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November 27, 2012

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Securing home network video services: Which model is best for you?

Providing broadcast content only in real-time is no longer enough to remain competitive.  Consumers worldwide are increasingly demanding the paradigms of time-shifting and a personalized TV experience. Subscribers want to watch their favorite show on their preferred device at the time of their choosing.

The good news is that technology is advancing and is now able to support such demands.  For example, many benefits can be achieved by featuring a single, highly capable DVR or residential gateway (RGW) device at the core of an overall home network solution. This enables the creation of a broader service that supports additional in-home devices.

Because of the way content is recorded, and the way the content access keys are managed, content protection may be extended to other devices such as connected or smart TVs, PCs, game consoles, additional STBs, and iOS or Android-based mobile devices. Overall, such an approach supports enhanced subscriber satisfaction by providing an in-network solution for “catch-up” viewing requirements on any device.

When considering the consumption of recorded content, several basic models should be evaluated. One model is to record and use content on the DVR or RGW. This is perhaps the simplest scenario as the security of the system is guaranteed within a single device, and the recorded content can be seamlessly presented alongside selections of live channels or on-demand choices.

The second model is to stream content to other STBs in the home. In this case, the content is consumed from the DVR by a device that is also connected to the home network. Available content is discovered using network protocols such as DLNA, and the delivery of that content usually emulates a VOD session leveraging the RGW as a server, and utilizing similar protocols to those used in a network VOD session.

The third model consists of consuming content on a DTCP-IP enabled device in the home network. This is an alternative paradigm that enables broader consumption of content stored on the DVR by home devices that support a different standard for protected delivery.

Another possibility is to stream transcoded content to other devices in the home. The content is transcoded to a lower bitrate and re-encrypted on the DVR before being re-streamed locally. Then the transcoded content is shared with the devices in the home network for consumption. Transcoding may be performed in a RGW or in a stand-alone companion transcoding device.

And finally, it is also possible to receive content outside of the home network. In this case, the recorded content is transmitted from the head-end server to the mobile devices directly through the unmanaged network and the device can reside either inside or outside of the home network.

Verimatrix has composed some thoughts on how these various scenarios can be managed in the real world from a revenue security perspective.  If you would like to learn more, please contact your Verimatrix representative directly or contact us with your inquiry online.

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