Thomson's NexGuard Watermarking and Conax Chipset Pairing into Its Leading Digital Television Reference Designs to Offer Turnkey Solution in the Growing Threat of Illegal Content Theft and Redistribution

Wednesday, October 22nd, 2008
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TURKU, Finland — Digialist Ltd, a leading digital television design house and system integrator, announced today that it has integrated the NexGuard™ forensic watermarking technology from Thomson, (Euronext Paris: 18453; NYSE: TMS), and Conax Chipset Pairing from the conditional access provider Conax into its low-cost MPEG-2 set-top-box reference design.

The Digialist reference design supports Terrestrial, Cable and Satellite DVB transmissions using only a single antenna input. The reference design is powered by the Digialist Media Engine, a state-of-the-art DVB software stack. Digialist Media Engine is highly modular and easy to port to various hardware platforms. It provides fast time-to-market for products ranging from cost efficient set-top-boxes to highly advanced twin-tuner PVRs with IP functionality. It has a command interface to support IDTV applications over serial port (UART). All Digialist reference designs are turnkey solutions, which are targeted for mass-production and can easily be adjusted for various market needs.

“Integrating Conax Chipset Pairing and Thomson’s NexGuard technologies into the Digialist reference design offer customers´ turnkey solution of advanced security as a way to secure their digital television assets from content theft and illicit redistribution,” said Pasi Vänttinen, President of Digialist. “The solution offer compelling advantages, which include setting watermarks into the video signal to provide additional security in the content delivery within and beyond the set-top-boxes and able watermarking adjustments without changes in the headend infrastructure,” says Esa Wahlroos, CTO of Digialist.”

Conax CA system with chipset pairing offers the market with an additional level of security to ensure that the digital content reaches only the end users it is intended for. By combining the Conax security solution with watermarking, illegally redistributed content can be tracked to the original subscriber.

“A new milestone has been reached through the combination of Conax Chipset pairing and watermarking technology. Now the origin of illicit copy or redistribution of content can be identified” says Geir Bjørndal, COO/Director of Sales & Marketing, Conax. “Through the successful cooperation of partners, Digialist can now make an advanced solution available to the market that combines both high level security and watermarking, reducing time-to-market for high security solutions.”

“Together with our partners Digialist and Thomson, we can provide a market advantage for digital TV operators selecting Conax,” says Wictor Nicolaysen, Vice President of Strategic Partner Management, Conax.

”We are pleased that NexGuard watermarking technology complements Conax security scheme and supports the expectation of operators to identify and revoke subscriptions which are at the source of illicit redistribution of Pay-TV signal, in a matter of minutes,” says Pascal Marie, Thomson NexGuard Product Line Manager. ”The reference design by Digialist is a turnkey solution, readily available for production, and with utmost content security, ideally suited for Pay-TV operators who want to protect their subscriber base from erosion and maximize revenue from premium channels and exclusive content.”

Forensic watermarking, also known as content serialization, enables a unique, session-specific ID or serial number to be placed upon display in every video stream, including for live program broadcasting or for push-VoD services. By watermarking video based on the individual recipient, the natural flow of content distribution remains unchanged, yet any illegally redistributed content can be traced back to the source. Forensic marks also provide a proactive “deterrent” value by removing the anonymity usually associated with the downloading and sharing of content.