“Getting the Band Back Together” with VidTime™

By Todd Fantz  |  May 18, 2018

In-band metadata may be accurate when it leaves the building, but the path it takes afterwards can corrupt, delay or strip it out altogether. To address this common problem Crystal has created VidTime™ temporal fingerprinting. When paired with the Crystal Metadata Cloud™, VidTime™ can deliver metadata out-of-band and accurately reinsert it at a remote location. This capability makes ad replacement possible for signals that have no in-band ad break messaging. By sampling the video content and timing at a good source, and looking for similar video at a second location, VidTime™ re-establishes the playout clock and therefore can re-establish any metadata/events.

Crystal provided a live demo of this technology in their booth during NAB LV, NAB NY, and IBC 2018. The demo took in the commercial OTT feed of a network broadcast station off the public internet and used fingerprints gathered at the source, and transmitted it over the internet to the demo site, to sync up a local clock and reinsert the SCTE messages that had originally been present in the signal. A third-party video server in the Crystal booth then used the break information to replace the advertising from the OTT feed.

The VidTime™ fingerprints are lightweight, robust and able to match video after multiple transcoding passes, scaling etc. This allows metadata to be re-established on satellite, OTA, OTT, cable or other streaming sources. In addition to fixing metadata issues with existing systems, content providers can enable new sources of advertising revenue with alternate forms of transmission, and since the re-insertion is done at the affiliate/partner it can even be customized to their requirements or turned off altogether if the business relationship changes.

VidTime™ also has applications at the device level. The VidTime™ engine can reside inside a smart TV, set-top box or mobile application, keeping the local system aware of upcoming ad breaks so that they can be accurately replaced with personalized content cached locally.

If you have an existing SCTE/metadata delivery problem, or a new opportunity that would leverage programing timing and metadata, contact Crystal and let us show you how VidTime™ and out of band metadata can bridge the gap.

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