NAB 2023 MESA Round-Up: PallyCon, Spherex, Fortinet, PacketFabric, NAGRA

LAS VEGAS — More than 50 MESA members exhibited during NAB. Here’s what a few of them had to share at the show.


Daniel Kim, head of global business at INKA Entworks’s PallyCon was all smiles while talking about how his NAB experience was shaping up. When clients use the words “single source for content protection” when talking about your solutions, you have every reason to smile.

Late last year, INKA launched a new transcoding and packaging SaaS solution, supporting content transcoding, forensic watermarking, encryption with multi-DRM and packaging with DASH and HLS in one single workflow, making anything comprehensively protected and ready for streaming.

“It’s a single workflow without any additional, costly add-ons, all-in-one,” Kim said. “More economical, easy to use and high-quality, all done to studio standards.”

The service built on PallyCon industry-first SaaS-based forensic watermarking solution launched in year 2019 and is squarely aimed at streaming players who want to get their service launched sans the complexity usually involved with transcoding and securing content with multi-DRM and forensic watermarking. The service calls for just one resolution file as input to generate a set of output videos for secure streaming, with no need to pay the additional transcoding costs using third-party software.

And PallyCon and INKA aren’t done: just before NAB, they announced a collaboration with cloud media processing platform Dolby Hybrik to create an integrated solution offering content security services in one workflow. The integration of Hybrik into PallyCon will aim to help streaming services transcode their content quickly, easily, and affordably.


Days before Spherex new AI tool Spherexgreenlight won TV Tech’s Best of Show 2023 award at NAB, Teresa Phillips, CEO and co-founder of the company, was already feeling pretty good about Spherex’s chances of taking home the prize.

After all, not many products can compete with a solution that, using AI and ML, identifies, interprets, and classifies cultural events of film and TV shows, immediately determining the cultural fit for content across 200-plus countries and territories. Identifying what’s gonna get you censored where used to be a difficult process. Not anymore.

“It’s all AI-driven, with humans in the loop,” Phillips said. “Classifiy it, rate it, do it at scale, and the AI takes the guesswork out of it. Compliance isn’t just around nudity and violence. Dialogue, music, there’s so much that needs to be examined and with context.”

This is a must-have tool for producers, distributors, and platforms out to reach the greatest global audience possible.

What works in China may not fly in Egypt, and what’s perfectly acceptable in Kenya will get yanked off a platform in Morocco.

Spherexgreenlight analyzes the dialogue, different camera angles, music, lighting, violence, sexuality, drug use, any component of a scene you can imagine, and then tells you what’s gonna need editing to meet with regulations and regulatory compliance and be compatible with cultural norms and local audiences.

Faster time to market, savings galore, expanded audience reach, and, bonus, your brand is safer than ever from censorship blowback.

It was a worthy award for Spherex, but the work is never done … already the company is working on upgrades to Spherexgreenlight,


Panels on the show floor, booth appointments, presentation son the Sahara Theater stage for the Content Protection Summit … Jonathan Nguyen-Duy, VP and global field CISO for Fortinet was absolutely everywhere at NAB. And you’d be wise to listen to what he had to share.

“We’re going to spend $188 billion [in 2023] on network security, but we’re essentially blind,” he said, pointing to Fortinet research that shows 72 percent of data breach detections come about without any help of the systems set up to detect them. That’s a lot of money spent without much ROI.

Nguyen-Duy noted that nearly 100 percent of vulnerabilities that were exploited in 2022 were already known about for at least a year, meaning industries are simply too slow at closing security gaps before they’re taken advantage of. And, well, humans are the biggest problem: 83 percent of data breaches were the result of human error.

“We don’t operate in silos anymore, and network security components have become more important than ever,” he said. “[Cyber criminals] find out what resonates with you, build a profile, and then craft very tailored phishing campaigns. After eight or nine attempts, they are successful.”

Knowing the enemy and how they think and operate is crucial for Fortinet and how it develops its products. The company came into NAB new innovations around its secure networking portfolio, including Hybrid Mesh Firewall, Single-Vendor SASE, Universal ZTNA, Secure SD-WAN, and Secure WLAN/LAN.

To read about the updates, click here.

Fortinet also unveiled real-time response and added automation capabilities for its cybersecurity platform, Fortinet Security Fabric. For that update, click here.


How do you celebrate the completion of major tech merger, making your company the premier network as a service (NaaS) provider? You throw a standing-room-only party at NAB.

“We’re now able to offer last-mile services. It makes us a one-stop shop, accessible, affordable, and very user friendly,” said Lisa Gerber, director of media and entertainment of PacketFabric, regarding the completion of the merger of her company and enterprise network service provider Unitas Global.

The merger, first announced in January, gives PacketFabric extensive capabilities in public and private transport for enterprises, technology partners, and global channels, expanding the company’s NaaS offerings beyond public cloud on-ramps and data center interconnect (DCI), creating a fully programmable internet for PacketFabric’s customers.

“We are the only company that helps businesses shift from being reactive to proactive when it comes to the constant change of digitized operations,” said PacketFabric CEO Dave Ward, when the merger was first announced. “Our platforms enable a fundamental shift in the way to architect and operationalize a modern business. We enable a reimagination of simplified operations with real-time, on-demand automation, self-service, complete telemetry, and flexible consumption, applied to every aspect of business connectivity.

“We do this by fulfilling the promise of software-defined-networking and AIOps via our cloud native platforms. Not one other NaaS offer enables Edge to Everywhere through their platform, we believe this makes us the one true NaaS.”

The end result: enterprises and partners alike don’t have to own, manage or operate the communication foundation of their businesses. PacketFabric gives them the ability to design and control their own communication architecture, without owning or operating any part of their networks.


What’s the most important part of the content production and distribution process to protect? Every last inch of it, according to NAGRA’s Ken Gerstein, VP of sales for NAGRA Anti-Piracy.

“We cover from camera to glass, post to consumers, everything,” he said. “The awareness of security has increased across the entire supply chain, and the technology has improved with that.”

NAGRA made “Security Matters, from Camera to Glass” its NAB theme, showing everything from secure forensic watermarking (direct from the camera during the content acquisition process) to Active Streaming Protection that secures both the content and the service by identifying and quantifying illicit network activities, including CDN theft.

There’s NAGRA Insight, which proactively predicts changing consumer behavior, to better optimize and personalize subscriber offerings and minimize churn. There’s NAGRA’s own streaming solution, OpenTV Video Platform, enabling OTT services with all the protection technologies rolled in.

There’s NAGRA meeting the demands for audio watermarking, in addition to video.

In other words, NAGRA has it all covered.

“A lot of this expanded interest in protecting everything was driven by people working remotely during the pandemic, and even now in hybrid work environments,” Gerstein said.

Also NAB, NAGRA announced it has joined the Amazon Web Services (AWS) Independent Software Vendor (ISV) Accelerate Program, the co-sell program for AWS partners that provides software solutions running on or integrated with AWS.