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June 6, 2011

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A Deeper Dive into Multiplatform Content Protection: More Thoughts on How to Secure Content Everywhere (Part 2)

Last week, we posted answers to several of the follow up questions that were generated during our recent Light Reading webinar on Multiplatform Content Protection: How to Secure Content Everywhere. Below are even more answers to questions with themes that pervaded multiple questions and comments during the session. Feel free to let us know you agree or disagree by leaving a comment below. Are keys determined by the DEVICE identity or by the USER identity? Do security systems provide for different entitlements for different users of a single device? The management of key distribution for encrypted video streams is one of the ways to regulate consumption to different subscribers. In order to do that most effectively, operators need to determine the entitlements of those keys both at the user level and the device level. Security systems could provide different entitlements for different devices going to the same user or to provide different entitlements for different users on a single device. The consumer’s experience is adversely affected by making consumption rules too complicated.  If the value proposition of the service or transactional purchase is too complicated and not intuitive to the consumer, then whole experience is detrimentally affected.  In our experience, we have found that you really want to make the rules as simple as possible but keep entitlement management on a fine grain basis managed on user-by-user and device-by-device basis. Can HLS support the needed adaptation of streaming rate for the larger screen in addition to smaller screens? The ability of HTTP Live Streaming (HLS) to scale delivery systems from small form factor devices to large devices is part of what makes it so attractive.  So, yes, it is possible for the device to adapt to the right bit rate to match the resolution of its own screen display as well as to match the stream profile to the available network bandwidth. Do you see a trend towards IP video home gateway/IP STB among pay TV operators? We believe that the market is inexorably moving to IP-based video delivery across networks outside the home as well as inside the home. We are working with cable operators that are migrating to so called cable IPTV or DVB-C / IP hybrid networks to take full advantage of the cost and operational efficiencies that are possible. But the transition necessarily involves stepping stones, and the gateway device is certainly an element of solutions that can help bridge the gap between traditional video network delivery technologies and the IP centric world. Where do you see gaming consoles in the universe of 'connected devices' and video consumption, and DRM protection? Gaming consoles are very sophisticated and powerful video machines that make great set-top box substitutes. We also think that they could enable viable second or third screens in the home. They are pretty good from a video processing and cost standpoint, so therefore they should be pretty good from a home video services standpoint. The challenge has always been developing applications for game consoles as they have not been open development environments and it’s been harder for these devices to become rich targets for different kinds of video services. Access the archived webinar from Light Reading here.

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