nagra - optimizing multiscreen tv delivery with a secure video player

Download NAGRA - Optimizing Multiscreen TV Delivery with a Secure Video Player

Post on 25-Jul-2016




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  • 3+ CE devices use a wide range of fast-evolving OS platforms, streaming standards, DRM products.

    + Pay-TV service providers face significant challenges in delivering OTT multiscreen services

    to these ever-changing CE devices.

    + They are dependent on decisions taken by device manufacturers and sudden changes in browser or operating

    platforms can be very disruptive and have a negative impact on pay-TV customers and service providers.

    + Googles recent withdrawal of support for the NPAPI plug-in on its Chrome browser is a case

    in point and has caused problems for some leading pay-TV service providers.

    + Service providers could opt for common encryption DRMs for their OTT TV services, hoping to solve all their

    interoperability issues, but this approach will only address part of the technical and business challenges.

    + A better option is an operator-controlled secure player solution delivered by a trusted content

    security partner that ensures a consistent user experience across all devices while providing

    value over the entire lifecycle of CE devices.

    This paper looks at the market needs and challenges that pay-TV service providers face when deploying multiscreen

    TV solutions on third-party consumer electronic (CE) devices such as PCs, tablets, and smartphones. It evaluates

    the alternative solutions that are available for addressing the needs of both content owners and service customers,

    and it examines the potential business benefits of choosing an operator-controlled solution delivered by a trusted

    content-security partner. The paper is based around the following key themes :



    NAGRA has published a range of additional information on the MediaLive Secure Player portal which can be

    found at

    To discuss your requirements for a Secure Player deployment in your organization, please contact your Account

    Manager or email us at



    Service providers are dependent upon strategic and

    technological decisions taken by device manufacturers

    and software providers. This can leave them vulnerable,

    for example, to changes in browser platforms

    used on PCs and to the Android and iOS operating

    systems of mobile devices. This can also mean that

    multiscreen TV applications that worked previously

    may suddenly stop streaming content, creating havoc

    with subscribers and leading to calls to customer-care

    centers, dissatisfaction with the operator, damage to

    its brand, and loss of revenue 1. Rather than cement

    and strengthen the relationship between pay-TV service

    providers and their customers, OTT TV if not deployed

    carefully could potentially end up undermining

    customer confidence.

    The latest example of this kind of potentially disruptive

    change is Googles decision to implement the HTML5

    Encrypted Media Extensions (EME) standard to manage

    DRM content in the Chrome browser, while phasing

    out support for the Netscape Plug-in API (NPAPI) (see

    Case Study 1). The withdrawal of support for NPAPI

    on which Microsofts Silverlight streaming media

    application framework and its PlayReady DRM depend

    will affect pay-TV subscribers whose service providers

    use these players to provide video content within a

    Chrome browser. Given that the share of the Google

    Chrome PC browser users is estimated to be more than

    52% 2 of a typical pay-TV operators subscriber base

    and that Silverlight and PlayReady are widely used by

    some service providers, this potentially presents a very

    significant challenge. For example, Googles decision

    led Sky and BT Sport to encourage their subscribers

    to move from Chrome to Firefox or Internet Explorer 3.

    The theoretical solution to the problem is greater OTT

    standardization, which would enable service providers

    to increase their efficiency and reduce the risk in

    delivering OTT services. While there has been some

    technical progress in simplifying streaming formats,

    codecs, and DRM, the reality is that standardization is

    an ever-evolving process that brings alignment over

    time but is not the panacea to all market needs in the

    short term. A more pragmatic approach is required.



    Service providers also need to ensure that content

    security standards are not compromised by choosing

    a vertical, per-device, per-platform and per-browser

    vendor approach, and that content licensing complexities

    are not increased by having to deal with multiple DRM

    vendors. Pay-TV service providers should not forget that

    the very Silicon Valley giants (i.e. Apple, Google, and

    Microsoft among others) that sometimes unilaterally

    define their proprietary technologies are also their

    competitors in delivering OTT TV. As a result, dependency

    on the strategies of these companies increases business

    risk levels for service providers.

    OTT TV services are increasingly important to pay-TV service providers as they deploy multiscreen offerings to

    complement their core services and to compete more effectively with Internet-based rivals. But delivering them

    over consumer electronic (CE) devices such as PCs, tablets, smartphones, video game consoles, and smart TVs

    presents several significant challenges regardless of the operators network type whether telco, cable, or

    satellite. Many of these challenges result from the fact that unlike the pay-TV set-top-box environment service

    providers do not have control of the open devices, which use a wide range of operating systems and standards.




    Another fundamental requirement is the provision of

    a consistent set of pay-TV-centric features and use

    cases, available across all devices and platforms.

    Such capabilities are best provided by a secure player,

    with features such as multiple audio tracks, subtitles,

    dynamic advertising, and trick modes, as well as use

    cases such as casting or sharing between devices.

    As well as streaming standards and DRMs, it is

    important to include the overall and consistent control

    of the TV experience delivered across multiple devices

    that also interact with each other.

    Understanding the longer-term implications of

    technical decisions related to OTT and multiscreen

    TV content delivery and their impact on business is

    absolutely key for the success of service providers.

    1 According to consulting firm nScreenMedia, US and European pay-TV operators are spending an estimated

    $2.8 billion of their almost $10 billion annual network and maintenance expenses to directly address

    multiscreen service delivery failures

    2 An estimated 52% of World Wide Web users use Google Chrome as their browser on their personal

    computers, according to

    3 Sky has no plans to fix Chrome compatibility after Googles Silverlight shun, The Inquirer, May 1, 2015

  • 6Googles new Pepper Plug-in API (PPAPI), which

    replaces NPAPI, is intended to increase security for

    browsers as it provides a direct link to a sandboxed

    environment where the code is executed Chromes

    Native Client (NaCI) and provides greater stability, as

    the code is executed in a separate thread rather than in

    the main browser thread. It is also designed to facilitate

    code portability across different platforms.

    Googles justification for its action is that PPAPI/NaCl

    is more advanced and allows plug-ins to work more

    seamlessly and securely within Chrome. However, the

    move needs to be considered in the context of the wider

    commercial battle between Google and Microsoft and

    the fact that it may push service providers towards

    adopting Googles Widevine DRM.

    NAGRAs new PPAPI/NaCI browser plug-in is packaged

    as the NAGRA MediaLive Secure Player for Chrome,

    and integrates NAGRA anyCAST PRM, NAGRAs studio-

    approved DRM. It is fully compliant with the new HTML5

    Chrome browser security architecture. The secure-

    player browser plug-in is delivered as a Chrome

    extension via the online Chrome Web Store, so it can be

    easily installed by end-users. Updates are performed

    via the operators Chrome Web Store account and easily

    installed to the end-users Chrome browser.

    With this solution, NAGRA ensures that pay-TV service

    providers who had been using Silverlight and PlayReady

    can continue to provide video services to their Chrome

    customers with only a simple action required by the

    subscriber. As a result, service providers do not have

    to adopt another DRM (i.e.Google Widevine) and player

    or point their subscribers to use Firefox, IE or Safari

    browsers instead