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Nagra Doubles Down on DRM

Mari Silbey

It's been two weeks since Nagra Kudelski, a division of the Kudelski Group, won approval from the Digital Entertainment Content Ecosystem LLC (DECE) for its digital rights management (DRM) solution. Now the company is adding a stamp from the Digital Transmission Licensing Administrator (DTLA) for the use of its Nagra MediaAccess Persistent Rights Management (PRM) technology to protect streaming content from a viewer's home network.

Leaving the acronyms aside, Nagra's DRM solution is racking up supporters in an industry that's typically difficult to please. Hollywood fears of digital piracy have slowed the progress of multiscreen service deployments. However, with approval from both the DECE and DTLA, Nagra appears to have assuaged studio concerns about extending content protection to the Internet.

There is further proof in the fact that Dish Network and Echostar currently use Nagra MediaAccess PRM to secure content for the Dish Anywhere app. That implementation includes protection of video streamed from the Sling-enabled Dish Hopper DVR to consumer connected devices. (See Nagra Secures Dish's TVE Future.)

In a statement, Michael Hawkey, vice president and general manager at Sling Media said:

    Use of NAGRA MediaAccess PRM with Sling placeshifting technology allows consumers to securely access and control their home cable, satellite or IPTV programming and other audio-video devices so they can view premium or personal content anytime, anywhere. PRM ensures that pay-TV operator content is protected while giving consumers a flexible, easy-to-use experience. DTLA’s endorsement of PRM further confirms our decision to work with NAGRA to make a secure Sling experience possible for millions of consumers.

Nagra will showcase its DRM technology this week at The Cable Show, but the company also plans to draw attention to its "connectware" solution, OpenTV 5. Not wanting to use the word "middleware," Nagra has landed on "connectware" to describe its set-top software stack. The stack includes numerous features, including support for DLNA, MoCA, transcoding, subtitling, teletext, and much more. It also bundles in an advanced user interface framework, allowing operators to choose between building their own customized guide experiences and working with an off-the-shelf UI.

In a conversation with Light Reading, Nagra senior vice president for the Americas Tom Wirth positioned OpenTV 5 as an alternative to the Reference Design Kit, particularly in international markets. "There is an alternative… and it's called OpenTV 5," said Wirth.

Wirth also pointed out that Nagra's solution works beyond the cable market. "The unique part of our software OpenTV 5, the headend, could be for IP delivery, could be for cable delivery, could be for satellite delivery."

Current OpenTV 5 customers include Telefónica and StarHub, among others.

— Mari Silbey, special to Light Reading

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4/29/2014 | 12:00:50 PM
DRM Solved?
"...that Nagra's solution works beyond the cable market. 'The unique part of our software OpenTV 5, the headend, could be for IP delivery, could be for cable delivery, could be for satellite delivery.'"

If this is indeed unique and not copyable by another company, Nagra's technology ideas may well be very profitable as providers and copyright owners look for the perfect solution to multi-device use of content.
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