4/22/2009 8:56 PM
With the acquisition of media transcoding whiz kid Rhozet, Harmonic furthered its goal of providing for almost every step in the broadcast workflow, from contribution and distribution to playout. But when I spoke to VP of the now Rhozet Business Unit of Harmonic David Trescot, he stressed that Rhozet was not completely absorbed. The company still maintains its own offices and exists as its own entity, but it is now Harmonic…
Regardless of what it’s called, the deal enables Harmonic to integrate Rhozet’s technology into its products and provides Rhozet with a significantly greater amount of resources. (In the words of Trescot, it’s kind of like a college kid with rich parents.) But, mind you, Rhozet is not wiling away its time and resources. It’s still very much growing and improving its products, as well as using its name to create some interesting partnerships.
One such partnership was a recently announced agreement with Google. Specializing in transcoding, Rhozet is constantly trying to do as much as possible in the transcoding process. Why? Because users are going to transcode anyway, so why not add more automatic, seamless processes that users need to perform to transcoding to save time and money. Obviously, there are processes that don’t make sense to add, but the partnership with Google proves Rhozet’s innovative approach.
Rhozet’s Content Coder will now (automatically and seamlessly in the transcode process) generate ID files, or “fingerprints,” for YouTube’s Content ID system, allowing content owners to track, protect and potentially monetize their content. Here’s a basic example of how it could work. I’m working on production for my TV show. I’ve sent it through the transcoding process, and this fingerprint is generated and sent to Google — only the fingerprint, not the content itself. After the show airs, I can specify whether to allow it to be on YouTube and share in the advertising revenue generated by that episode, or I can have it blocked. So there’s greater control and the opportunity for monetization. Plus, the there’s greater content protection because the content itself is not being sent to Google, and, if someone were to try to snag that fingerprint while it’s on its way, the content can’t be recreated from the fingerprint. The fingerprint can be applied to files as well as streams and can survive most re-editing attempts (there’s an approximate three second clip minimum for the fingerprint to be recognized).
It’s important to note that this fingerprinting process is not digital watermarking. Digital watermarks are actually inserted into the content and recognition requires extraction.
This is just one new thing that Rhozet, er, Harmonic, is bringing to content owners to protect and monetize their content in the transcode process, and I’m sure there’s plenty more to come.