HBO Protects Content With The Thomson Shield

Home Box
Office (HBO) will implement a comprehensive Thomson Shield watermarking system
from Thomson to protect its pre-released screener content against piracy within
its file-based infrastructure. This will be one of a number of phases to be
developed. The agreement includes the technology as well as on-site
commissioning, training, and an annual support contract.

The new
deal follows a recent purchase by HBO of Grass Valley HD equipment including K2
Media servers, Trinix™ routers, and LDK 8000 WorldCam HD cameras from Thomson
as part of HBO’s complete migration to HD production and playout.

continues to distribute its content to multiple platforms beyond traditional
television, the need for content protection has become critical to our future
success,” said Charles Cataldo, Senior Vice President, Studio and
Broadcast Operations. “The Thomson Shield solution is flexible enough to allow
us to develop unique business models that are secure, yet easily deliver
content that is viewable by those who are rightfully authorized.”

The “Shield
Forensic” technology to be installed will be used to synchronize and manage
watermarking IDs across all of HBO’s global facilities. It will initially be
installed at three sites, including the company’s main playout facility in

The technology is designed to meet the challenges of distributing and
protecting digital media across multiple platforms, as more and more content
providers are moving to file-based distribution.

At each
HBO location, the system being installed includes: a Forensic Manager (database
server for each site synchronizing and managing each watermarking platform);
DVD Marking Stations (with built-in DVD burner);
Live HD-SDI Stations (for watermarking original
content in real time to HD or SD tape distribution or duplication); Live SD-SDI
Stations (for watermarking original content in real time to standard definition
tape distribution or duplication); QC Reader Stations HD/SD (quality control
workstations used to read and confirm the forensic ID information as needed);
and an Investigator Platform (used for investigating and tracking pirated

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