Have you ever noticed the seemingly random, often irritating, set of numbers that appear, from time to time, on your TV screen while watching live match or shows? They automatically appear and disappear on the screen. Do you know what those numbers are and what they mean? Well, those set of numbers actually has a reason behind it!
The seemingly random set of numbers that appears in a corner of the television screen are a part of anti-piracy measures taken by channels. The number you see on your screen is one that is generated uniquely for your region using an algorithm by the channel. It is inserted into video streaming at random points so that it can’t be taken down by using video processing algorithms. So if someone attempts to replicate the video being broadcast either with a camera or a screen recording device, the ‘random’ number will then be a part of the copy.
These numbers are a part of the anti-piracy measures taken by channels. Let me tell you how it works :
(1) This number you see on your television is generated for every region, using some hashing algorithm.
(2) This number is interspersed in the video stream at random places, so that it cant be taken down by using video processing algorithms.
To counter this they require that the STB is able to display a little graphic overlay with a unique number. That unique number can be used to trace back who owns the account/box. Thus, by using these unique numbers, the company or the content providers can track down the place of recording or people responsible for capturing content off-air and replaying it over the internet or on any other means without permission.