Interviews, Special Reports

Managing Complexity – Simply And Securely

Brian Morris, VP and GM-global media and entertainment Services, Tata Communications informs Vinita Bhatia that the emergence of OTT and growing adoption of smart devices has forced pay TV operators to adopt multiple service delivery and content security platforms, resulting into management complexities.

What are some major threats to content security in broadcast TV?

In recent years we have seen global examples of how viewers are taking TV content into their own hands with the regional releases of hit TV series ‘Breaking Bad’ and ‘Game of Thrones’. Piracy has soared with an estimated 14.4 million illegal downloads of the 2015 season finale of ‘Game of Thrones’, making it the most downloaded TV-show for the fourth year in a row.
Some of the major content theft and piracy modes in the recent times are peer-to-peer (P2P) content transfer), illegal Unicast streaming (for live content), P2P streaming, direct file sharing (using cloud storage), hardware enabled piracy (set-top-box cloning, manipulating etc.), control word sharing (allowing multiple clients to access encrypted content with one set of decryption keys), smart card cloning, mobile video piracy, screen recording and sharing and live broadcasting apps

Is it possible for broadcasters to be sure they have the highest levels of content security integrated within the core of
their business platforms?

Today, content owners, enabled by technology providers, are taking control in a world where the viewing patterns of consumers are dramatically changing due to advances in mobile and flexible content provisioning. The broadcasting counter-revolution is about staying ahead of the game and providing viewers with the platforms and services that give them more control when it comes to dictating their own viewing experiences.

For broadcasters and Over the Top (OTT) and streaming network providers, this means enabling content to be delivered via non-traditional distribution channels, to support on-demand and catch-up services that allow viewers to watch whatever content they want, whenever they want, on any device. It is also enabling the disruption of regionalisation and rights management as content owners seek to extend reach and distribute their content on a global basis.

Hence, the emergence of OTT and streaming players and growing adoption of various smart devices, in an increasingly growing connected world, has forced pay-TV operators to offer their content on multiple networks and multiple devices. This gradual transformation has led to roll out of parallel systems requiring adoption of multiple service delivery and content security platforms resulting into management complexities.

What are some of the key trends evident in the unified content security space?
To manage the multi-service / multi-platform environment, media service providers need to adopt unified security approach to meet security requirement on any device and any type of content (live or on-demand)
Below are the key trends in unified content security space:
• Single security client combining CAS (conditional access systems) and DRM (digital rights management) functionalities to support DVB, IPTV STB and OTT based media distribution
• Adaptive security solutions compatible with any devices (incl. device with HWRoT, Open STBs like Android STB, Legacy STBs without HWRoT and Open CE devices)
• Security solutions to meet requirements for enhanced content (UHD, HD HDR, early release content) – MovieLabs , an R&D JV of six major motion picture studios, has come with new content security ECP guidelines
• Security solutions to support open consumer devices – software based security solutions compatible with customer owned devices

What about technologies like forensic watermarking?
It is the prerogative of content owners to do any kind of watermarking. We, at Tata Communications, are fully supportive and capable of carrying any watermarking through our infrastructure.
Forensic watermark is a great help when it comes to content security. It offers a range of benefits to broadcasters and content providers like:
• Single solution to fight against content redistribution across the value chain – For the content owner, the source of leak can be found out; while for the licensee, session-based watermarking enables them to identify which OTT account or smart card the pirate stream is originating from
• Lower total cost of ownership with easy deployment and scalability – all consumers (irrespective of the device they use) receive watermarked content, and not just those users who own watermarked enabled devices
• Fast time to market on deployed devices and existing workflows – there is no need for specific client side hardware, which makes it easier to deploy to existing devices.
• Renewable, robust security based on a centralised design – central architecture is more secure, in order to make it impossible for pirates to exploit the client device and easy to renew if a breach occurs
• State of the art technology and responsive services – combination of robust and scalable forensic marking technologies with proactive enforcement and investigative services

Are there any limitations to this technology?
Forensic watermarks have gained acceptance in the software and digital video industries. Other applications in which the technology holds promise include digital music and electronic books (e-books). However, the main limitation of forensic watermarking technology is the occasional occurrence of false positives, in which legal copies of a document, image, video or program are tagged as unauthorised.

Tata Communications offers the world’s first cloud-based broadcast-quality video transcoding and delivery service with the aim of helping broadcasters and content creators transcode media files into broadcast quality formats ready for immediate delivery and transmission globally. This drastically reduces the delivery time compared with traditional solutions that rely on the physical transport of media, meaning the time to view can be reduced across all regions.
This specific solution is part of Tata Communications’ wider media ecosystem that combines traditional video contribution services with IP-based connectivity to create a highly innovative global media platform. The new ecosystem equips broadcasters for the fast evolving landscape, enabling seamless global transport and management of content as a cloud based managed service, supporting global media distribution requirements, OTT and mobility applications.
With the right technology, broadcasters can keep pace in this complex and competitive market, minimising delivery time and regain control over their own content. With an innovative approach, broadcasters can enable viewers globally to enjoy their favourite shows without delay, ultimately eliminating the need for illegal sharing.

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