Irdeto today announced its headend-based watermarking technology for set-top boxes was awarded three patents from the United States Patent and Trademark Office, officially making it an interoperable, backward-compatible watermarking solution for the U.S. market. Eight additional patents are pending on the company’s watermarking technology.

Irdeto’s watermarking technology allows content owners to trace illegally distributed content to individual users. Uniquely watermarked content can be prepared centrally, enabling ease of deployment and scalability without requiring integration with the VOD server or set-top box.

Irdeto’s watermarking technology can be applied to any broadcast receiver or set-top box currently in use as well as work with all legacy and already deployed conditional access (CA) systems.

Irdeto’s solution can detect pirated content on peer-to-peer sharing networks by applying an invisible “watermark” that ties redistributed content back to any set-top box from which it originated: from there, content owners can identify and shut down illegal distribution networks. In the event of an attack, the solution can be renewed from the headend almost instantly without requiring updates to the box itself.

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