VOD Content Encoder

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Engineering Portal breadcrumbArrow.png TV breadcrumbArrow.png VOD Content Encoder

The VOD Content Encoder (the Encoder) watermarks audio content of a VOD (Video on Demand) asset. In a nutshell, the Encoder reads input from an audio file, generates an encoded file and sends metadata to the Nielsen Collection Facility (CF).

The Encoder refers to the package that includes the SID/TIC Drive, VOD Content Encoder application and SID/TIC Installer application.

Metering equipment that resides in Nielsen panelists’ homes captures these audio codes (also called watermarks) from television viewing and sends them to the CF, where back-end systems use them to credit viewing.

The Encoder watermarks audio in these transport streams.

MPEG-2 Stream in Format With Extensions
PCM .mpg




The watermark consists of a unique SID (source identifier) and a number referred to as a TIC (time-in-content). The Encoder inserts either or both of the types of unique SID/TIC pairs

  • NAES II - Nielsen Audio Encoder System II, the second-generation method of inserting a SID (Nielsen source identifier) and time stamp into a TV signal
  • NW - Nielsen Watermarks, a newer method of audio encoding that places an audio watermark in a lower-frequency portion of the active program than that of the NAES II technology. The lower-frequency position enables NW to be more robust and less likely to be “compressed out” of the program audio by TV distribution.

As individual VOD files are watermarked, the Encoder generates a metadata feed-point file and other files that are transmitted to the Nielsen Collection Facility (CF).

  • Metadata feed-point file— contains the information that Nielsen uses to uniquely identify the VOD asset. The metadata file contains the SID, a range of TICs, asset ID and information about the VOD content. The metadata file is copied, renamed as __nmr.xml and moved to a transfer folder before it is transferred to the CF.
  • CableLabs ADI.xml file (optional)— may be attached for VOD content compliant with CableLabs standard (AC-3 audio). The ADI.xml file, which is supplied by the provider and distributed to the cable head-ends, must conform to CableLabs® Asset Distribution Interface Specification Version 1.1.


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