Watermarks for mobile television

Oct 01, 2007
Watermarks for mobile television
A video watermark protects the production chain of interactive content for mobile TV. © Fraunhofer SIT

For centuries, watermarks have protected written documents from forgery. Now their digital brothers are to prevent videos from being released in the Internet before their television premieres. Electronic watermarks are used to locate leaks.

People use their cell phones much more actively than their television or radio sets. In order to make mobile television more attractive in the future, program makers intend to provide interactive content in addition to simple viewing. Conventional programs are given special processing for this purpose. Before airing their TV material, broadcasters send it to external service providers who process it and incorporate additional information.

Special protection is needed to ensure that programs will not be published on the Internet before their official TV premieres. In the porTiVity project, the Fraunhofer Institute for Secure Information Technology SIT has developed just such a form of protection: a robust video watermark that permanently labels TV material without hindering the processing work. If such a protected program appears prematurely on the Internet, the broadcasters can use the watermark to locate the leak in the production chain.

“We know from our experience of earlier projects that viewers who receive television via cell phone or PDA would like to become actively involved in the programs,” says Patrick Wolf of the Fraunhofer SIT. The researchers in the porTiVity project are therefore developing a rich media iTV system for mobile television which allows viewers to directly select objects in the picture. “During a football match, for example, viewers could click on individual players to view their goal and assist statistics,” says Wolf. “In this case, the viewer receives additional, optional content. However, program makers can also use the additional information for interactive prize draws or edutainment formats.”

In addition, porTIVity provides an authoring system which allows mobile TV producers to track moving objects. These marked objects can be linked to additional information which appears when the user clicks on them. The additional information is packed with the video files in Material eXchange Format (MXF) and delivered as rich media content to the broadcasting center, where the signal is processed and aired. What ultimately arrives at the mobile receiver is a special MPEG-4 video containing both the main program and the interactive elements.

Source: Fraunhofer-Gesellschaft

Explore further: Is technology making your attention span shorter than a goldfish's?

Related Stories

Scientists announce top 10 new species for 2015

May 21, 2015

A cartwheeling spider, a bird-like dinosaur and a fish that wriggles around on the sea floor to create a circular nesting site are among the species identified by the SUNY College of Environmental Science ...

Offline TV ads prompt online purchases by multitaskers

May 14, 2015

Many television advertisers voice fears that distracted viewers—those increasingly frenetic multitaskers using smartphones, laptops and tablets while viewing TV - are becoming less receptive to advertisers' messages. A ...

DARPA seeks new positioning, navigation, timing solutions

Mar 28, 2015

The Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA), writing about GPS, said: "The military relies heavily on the Global Positioning System (GPS) for positioning, navigation, and timing (PNT), but GPS access is easily blocked by methods such as jamming. In addition, many environments in which our mil ...

Listening under the ice

Apr 29, 2015

The watery world under winter's ice is a mystery. It's also a world full of sound. Now, as the days lengthen and the ice is retreating, researchers at Michigan Technological University are wrapping up their ...

Innovation boosts Wi-Fi bandwidth tenfold

Apr 20, 2015

Researchers at Oregon State University have invented a new technology that can increase the bandwidth of WiFi systems by 10 times, using LED lights to transmit information.

Recommended for you

User comments : 0

Please sign in to add a comment. Registration is free, and takes less than a minute. Read more

Click here to reset your password.
Sign in to get notified via email when new comments are made.