Saturday, 8 June 2013

Cardless Content Security The Smarter Choice for Hybrid Networks

The Internet has irreversibly changed where, when and how viewers want to experience their content. The pay TV industry, from a global perspective, is transforming itself to keep pace with this evolution; operators clearly understand that the age of simply broadcasting linear bouquets of live content to managed set-top boxes (STBs) is passing. 
This article discusses the security challenges operators face as they embrace multi-network architectures to implement next-generation TV Everywhere content services. It also provides best practices in planning security architectures for ubiquitous video solutions. While the complexity of the problem may seem insurmountable, there are technological advances that bring streamlined, scalable, multi-network deployments within reach of pay TV operators. Cardless conditional access (CA) solutions are particularly well-positioned to provide secure yet cost-efficient security for today's and tomorrow's content protection needs. 
In our recent white paper, titled “Cardless Content Security: The Smarter Choice for Hybrid Networks,” we discuss best practices in planning a forward-looking security strategy and operational architecture that optimally positions an operator for long-term scalability, flexibility and competitive strength.
The Internet has irreversibly changed where, when and how viewers want to experience their content. The pay TV industry, from a global perspective, is transforming itself to keep pace with this evolution; operators clearly understand that the age of simply broadcasting linear bouquets of live content to managed set-top boxes (STBs) is passing. This paper discusses the security challenges operators face as they embrace multi-network architectures to implement next-generation TV Everywhere content services. It also provides best practices in planning security architectures for ubiquitous video solutions. 
 While the complexity of the problem may seem insurmountable, there are technological advances that bring streamlined, scalable, multi-network deployments within reach of pay TV operators. Cardless conditional access (CA) solutions are particularly well-positioned to provide secure yet cost-efficient security for today's and tomorrow's content protection needs. 
Pay TV content has traditionally been delivered as a bouquet of channels that is broadcast over a one-way network. While this traditional linear distribution model still forms the mainstay of pay TV worldwide today, it is changing rapidly. IPTV or Telco TV was the first to leverage bi-directional networks for pay TV distribution, but cable distribution is increasingly converting to IP-based technology and OTT is growing in importance as a complement to both cable and satellite direct-to-home (DTH) services. This migration is being driven by new revenue opportunities from interactive applications, such as video on demand, pay per view, and network digital video recording (DVR). It is also driven by increasing competitiveness across pay TV providers, the growing trends of cord shaving and cord cutting, and soaring consumer demand for access to content anytime, anywhere and on any device.
That said, delivering engaging multi-screen experiences in a profitable manner remains an unsolved problem in the industry today. Key challenges that pay TV service operators, including telcos, MSOs and satellite service providers, face today include the following: 
Scalability: Most pay TV infrastructure today includes a mix of legacy one-way and upgraded two-way networks. Subscriber bases similarly have a mix of customer premise equipment (CPE), such as legacy STBs with or without recording and interactivity capabilities, and current-generation equipment, such as hybrid STBs and home media gateways. Upgrades to modern networks and CPE continue, but are gradual, and so service providers will need to support a mixture of technologies and devices for the foreseeable future. Added to this mix is a growing percentage of unmanaged devices such as tablets, smart TVs, gaming consoles and smart phones that are receiving the linear and on-demand content. 
Frost & Sullivan estimates that nearly 1 billion video consumer devices were sold in 2012 alone, with that number projected to triple by 2017. Each device model has its own unique resolution, format and native digital rights management (DRM) support characteristics, and each must be optimally accounted for in delivery of linear and on-demand content. Ensuring that service delivery components such as security, subscriber management services (SMS) and viewer usage tracking (analytics) address each of these content consumption paths and scale well across the smorgasbord of networks, devices and content types in play today is a major challenge for service providers. This problem is exacerbated for service providers who are leveraging different content security solution silos for various applications and network technologies. 
Cost-Efficiency and Profitability: Deploying content in contemporary business models to a wide range of consumer electronic devices with a high-quality experience, while still maintaining cost efficiency, is the second major challenge faced by service provides today. An added dimension of this challenge is profitability; intense competition between IPTV, cable and DTH providers in saturated and emerging markets alike is placing tremendous pressure on subscription costs, limiting the average revenue per user (ARPU). At the same time, global liquidity and levels of consumer spending both remain constrained, in turn constraining the operator's appetite for capital expenditure (CAPEX) in new upgrades. Nonetheless, to remain competitive and minimize churn, operators do need to continue upgrading their networks and managed devices. Minimizing the cost of new CPE (such as hybrid STBs) through smart design choices allows operators to continue to remain competitive while controlling costs. 
Security: While rich functionality is the key to ensuring customer loyalty, protecting content and service revenues against piracy is a business imperative. On the one hand, competitive pressure and consumer demand is driving the need to deliver premium content, such as early release movies in HD resolution, equivalently to both managed STBs and unmanaged devices (which only rarely support CA systems). Balancing the need to provide a consistent user experience across all devices and networks with achieving corresponding consistency in protection against piracy across all devices and networks is the third key challenge faced by operators today. Solving this challenge is essential on two fronts: first, as a prerequisite for content owners to grant operators the rights to distribute content across all screens, and second, to reinforce the delivery business model by minimizing revenue leakage.
Caught up in the whirlwind of new devices, content formats and business models, it is easy for operators to focus on connecting the dots of transmission on a tactical basis rather than take the long-term view toward the overarching user experience and strategically prudent architectural decisions. As managed and unmanaged IP-based and OTT services shed the step-child mantle and become first-class citizens alongside traditional bouquet services, many operators are challenged by the technological complexities of implementing seamless, transparent and yet secure content experiences across a multitude of devices and networks. 
To download the full paper, please 
visit:http://www.verimatrix.com/hybridcardless

Source: http://cablequest.org/articles/broadcast-technology/item/2571-cardless-content-security-the-smarter-choice-for-hybrid-networks.html
Source: http://cablequest.org/articles/broadcast-technology/item/2571-cardless-content-security-the-smarter-choice-for-hybrid-networks.html

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