As the dust now settles on another IP&TV World Forum (the last in fact), one theme lingers in the mind – multi-screen, multi-network delivery of content.
In the past 12 months, we have seen online video services rise and rise, and more consumers access video on the iPads, iPhones and Android phones they have fallen in love with, leading managed video services to look a mite staid in comparison.
This enormous consumer appetite for online video is driving TV operators to negotiate rights contracts that enable them to deliver high-value content to these shiny new devices over unmanaged and unsecured broadband networks, and thus retain eyeballs.
In light of these pressures, I met some of the best-known providers of content protection solutions at the IP&TV World Forum to discuss the new challenges they are encountering.
All highlighted the relentless battle against video piracy, and the difficulties in the early days of IPTV (or “telco TV” as it was known then) to persuade content owners that IP delivery was not less secure than existing methods, and that existing content protection solutions would not suffice.
“At the time, no one knew if telcos were going to be able to compete in the pay-TV space, and we were faced with competition from legacy conditional access providers that provided smart card-based security to satellite and cable operators, and offered solutions to scramble the signal, along with subscriber authentication and management,” said Steve Oetegenn, CMO at Verimatrix.
“We were fighting an uphill battle, and we spent a lot of time in Hollywood speaking to the security and anti-piracy groups and educating them on our solution, and why they should authorise content to be protected by it.”
Steve added that the modular approach adopted by Verimatrix has subsequently enabled it to implement security solutions on a wide range of networks and combinations of networks as demand grew, using DVB for broadcast content and IP for the delivery of on-demand and interactive content.