Video software

Whoopie for Watermarking

Companies are coming out of the woodwork with new video watermarking products, just ahead of next week's National Association of Broadcasters (NAB) conference in Sin City.

Royal Philips Electronics N.V. (NYSE: PHG; Amsterdam: PHI) just came out with "VTrack," which followed the press release debut of "ultralight Running Marks" from Dolby Laboratories Inc. (NYSE: DLB)'s corporate cousin, Cinea Inc.

They'll all fight for market share with Widevine Technologies Inc. , USA Video Interactive Corp., and Thomson S.A. (NYSE: TMS; Euronext Paris: 18453).

Did someone turn up the heat, or did it just get a bit crowded in here?

With video watermarking already a hot topic before NAB officially kicks off, it's growing abundantly clear that broadcasters, studios, and even service operators are starting to insist on the availability of these forensic technologies, which can help authorities track down and put the beat-down on digital pirates.

But time will tell if the mere presence of video watermarking will deter pirates from trying. I doubt it.

Still, if the content gods feel secure, it follows that they'll loosen up release windows for VOD and maybe feel more comfortable about serving up their best stuff on the Internet.

— Jeff Baumgartner, Site Editor, Cable Digital News

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