Video Fingerprinting Technology
for Television Production and Broadcaster


The following describes the use case applications for the ivitec's MediaSeeker Core Platform, pertaining to video-based fingerprinting and its functional extensions within the television production and broadcast environment.

Improving Management of Media Archives

1. Reverse Engineering program edit decision list (EDL) and traffic playlists

To reconcile archived materials for regulatory compliance of on-air programming, a finger-
print recording of the entire original broadcast may be used to compare with the individual fingerprints of the compiled files used in the original broadcast, including programs, advert-isements, and PSAs. In this manner, the files, cut points, and overall timecode can be recon-structed. The ivitec MediaSeeker Core Platform offers the fingerprinting technology, the comparison engine, and the structured database to perform these tasks in an automated manner. 

2. Reconciling mismatched timecodes
Through the media production chain, using house sync or some other source of master time-code, files stay synced to this external reference and are archived as such. However, once broadcasted, it is possible for the receiving end to copy an on-air program and lose sync due to latency associated with both the over-the-air transmission and/or the decoding chain at the receiving site. If no house sync or master timecode is present, then the timecode could potentially be corrupt. By using fingerprint comparison between the source and the target, the timecode can be reconciled and repaired.

3. Detecting duplicate or down-resolution versions in the archive
A video that has been previously archived is checked out for inclusion in a re-broadcast. After the airing, the rebroadcast is procedurally checked into the archive. However, the material may be largely duplicative – wasting costly storage space. Using fingerprinting, duplicate files with minimal changes (e.g. Transcoding, re-encoded, subtitled, etc.) may be identified and sub-sequent decisions made whether to retain those files in the archive, thus eliminating unneces-sary storage and duplication.

Improving Editorial and Post-Production Efficiency 

4. Detecting content already aired in different timeslots

Often, a broadcast station airs three different shows – in the morning, afternoon and evening time slots. This is certainly the case with news. It is often necessary for the team producing the evening show to find out what was broadcasted in the morning and to compare it to the material that has been prepared for the evening show. A routine fingerprint comparison of all potentially broadcasted, versus actually broadcasted material will identify these overlaps.  

5. Detecting and locating High Resolution Source material
Post-production often starts their process by searching a digtial asset managament database (DAM) and viewing proxies of cataloged content. By using a fingerprinting comparison process, high-resolution source material and other variants can be found quickly and automatically, enabling the editing process to begin sooner. 

6. Improving Versioning and Storage Efficiency
When shows are exported, “regionalization” requires the creation of several intermediary files, such as subtitling and language dubbing. To maintain creative control and protect the brand, the media owner requires that each regional version to be returned for auditing and archiving. By using ivitec's MediaSeeker, these editorial changes can be isolated and identified which enables the content owner to store only the regional differences, saving over 80% of online storage.

Enforcing Compliance and Legalities

7. Detecting content with limited re-broadcast allowances

In distribution agreements, content licenses are typically encumbered with usage rights or time limitations. However, in the case of “highlight shows” the editor often combines scenes from previously aired shows. This reused material may not have the necessary re-broadcast rights and licensing information. Lacking such details, ivitec's MediaSeeker can be used to run fingerprint comparisons to search the archive, reveal and propagate the original licensing metadata information from the original source material, thus ensuring compliance before the material is aired.

8. Ensuring licensing compliance
Via fingerprint comparison of the broadcast stream and comparing it to that of the fingerprinted source material, media usage statistics may be used to link the particular broadcast to the licenses for the content. This information can be used to update any royalty calculations and to avoid unexpected penalties and fees. 

9. “Blacklisting” media after airing
Fingerprinting and real-time comparisons can be performed with ivitec's MediaSeeker to update the usage statistics from previous broadcasts and subsequently flag the source material and all timecodes within the broadcast, where the same or transcoded material was queued. This enables prevention of unauthorized use and an additional level of control by providing warnings against licensing and rights expiration. 

Are above stated scenarios familiar to you? Would you like to explore the possibilities how ivitec's digital fingerprinting technology can improve your workflow? Reach out and let's discuss your use case and how we can support it. 

ivitec GmbH

Lange Reihe 29
20099 Hamburg

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