Leaving a Mark

Facing an array of distribution methods, content owners are concerned with protecting and tracking their material like never before. Teletrax provides watermarking technology, the video equivalent of the watermarks embossed on papers to ensure legitimacy. Graeme McWhirter, chairman/CEO of Teletrax, discussed content protection with B&C's Ken Kerschbaumer

How does watermarking work?

Watermarks are similar to a secret code that can provide specific details, such as the content of the video and where and when it aired. The data is then matched to a secret code within the system database.

The watermark is digital artifacts spread throughout a portion of each video frame. While it subtly modifies the video, the impact on the image is imperceptible to the eye.

A partner of yours, Medialink, recently launched Mediavision, which keeps track of news content. Can you explain the need for it?

Users can find any video embedded with the Teletrax watermark within minutes of broadcast to see how their programming is actually used on-air. It's a Web-based service. The user's computer searches the closed-captioning text included within the video.

They also have two other search options: date, time and channel on which the content ran, and click-through and access directly from broadcast-monitoring results.

Is that more important in a Google-TV universe, where people can use the Internet to search video?

Well, it isn't an Internet search engine. It's a subscription-based business-to-business application that is used by original content owners to search broadcast content.

Internet video search engines utilize different financial models, providing business-to-consumer applications that search more Web-based content than broadcast. The Mediavision service also provides broadband-quality video, whereas search engines offer streaming video clips to viewers.