TechTips - Nielsen Commercial Watermarking

Nielssen commercial watermarking

Insert Nielsen Commercial Watermarking into broadcast content

PixelTools’ MPEGRepairHD now includes the capability to insert and verify Nielsen Commercial Watermarking in commercial content. The commercial content can be an MPEG video/audio file or an uncompressed .Wav file.


Watermark Insertion: Single File 

MPEGRepairHD includes complete capability to watermark elementary audio files or MPEG files. In the MPEG watermarking process, the compressed audio is extracted and uncompressed prior to watermarking. The watermarked audio is re-compressed and re-multiplexed with the video in the identical format as the source MPEG file.

To add Nielsen Watermarks to a MPEG (.mpg) commercial file or a wave (.wav) audio commercial file, drag and drop or browse your file into the Encode Input edit box. The new Nielsen dialog in MPEGRepairHD (Encode | Configure | Nielsen) allows you to enter the required meta data for your commercial file to be watermarked. Depressing the Encode | Run button causes the proprietary watermarks to be added to the audio channels and the relevant meta data to be stored in Nielsen xml files. The output of the process is a watermarked audio file or a watermarked MPEG file ready for broadcast and a zip file containing meta data and signature files ready to be uploaded to the Nielsen server.

Configuration dialogue

Click on image to show larger size

Watermark Insertion: Multiple Files

MPEGRepairHD can add watermarks to all audio .wav files or MPEG .mpg in your selected folder.  The associated meta-data for each audio or MPEG file is obtained from a spreadsheet .csv file. You can designate a specific folder to store all of the output watermarked  files and another folder for the output meta-data .zip files. 

You can also designate a prefix to be appended to all watermarked file names.  To watermark a folder of .mpg or .wav files, set up a MpegRep.csv file with appropriate meta data for each file in the folder per documentation.  Place this MPEGRep.csv file in the content source folder.  Drag and drop or browse the content csource folder into the Encode Input edit box. Depress the Control Encode | Run button to initiate the watermarking. The output of the process is a set of watermarked .wav or .mpg files in your designation output folder as well as a set of zip files containing appropriate meta-data for each of the source file in your designated meta data output folder. 
MPEGRepairHD watermark screen

Watermark Insertion: Batch Mode

MPEGRepairHD Nielsen Watermarking Single File operation can also be run in the command shell batch mode allowing you to automatically process multiple files and/or folders of files all without human intervention. Associated meta-data for each watermarked file is obtained from a spreadsheet .csv file.  The batch mode enables easy integration with other programs running in the batch mode without the need for software programing. 

To run the watermarking in the batch mode, verify that the default MPEGRep.ini in the folder where MPEGRep.exe is installed is set up with your appropriate content and meta-data output folders and the Encoding Strategy is set to “Audio Watermark Only”. The batch command “MPEGRep Commercial30Sec.wav” will cause the tool to watermark the Commercial30Sec.wav file. You can use batch commands like " %j" in (ContentFolder\*.wav) do call MPEGRep %j to watermark all *.wav files in your ContentFolder.


Watermark Analysis:

MPEGRepairHD also includes a .wav file analyzer that can verify the presence of Nielsen Watermarks. It can also extract, display, and record details of all of the watermarks detected in the stream.  Watermark analysis is simple: just drop your .wav file onto the File to Decode or Analyze edit box and depress the Analyze button.

  • Extracts, displays, and records all Nielsen Commercial watermarks found in audio file.
  • Display can be saved as a user defined text file.
  • Generates signature and log files for each detected channel and saves them in the user define folder.


Watermark Insertion:

  • Watermarks discrete .wav files or MPEG audio files within an MPEG Program or Transport stream
  • Inserts the appropriate watermarks into audio files to support Nielsen Commercial Tracking.
  • Supports 2, 6, and 8 audio channels of 16 or 24 bit audio
  • Provides user input of commercial meta data.
  • Outputs zip file containing meta data and watermark signatures for direct upload to Nielsen server.
  • Can accomplish fully automated watermarking of batches of files driven by a .CSV file

Inputs user entered meta data:

  • Advertiser Name
  • Advertiser ID
  • Agency Name
  • Agency ID
  • Asset ID
  • Brand Name
  • Brand ID
  • Client Media Name
  • Client ID
  • Commercial Distributor
  • Content Duration
  • Server IP Address
  • Folder to save meta data
  • Optional output wave file suffix

Nielsen Holdings plc (NYSE: NLSN) is a global performance management company that provides a comprehensive understanding of what consumers watch and buy. Nielsen's Watch segment provides media and advertising clients with Total Audience measurement services for all devices on which content—video, audio and text—is consumed. The Buy segment offers consumer packaged goods manufacturers and retailers the industry's only global view of retail performance measurement. By integrating information from its Watch and Buy segments and other data sources, Nielsen also provides its clients with analytics that help improve performance. Nielsen, an S&P 500 company, has operations in over 100 countries, covering more than 90% of the world’s population. For more information, visit

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