Sharp Integrates Cinavia into Aquos 4K Set-Top Boxes

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Mon, 09/15/2014 - 11:19 -- Nick Dager

Sharp Electronics has integrated Verance Corporation’s Cinavia technology into the new Sharp Aquos TU-UD1000 4K set-top box, the first 4K-device that receives, records and plays back 4K broadcast content. The first implementation of Cinavia into a 4K set-top box is precedent-setting and a significant advancement for the protection of digital video services as the industry begins its transition to 4K Ultra-HD platforms. 

As adoption of its Cinavia content protection technology grows by consumer product manufacturers, Verance also disclosed new numbers showing that penetration of Cinavia-enabled devices in the market has surpassed 168 million, an increase of 55 million between June 2013 and June 2014.

The technology was initially adopted by the industry as a required component of Blu-ray Disc playback devices and software to block the viewing of unauthorized content.  Cinavia was recently integrated into game and entertainment consoles, including Sony PlayStation 4 and Microsoft Xbox One. Cinavia was identified as a required component of next-generation video services in MovieLabs’ guidelines for 4K Ultra-HD content protection and has been integrated into 4K Ultra-HD media player and set-top box platforms.

“The groundbreaking 4K set-top box implementation of Cinavia by Sharp, combined with the significant increases we have seen in the adoption of devices integrated with our technology and growing number of protected studio titles, reflects a growing consensus that guarding premium content on next-generation platforms is paramount,” said Verance CEO Nil Shah. “Not only is it an essential element of securing additional revenue for the existing movie ecosystem, but its use enhances the viability of emerging entertainment services for consumer electronics manufacturers.”

Some of the most well-known films are protected by Cinavia including 2014 Academy Award Best Picture nominees Captain Phillips and Gravity, and sound editing and mixing nominees Captain Phillips, The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug and Gravity (winner of both).

Verance EVP-CTO Joe Winograd said, “Our partnership with Sharp on the new 4K set-top box follows other 4K device integrations that help pave the way for broader consumption of 4K movies, TV shows and other high-value content through secure Cinavia-enabled devices as we partner with other studios and device manufacturers.”

An audio watermark embedded in motion picture soundtracks is detected by the Cinavia-enabled device.  The device distinguishes between legitimate and unauthorized copies of content.  When viewers play back legitimate content or their own personal video recordings, playback is unaffected. However, if they try to play a copy of a Cinavia-protected movie illegally captured from a theater, digital download or streaming service, ripped from a Blu-ray Disc or DVD, or otherwise obtained from an unlicensed source, the device detects this unauthorized use and blocks its playback.