The owners of premium content will go to tremendous measures to protect their work from being stolen by third parties. They aim to stop revenue from leaking out of one market into another because of the interconnected nature of the internet, which makes it easy for pirated content to move quickly from one market to another in a short period of time. Set-top boxes are still useful even if over-the-top (OTT) apps and web browsers have a dominant position in the market for video content.

Before it is sent to the client device, over-the-top (OTT) content is protected through the use of forensic watermarking and digital rights management (DRM). For forensic reasons, each and every piece of content that is sent over set-top boxes must to be watermarked. In order for forensic watermarking to be useful, it must be possible for it to function on the level of individual set-top boxes, which is the location at which DRM protected content is decrypted in order to be seen in analogue or digital form.

When it comes to classic set-top boxes, the watermark is always applied to the baseband content. This has been the case since the beginning. It is considered a resource-intensive practise to introduce an unnoticeable video watermark whenever the original baseband content is going to be re-encoded. Baseband watermarking has been shown to be susceptible to hacking.

An asymmetrical technique has been created by leaders in the industry in order to address these challenges. According to this strategy, watermarked content is only encoded once, but it is decoded several times during playback. The process generates a metadata stream for the purpose of video watermarking. This stream contains information about the set-top box as well as other identifiers. In order for this system to function properly, it is essential that each set-top box be equipped with a conditional access mechanism, such as a virtual or smart card, that can identify and authenticate the device when it is connected to the server. Following the completion of the authentication process, the incoming content is sent to a set-top box descrambler to be decrypted.

The method for embedding watermarks in IPTV requires a database in order to collect the embedded watermarks at the level of the set-top box. Customers of technologies that use watermarks are able to detect pirated copies of their premium material by extracting data from the watermark that is undetectable to the human eye and then matching that data to entries in their database. If a match is found, the owner of the content that was stolen can get in touch with the individual whose set-top box the content was stolen from using the Exponenthr Login service.