recommends Verance VP1 open ACR technology for ATSC 3.0 standard

  • Audio Watermarking Technology Selected To Enable Broadband-Enhanced Viewing Experience Over Cable, Satellite, OTT Redistribution
  • Verance VP1 to be Introduced at NAB Show with Demonstrations Held April 13-16 at ATSC Technology Pavilion

SAN DIEGO, CA — Verance Corporation, the worldwide market leader in premium watermarking solutions, today announced that the Advanced Television Systems Committee’s ATSC TG3/S33 Specialist Group on Management and Protocols has recommended its VP1 technology be included within the ATSC 3.0 next-generation terrestrial TV broadcast standard, which is anticipated to be issued in 2016. Verance is set to introduce VP1 to the industry at the 2015 NAB Show in Las Vegas, where it will conduct demonstrations from April 13-16 at ATSC’s Technology Pavilion (LVCC North Hall Booth N5738).

VP1 provides television broadcasters with the world’s first open architecture system for first-screen Automatic Content Recognition (ACR), enabling delivery of the full suite of broadband-enabled next-generation television features—including personalized viewing, onscreen interactivity, dynamic advertising and viewing measurement—to the many viewers who receive broadcast services via cable, satellite and OTT.

ATSC issued a Call for Proposals for ACR Watermarking Systems in January 2014 and received responses in May 2014. The ATSC Specialist Group on Management and Protocols convened a group of experts to review and evaluate those responses. This evaluation resulted in selection of the Verance VP1 proposal from among the audio watermarking solutions proposed for advancement through the ATSC standards development process toward the organization’s goal of issuing complete ATSC 3.0 specifications in 2016.

Dave Siegler, VP of Technical Operations, Cox Media Group stated, “Cox views the broadband-enabled personalized viewing, on-screen interactivity, dynamic advertising and viewer measurement features of ATSC 3.0 as fundamentally important to the future of the broadcast ecosystem. Being able to deliver these features to our entire audience is important to the long-term strength of our industry. We strongly endorse the progress ATSC is making in these areas and are confident that the effort will deliver the tools needed to carry the industry through its next generation.”

ATSC 3.0 is anticipated to include features through which connected receivers can augment broadcast video with broadband-enabled features, including:

  • Personalization: The tailoring of a presentation to viewers’ own tastes and needs. This includes providing access to alternate language audio or captioning; enabling presentation of alternate audio mixes or video overlays for improved accessibility; and offering different versions of the content such as alternate quality levels or presentation formats for optimal presentation on different types of receivers.
  • Interactivity: An unlimited range of interactive features presented via locally rendered graphics overlaid on video. This encompasses browsable real-time statistics, custom information crawls, direct response to program content (“t-commerce”), app launching (e.g. for “catch-up” TV), play-along, real-time voting/polling and viewer loyalty programs.
  • Dynamic Advertising: The selection of video advertisements targeted to an individual display device. This capability can deliver advertising that is more relevant to an individual viewer and increases the value and flexibility of advertising.
  • Viewing Measurement: The logging and analysis of broadcaster server data collected from interactions with receivers to measure audience size, viewing patterns and related metrics.

For viewers tuned into an over-the-air broadcast, these broadband-enabled features will be activated in their receiver via signaling included in the broadcast signal. For viewers who receive their broadcast content via cable, satellite, and OTT services, the existing delivery systems and consumer electronics interfaces provide no mechanism for carriage of this signaling information. ATSC identified that standardization of ACR watermarking technology for this purpose would provide a reliable, compatible and transparent mechanism for delivery of this information by any broadcaster to any manufacturer’s receiver.

Verance Chief Executive Nil Shah said, “We are deeply honored by the ATSC Specialist Group’s recommendation of Verance VP1 for inclusion in the ATSC 3.0 standard. From our founding, Verance’s commitment has been to deliver standards-based solutions to the entertainment industry’s most challenging problems. We are pleased to be able to build on the foundation we have laid in our work with the film and music industries to contribute to the future of television.”

Verance’s Cinavia technology was standardized by the motion picture industry in 2006 and protects theatrical and home entertainment releases against unauthorized use in over 200 million consumer devices worldwide, including Blu-ray Disc players, game consoles, digital media adapters, PCs and set-top boxes. Verance’s VCMS/A technology was standardized by the recording industry in 1999 and protects sound recordings against unauthorized use in over 50 million DVD players, portable music devices, mobile phones and PC media players.

Joe Winograd, Verance Chief Technology Officer, stated, “The ATSC membership has shown remarkable vision in their initiative to standardize ACR technologies. Through their effort, it has become clear that an approach based on open specifications can overcome the barriers which have blocked the realization of ACR’s promise. By solving the challenges of platform fragmentation, reliability, scalability and privacy, we have the opportunity to establish an ecosystem that benefits consumers, broadcasters and receiver manufacturers.”

The Verance VP1 technology employs an inaudible, persistent and erasable audio watermark which passes seamlessly through any video distribution path and can be recovered from content within seconds. A standardized network transaction utilizing the data recovered from the watermark enables a connected receiver to obtain frame-accurate service signaling information not carried through the redistribution path directly from the broadcaster’s server.