The technology creates a signature that is compared against one from the original file to determine whether the video has been altered. According to NEC this will allow the owners of the video to automatically "detect illegal copies" and "prevent illegal upload of video content" without their consent.
NEC claims that each frame has its own signature, meaning that even minute changes to the file such as adding subtitles, watermarks or dogtags, and of course cutting out adverts, will alter the overall signature of the video.
The firm touts the efficiency of its algorithm, saying that a bog standard PC can search through 1,000 hours video in just one second. Quite what the firm's definition of a "home-class" PC would be interesting to know as we can't quite figure out how even a dual core 3GHz box can go through the 104 billion checks for 1,000 hours of video in a mere second.
NEC also claims that its technology will do away with the current manual checking by members of the movie industry and ISPs to spot dodgy videos.
While all this sounds great for the movie studios, technologies such as this are usually circumvented by the equally smart filesharing community. The time it takes for the movie studios to adopt this latest technology in their never ending battle against filesharers will determine how quickly it is cracked.
Nonetheless, the inclusion of NEC's video signature technology should mean that the Mpeg 7 standard will finally step out from the shadows and get recognised by Hollywood executives, who might chose to encode their future titles with it.