Thomson to Introduce Forensic Marking Solution for Set-Top Boxes

Thursday, March 15th, 2007
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Thomson Technology Division to Showcase Set-Top Box with STMicroelectronics Chipset Integrating NexGuard Video Watermarking Technology

PARIS, France and BURBANK, CA (US) — Thomson (Euronext 18453; NYSE: TMS) is unveiling its NexGuard™ forensic marking solution for set-top boxes (STBs) at CEBIT 2007 and NAB2007. A streamlined “open architecture” solution, 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.

NexGuard for STBs has been integrated into the STx7100 family of System-on- Chips (SoC), manufactured by leading semiconductor supplier STMicroelectronics. It will be available to all STB companies, conditional access system (CAS) vendors, and Video-on-Demand (VOD) and push-VOD operators, summer 2007.

“Content owners need more tools than ever to reap financial rewards from their premium products,” said Jean-Luc Moullet, VP of the Software & Technology Solutions business unit, part of Thomson’s Technology division. “STMicroelectronics’ chip with the added NexGuard technology will provide studios and operators with a powerful deterrent against illicit redistribution.”

“Watermarking is now an essential partner to encryption and digital rights management in the battle against broadcast piracy,” added Monica de Virgiliis, general manager, Home Video Division, STMicroelectronics. “We are pleased to arm our hardware clients with a seamless, all-in-one watermark solution from a leader in forensic marking.”

NexGuard’s robust and invisible STB watermark deters illegal copying and distribution of all forms of broadcast content delivered via IPTV, satellite, cable or traditional broadcast and viewed with digital STBs. It is also the only tool that supports next generation compression in any digital STB without an extra preprocessing operation, because all processing is performed within the STB.

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. NexGuard’s detection and recovery system extracts this information from illicitly redistributed materials to pinpoint the source of the leak. The tool individually watermarks all forms of content viewed through live broadcast, Video-On-Demand (VOD), push-VOD or personal video recorder playback (PVR). The forensic mark is present on all STB video outputs; standard definition, digital high-definition multimedia interfaces (HDMI); and analog HD components.

NexGuard for STBs will be demonstrated at CEBIT 2007 (Hannover – 15-21 March 2007) at Thomson’s booth, number A66, Hall 12, and NAB2007 (Las Vegas – 14-19 April 2007) at Thomson’s Security & Technology Solutions booth N713, North Hall. The CEBIT 2007 presentation will be a concept demo, while the NAB 2007 presentation will include a prototype model.

For an appointment, contact Pascal Marie, Strategic Marketing, Thomson STS;; +33 299 22 61 62. For more information about NexGuard for STBs, see: