Civolution NexGuard – OMD to run on Windows Azure

Content identification technology provider Civolution has announced that its NexGuard – Online Media Delivery (OMD) video watermarking technology will run on Windows Azure Media Services.

Windows Azure Media Services is a new set of cloud-based media technologies that enable Microsoft customers and partners to create, distribute and manage customised media solutions across various devices and platforms. Civolution said NexGuard – OMD enables secure delivery of digital media assets processed through the cloud on Windows Azure.

Civolution is one of Microsoft’s “build-in” security partners for Windows Azure Media Services, enabling customers to protect their content during delivery. Movie and television content producers, premium channels, and content aggregators can take advantage of the cloud to organise online screening for professionals or over-the-top video-on-demand for consumers, both with video watermarking capability.

“Microsoft is pleased to be working with Civolution and their digital watermarking and fingerprinting applications for media interaction, intelligence and protection,” said Sudheer Sirivara, senior director of Windows Azure Media Services at Microsoft.  “Civolution helps customers who need secure delivery of digital media assets that are delivered on Windows Azure.”

Windows Azure Media Services enables users to upload a video asset to the cloud and configure watermarked output renditions. The watermark insertion is performed in two stages. The first stage, referred to as ‘watermark pre-processing’, is performed once per media asset while transcoding original assets to the desired delivery format. The second step, referred to as ‘watermark smart embedding’ is applied upon streaming by Windows Azure Content Delivery Network (CDN) or third party CDNs.

After a media asset is passed through the NexGuard watermark pre-processor, the file is delivered in Smooth Streaming format, to PC, Mac, Xbox and various connected devices including iOS, Android and connected TV’s which are capable of supporting the Smooth Stream format. This format can then be uploaded to a CDN for delivery to the end user and is  compliant with Microsoft Silverlight. At the CDN level, a transaction identifier is applied by the NexGuard watermark smart embedder, making each delivered stream and copies thereof uniquely traceable, according to Civolution.

Should watermarked content be illegally copied and redistributed, Civolution, through its automated online NexGuard detection service portal, will report the unique identifier back to the content owner. The identifier is inserted into the original stream at the point of delivery.