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HBO Screeners to Carry Watermarking

14 Sep, 2007 By: Chris Tribbey

HBO is done having its shows on press screeners pop up anonymously on the Internet.

The company has hooked up with the digital video technology company Thomson to include Thomson Shield watermarkings on all pre-released screeners. The deal includes the technology as well as training and support for HBO staff.

HBO had already put in a $5 million order with Thomson for HD camera, servers and routers, to take all of its 26 channels to high-def, making this the second business transaction between the two.

“As HBO continues to distribute its content to multiple platforms beyond traditional television, the need for content protection has become critical to our future success,” said Charles Cataldo, SVP of studio and broadcast operations for HBO. “The Thomson Shield solution is flexible enough to allow us to develop unique business models that are secure, yet easily deliver content that is viewable by those who are rightfully authorized.”

The watermarks should allow HBO to know who shares screeners, either over the Internet or in pirated hard copy.

At all of HBO's facilities, equipment necessary for marking and producing the screeners will be installed, as well as an Investigator Platform for investigating and tracking pirated content.

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