Lowering content protection costs with Google’s Widevine CAS and DRMtoday
One of the most critical aspects of any digital PayTV operation is the selection and implementation of a robust conditional access system (CAS) for content protection. Buying a CAS generally adds a significant expense to the total costs of investment faced by an operator. However, a radically new approach has emerged thanks to a cloud-based CAS technology developed by Google and optimized by us with our DRMtoday solution.
Recently, we initiated a webinar together with Google on Widevine CAS (you can watch it here in Spanish) but we’ve put together a summary of the discussion in English!
Strategic Partner Development
Android TV, Google
Sales Manager LATAM
What are the advantages of Widevine CAS compared to using a conventional CAS?
The main advantage is that this solution lies in the native Android TV OS, and leverages the same security infrastructure that’s used in Widevine DRM for OTT. It means that it’s a system-backed and studio-approved security solution that alleviates issues with security reviews or certifications that are required by other CAS vendors.
Widevine CAS was specially designed to provide operators within the PayTV ecosystem with a more economical option, making it easy to take advantage of standards-based solutions for content protection while giving you the possibility to include a future OTT service strategy.
The overall costs are lower as Android TV set-top boxes are no longer reliant on overpriced middleware or hardware security in order to operate and protect video over IPTV networks. The main cost that needs to be taken into account is related to the integration of the solution itself into your infrastructure. Furthermore, Google’s Widevine CAS doesn’t charge usage royalties or device fees.
Traditionally, conventional CAS providers supply a proprietary solution, headend, proprietary ECMG, license generation, and key handover. On the client side, it would include a proprietary chipset with royalty fees, and if there’s a problem with security, it’s very difficult to correct it. However, Widevine CAS’ cloud-based solution is easy to maintain, scale, and improve.
Why was this service developed and why did we decide to work with Google on it?
There was a need for an alternative solution to traditional CAS which is expensive, relies on proprietary technology, and it can be difficult infrastructure to maintain. It also requires bringing traditional broadcast and IP-based streaming OTT together. For these reasons we were eager to work with Google on offering an alternative solution through DRMtoday for Widevine CAS to provide the best secure conditional access solution.
The content licenses are stored and generated through an on-prem ECMG or securely in the cloud using DRMtoday to streamline your end-to-end deployment. Additionally, using our experience in multi-DRM license delivery, our approach gets you running at low cost whilst enabling higher levels of scalability for Android TV through our global license delivery network.
What’s the time to market? Can both Widevine and conventional CAS systems work?
In our case, we come from the OTT world and we fully understand that a scalable structure is key for our clients and the end user. Traditional CAS services tend to have their own background in hardware and solutions, so you can easily fall into having old and expensive solutions with hardware assets that’ll be in your accounting bookkeeping for years. As our solutions are Widevine ready, meaning that we’re highly qualified to install and integrate DRMtoday for Widevine CAS, the deployment of the core feature set can take between 3-6 months.
We’ve also integrated a DVB Simulcrypt system into our workflow, allowing multiple CAS systems to coexist and help to easily connect your current infrastructure with Google’s backend.
Like all of our solutions, we don’t want you to buy anything you don’t need and invest in huge CAPEX; thus we can modularly implement the different elements of DRMtoday for Widevine CAS based on your requirements – this could be DRMtoday cloud for Widevine CAS or just our PRESTOplay player SDKs for Android TV. In addition to this, our expert engineers are available to support your services in many ways, such as: customization for your workflows, consulting on best practices, and removing blockers.
Whether you’re a broadcaster, cable, or telecom operator you can save time, money, and reach a wider audience with your existing content and infrastructure on Android TV to have the highest level of security that lets you deliver those Hollywood experiences securely.