Thursday, March 27, 2008

Real Image's Advance Forensic Technology to track down Piracy in Cinema

Real Image Media Technologies (RIMT), India’s leading developer and provider of Digital Media Technology in the film, video and audio domain, has announced that all cinemas equipped with its Qube Digital Cinema System within the country were being enhanced to include the highest level of anti-piracy measures. Utilizing security concepts and solutions designed by the Digital Cinema Initiatives (DCI), a body formed by the major Hollywood Studios for the D-Cinema market, Real Image has improved the capabilities of its very successful Qube Cinema system to even serve the non-Hollywood E-Cinema market.
Qube E-Cinema systems are already installed and functioning in over 500 screens across India and have been adopted by several key companies including E-City, Pyramid Saimira, Cinemeta Entertainment, Shree Venkatesh Films as well as numerous independent theatres in the country.

The security improvements are in two key areas:
The first improvement is in Qube’s E-Cinema security through incorporation of Thomson’s NexGuard Forensic Watermarking (FWM). This advanced system incorporates the serial number of the Qube E-Cinema system into the image in a totally invisible manner. Presently, secret but visible marks are being incorporated into the film prints by producers, as well as Real Image and other digital cinema players in the country, these marks have the major disadvantage of being visible and therefore easy for a pirate to identify and cover up in various ways. For example, if the serial number of the digital cinema system is shown as a visible number on the screen, this number could be blanked out by the pirate whenever it occurs. Alternatively, the picture could be framed in such a manner as to avoid showing this mark if it is in any of the edges of the image.

Now, Thomson’s FWM technology places totally invisible marks on the image which can be identified using Thomson’s detection system from any pirated copy that is found as a Video CD, DVD or Internet download. Being invisible, a pirate will not be able to cover up these marks and since Thomson’s technology is very robust, these marks will survive compression of the image into a Video CD, DVD or many forms of Internet download.
The second enhancement is in the concept of the Trusted Device List which allows only specific authorized devices to be used for projection. The output of all Qube E-Cinema servers is already encrypted using the HDCP (High Bandwidth Digital Content Protection) standard, and this serves as a basic form of protection. However, it is still possible to use a HDCP compatible monitor rather than a HDCP projector to screen the feature film and copy it in high quality by using a video camera. By utilizing the concept of the Trusted Device List, the Qube server will now only output picture to a specific projector unit that is authorized. Thus, all other HDCP monitors and any future illegal HDCP decoders will not function with the upgraded Qube system.
The source of any pirated copy can thus be conclusively identified and the offenders brought to book – saving the industry crores of losses every year. Being invisible also means that the movie viewer will not be distracted in any manner from enjoying the film.
Real Image believes strongly in intellectual property (IP), being a manufacturer of equipment that is based on our own unique IP. The Company began work on the Trusted Device List and Thomson FWM technology implementation early in 2007.
Says Co-founder and Director - RIMT, Senthil Kumar, “We believe that the rollout of these powerful new anti-piracy security features will ensure that we are able to prevent any illegal exploitation of content and can correctly identify any defaulters. This will be a big advantage for our huge industry that is facing tremendous losses due to illegal copies in the market. We look forward to the day, in the not too distant future, when films are released purely digitally and piracy is no more a threat.”

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