Nikolai Keychenko
Jan 24, 2019

To fulfill its vision of an intuitive and flexible set-top box that would allow subscribers to discover and consume content however, whenever, and wherever they wanted, Com Hem set out to evaluate the pros and cons of traditional turnkey development, RDK open-source software, and the relatively new open-source Android TV Operator Tier. They went with Android TV. In 2017, Com Hem launched the world’s first major Android N (as in Nougat) deployment of the Android TV Operator Tier.

The custom solution that Com Hem ultimately developed for its Tv Hub deployment is a testament to the modern TV experience done right. This next-gen platform combines linear content with on-demand and OTT services in UHD/4K and HDR quality. It comes pre-integrated with Netflix, SVT Play, TV4 Play and YouTube, which combined account for about 75% of all OTT video consumption in Sweden. Furthermore, the new platform offers a consistent and seamless viewing experience across three different networks: IPTV, cable, and digital terrestrial. Coupled with Com Hem Play, subscribers can access TV Everywhere anywhere within the European Union.

Bringing Com Hem’s Tv Hub to life involved a collaborative effort between Com Hem, Verimatrix, 3 Screen Solutions and Technicolor. We worked closely with Com Hem and the technology partners to deliver an end-to-end solution to satisfy content security requirements. And with the open-source nature of Android TV, it is vital to get the security component correct.

Content Security Considerations for Android TV Operator Tier

For Com Hem, it was important that the Tv Hub support 4K/UHD quality video. Our VCAS Ultra solution was designed to satisfy MovieLabs’ specifications for Enhanced Content Protection and was a natural fit for this deployment. The Verimatrix ViewRight security client is fully integrated into the hybrid STB and middleware, both of which were provided by Technicolor.

For this deployment, the STB’s advanced SoC features a hardware root-of-trust, a Trusted Execution Environment, and output controls while ensuring a complete separation and isolation of the pay-TV security processing and data from the otherwise open TV environment.  

For Com Hem, Verimatrix delivered our MultiRights OTT solution for use with Apple Fairplay Streaming, Google Widevine and Microsoft PlayReady DRMs, in addition to our own ViewRight Web DRM and VCAS for Internet TV. You can learn more about VCAS Security for Android TV by checking out our Product Brief.

With the current VCAS Ultra platform in place, Com Hem is ideally positioned to take advantage of other Verimatrix solutions like video watermarking and video analytics providing further protection and monetization opportunities.

And while the deployment is still fairly new, Com Hem CTO Thomas Helbo stated that subscribers really enjoy its “seamless and technology-agnostic” approach to content which allows subscribers to access streaming services and broadcast services in one convenient platform.

We’re honored to be part of this ground-breaking deployment, providing fully integrated end-to-end Android TV security across all three networks and across all consumer devices. You can learn more about this deployment and how it came together by reading our case study.

We’d love to help you understand how VCAS Ultra can best support your own Android TV deployment. Contact us or share your questions and comments below.