nielsen logo used with permissionTechTips - Nielsen Commercial Watermarking with MPEGRepairHD

Nielssen commercial watermarking

MPEGRepairHD incorporates the latest Nielsen Commercial Encoder

Nielsen certified MPEGRepairHD (version 9.1) now includes the Nielsen enhanced watermarking technology 6.0.16 that improves the signal detection capability of the commercial monitoring equipment.

The tool utilizes the Nielsen Watermark Resource Record (WRR) licensed directly from Nielsen that authorizes and supports both the SID/TIC and the ClientID encoding. Watermarked commercials, when broadcast, can be detected and tracked using the Nielsen broadcast monitoring network to ascertain their consumer exposure.

You can now select the latest ClientID (COMM_ID) encoding or the backward compatible SID/TIC encoding. Critical Band Encoding Technology (CBET) is included with the new Unified Commercial Code. Signal detection is enhanced with the new Stream Fingerprint analysis of the watermarked file. The new Niesen technology, also known as Commercial ID encoding, adds robustness, increased granularity, and error correction. This is especially important with the proliferation of very short commercials. The updated tool includes audio analysis capability that decodes and displays watermarks from streams encoded with your Nielsen assigned SID.


MPEGRepairHD inserts watermarks into the baseband audio tracks of prepared commercial content.  You must include content metadata (Content ID, Commercial Distributor, Commercial Length etc.) associated with each watermarked file.  The output of each watermarking process is a watermarked digital audio or multiplexed video file ready for broadcast and a custom named .zip file for upload to the Nielsen ftp server.   The watermarking process can be run on one file at a time, all files in a folder, or in the Windows batch mode.  When watermarking individual files, the associated meta data must be entered into the Nielsen dialog of MPEGRepairHD.  When watermarking multiple files, the metadata for all of the files must be entered into a single spread sheet saved as a comma separated value file and named MPEGRep.CSV.s

Nielsen watermarking diagram

Chapter 10 of the MPEGRepairHD manual details operation of the Nielsen watermarking controls and options.  The tool can currently watermark an MPEG file containing MPEG audio or a .WAV audio file. We will provide an overview of the operations below.

.MPEGRepair Nielsen watermarking dialogue

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Watermark Insertion: Single File 

Launch MPEGRepairHD and set the “Encoding Strategy” to “Audio Watermark Only”. Drag and drop or browse your file to be watermarked in the Encode Input Edit Box. Enter the associated meta data in the Optimize Encode | Configure | Nielsen dialog. Depressing the Control Encoder | Run button will cause your source video to be watermarked and saved in the same folder along with the meta data .zip file.

Configuration dialogue

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Watch this video to see how to insert Nielsen Watermarks into Single Commercial Files

Watermark Insertion: Multiple Files

First, update the MPEGRep.CSV sample meta data file to contain meta-data appropriate for each of your files. Each file you wish to watermark must have a corresponding Asset ID with the name of the file and appropriate meta data in the same row of the file.  The .CSV file can include unused meta data rows. The MPEGRep.CSV file must be located in the same folder as your source content to be watermarked. Set the “Encoding Strategy” in the GUI to “Audio Watermark Only”.  Drag and drop or browse the folder containing the source content you wish to watermark into the Encode Input edit box and depress the Control Encode | Run button. For each .mpg or .wav file in the folder, MPEGRepairHD will extract the appropriate meta-data from the .CSV file, watermark the audio content, and save the meta-data in an appropriately named .zip file.

MPEGRepairHD watermark screen

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Watch this video to see how to insert Nielsen Watermarks into Multiple Commercial files

Watermark Workflow Enhancements

MPEGRepairHD includes features that may simplify your workflow. You can specify a custom folder to contain your output files by dragging and dropping or browsing the folder in the Encode Output edit box.  You can specify a custom folder to contain your meta-data files in the Encode | Configure | Nielsen | Folder to Save MetaData edit box.  You can define an optional suffix to be appended to your watermarked file names in the Encode | Configure | Nielsen | Optional Output File Suffix edit box.


Watermark Analysis

MPEGRepairHD can verify the existence of watermarks in .MPG or .WAV files.  Just set the “Encoding Strategy” to “Audio Watermark Only”, drag and drop your file onto the “File to Decode or Analyze” edit box, and depress the Control Decode | Analyze button. The file will be processed and a dialog will appear that lists any found watermarks.

The Advantages of Commercial ID Encoding

  1. The addition of CEBT watermarking technology to the existing commercial encoding technology (NWCC and N2HF) will make the commercial watermarking technology more robust.
  2. The Commercial ID is common across all technologies CBET, NWCC and N2HF and the Commercial ID is unique for each commercial which will provide more chances for detection by meters.
  3. The new commercial watermarking technology implemented error correction to improve commercial encoding detection.
  4. Today, the watermarking technology already provides sub minute crediting and with the Commercial ID technology, Nielsen would be able to provide more granular detection than what we can get today.


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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