Protecting premium content is crucial for both content owners and service providers.
Protecting premium content is crucial for both content owners, such as television and film studios, and service providers, such as cable, satellite, pay-TV, and IPTV and streaming services, because it safeguards the revenue generated by their core business.
Historically, content protection was performed in device-specific chips and smart cards or using hardened software solutions. A decade ago, custom-built closed set-top boxes were the only devices being used to consume premium content.
In the last ten years, the advent and rapid growth of streaming and the increase in content consumption across different devices has had a significant impact on the industry. Due to the variety of devices available, further complicated by the different models of each device, custom hardware is no longer viable as the creation of model-specific chipsets would be cost-prohibitive. Smart cards and custom hardware are also no longer practical as not all retail devices can easily pre-integrate proprietary hardware security.
In deciding how to best protect premium content going forward, the industry faces two main challenges:
First, content needs to be provided and secured across an ever-growing range of devices. Now, some consumers have five or more different devices with a screen high-quality enough to consume content on – and they want access to the same content across all of them.
Second, there needs to be consistency in security requirements and implementations. There is no commercial benefit to providing highly robust set-top boxes and at the same time allowing consumers to download unprotected applications onto smart devices and consume premium content that way. So, content needs to be protected at the same level across all devices.
The introduction of GlobalPlatform-certified Trusted Execution Environments (TEEs) and Trusted Applications (TAs) is helping resolve these challenges.
“The TEE has become the de-facto standard in the broadcast and video services industries for protecting digital content. The GlobalPlatform Secure Media Path will extend this protection from the core DRM (digital rights management) to the whole video flow – meaning that the video content itself enjoys the full protection of the TEE after it has been decoded and decrypted. The industry collaboration required to achieve such high market penetration of this technology is commendable, and demonstrates the value of a close involvement with GlobalPlatform.”- Petr Peterka - CTO, Verimatrix
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