Cable Operators

Backers Of Entertainment ID Registry Tout Progress

9/07/2011 12:01 AM Eastern

Comcast, The Walt Disney Co., Warner Bros., Rovi and other backers of the Entertainment Identifier Registry are trying to demonstrate momentum for the coalition's content-tracking system -- and attract new members -- by announcing that they have begun to integrate the use of the EIDR IDs into their digital distribution workflows.

Announced last year and launched in January 2011, EIDR is designed to be an industry resource for cataloging commercial digital video and audio assets, such as movie and TV content. Its creators compare the EIDR IDs to the Universal Product Code (UPC) for packaged goods.

EIDR logoMembers of EIDR include CableLabs, Cox Communications, InDemand Networks, MovieLabs, Deluxe, Universal Pictures, Neustar, Paramount Pictures, Rentrak, Sony Pictures Entertainment and the Motion Picture Association of America.

EIDR's backers are hoping to show momentum behind the project to try to recruit more members at the IBC trade show in Amsterdam this week, as well as at the Entertainment Supply Chain Academy's ESCA Europe conference in London later this month.

UltraViolet, the content-authentication system developed by the Digital Entertainment Content Ecosystem consortium, also is looking to use the EIDR system.

Also this week, EIDR is announcing that the Hollywood IT Society (HITS), in conjunction with the Digital Entertainment Group (DEG), is recommending the use of EIDR IDs among studios, post-production houses, and entertainment industry service providers.

Comcast, for its part, said it is currently preparing its "video ecosystem" to accept movie and TV content delivered with the EIDR identification as well as the associated metadata.

"We fully support the EIDR initiative since complete, accurate and consistent metadata is key to our products and features such as browse, search, filter and recommendations," Comcast vice president of business development Steve Heeb said in a statement. "The use of EIDR will enable us to develop a robust and accurate database of program metadata from multiple sources that can be used across multiple platforms, including VOD, linear and online."

The EIDR coalition is organized as a not-for-profit entity. Rovi initially is contracted to operate the registry database, under the guidance of an EIDR technical advisory board with representatives from members of the coalition.

Rovi plans to add EIDR IDs into data feeds to its metadata customers as early as the fourth quarter of this year. The vendor, which is a key metadata supplier to entertainment companies, seeded the EIDR database with an initial set of records after launch.

Warner Bros. said it is using EIDR to create a streamlined, effective delivery system for content distribution online, while Disney today announced that EIDR will be a part of the infrastructure supporting its new digital-distribution platform. "We have implemented EIDR into our metadata and internal digital workflows, and, working with our distribution partners, we intend to extend its usage to our various distribution channels," Disney senior vice president of distribution technology Arnaud Robert said in a statement.

Meanwhile, Baseline, a division of the New York Times Co., is a provider of film and television information to the entertainment industry. The company said it is in the process of actively mapping EIDR IDs to its database of professional film and television information and adding EIDR IDs to its products in the coming months.

September