Wednesday, August 31, 2011, 3:04 AM ET|Posted by Will RichmondNDS has unveiled VideoGuard Connect, a DRM solution for pay-TV operators looking to securely distribute linear and on-demand content to connected devices. In addition, NDS is announcing that U.S. satellite operator DirecTV has adopted VideoGuard Connect to deliver video online and to iOS and Android devices, while the U.K.'s BSkyB has adopted it to deliver video for its Sky Go service to iOS devices. NDS's Nigel Smith, VP/Chief Marketing Officer and Leonid Sandler, CTO of its DRM group briefed me on the new DRM solution.
VideoGuard Connect extends NDS's experience in secure content delivery over existing, closed pay-TV operators' networks to the world of the open, unmanaged Internet. The company's VideoGuard conditional access system is used by 155 million active devices. Key differentiators for VideoGuard Connect include unique service protection at the individual subscriber level, so that if the DRM is hacked by one subscriber, it can't be effectively shared to others as well. In addition, VideoGuard Connect is tailored and optimized for each device's own security capability. Pay-TV operators are able to monitor the DRM status of each individual device receiving authorized content.
Pay-TV operators aren't required to use NDS's other video delivery, customer management and advanced advertising solutions, but VideoGuard Connect is optimized when integrated with these. Nigel and Leonid noted that the time is right for next-gen DRM solutions like VideoGuard Connect because pay-TV operators view newer over-the-top entrants as raising the bar on service delivery, but must also maintain their traditional level of security.
The proliferation of connected and mobile devices won't slow down any time soon, creating new challenges for pay-TV operators as they look to roll out TV Everywhere services across platforms. Further, since some content providers are pursuing linear delivery to connected devices (e.g. ESPN), while others are focused on on-demand (e.g. HBO GO), it's critical that any DRM solution pay-TV operators deploy can flexibly accommodate both models.