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Pearl TV, Verance, Others Team on Broadcast Watermarking Trial (Multichannel News)

Pearl TV, Fox Television Stations, NBC Connecticut/WVIT, Univision Communications and Verance are collaborating on an on-air test centered on Verance’s broadcast watermarking technology, whose audio watermarking solution is a key component of the ATSC 3.0 next-generation television broadcast standard. Watermarking enables the foundational data protocol that triggers services such as interactivity, personalization and even advanced emergency alerting on televisions and other devices.

“One of the great benefits of next-generation broadcast TV will be the ability to customize content and merge the capability of the Internet with broadcast programming. Pearl TV members, along with NBC Universal, NBC Connecticut, Univision Communications and FOX Television Stations, are participating in the test, which involves viewers in Phoenix, Arizona; Orlando, Florida; Montgomery, Alabama; and Hartford, Connecticut. We plan to evaluate how the watermark is deployed, how it is retained from transmitter to receiver, and what information can be gleaned from the testing process,” said Pearl TV Managing Director Anne Schelle.

Pearl TV is a business organization of U.S. broadcast companies with a shared interest in exploring forward-looking broadcasting opportunities, including innovative ways of promoting local broadcast TV content and developing digital media and wireless platforms for the broadcast industry.

“The goal is to test how watermarking can be used to power the next-generation TV across various viewing paths and devices. This test is a good example of how broadcasters that represent more than 230 stations are banding together to pave the way for deployment of ATSC 3.0. We see the emergence of watermarking technology as a key ingredient of next-generation TV in a world where advertisers and programmers are becoming more accustomed to two-way and addressable advertising opportunities,” Schelle said.

The testing project will eventually lead to a better consumer experience for broadcast viewers, with personalization and greater access to favorite content.

“The Verance solution activates broadband capabilities on broadcast content, providing viewers with advanced features uniformly across devices and platforms. This enables broadcasters to connect with millions of viewers on TV in the personalized, dynamic ways they’re accustomed to online. Compatible with today’s ATSC 1.0 broadcast system, our solution accelerates certain ATSC 3.0 features, allowing broadcasters to see early benefits while transitioning to ATSC 3.0,” said Nil Shah, CEO of Verance.

Verance has embedded its digital audio watermark in ATSC 1.0 transmissions to conduct the test.

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