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Cable Technology Feature Article

September 12, 2008

Verimatrix Launched VCAS for DVB 2.0 Solution

By Arun Satapathy, TMCnet Contributor

Verimatrix (News - Alert), which enhanced the value of pay-TV networks, announced its VCAS for DVB 2.0 solution, which extends the reach of its multiple-layered security architecture to digital broadcast content in satellite, cable and terrestrial broadcast networks where no direct return path is available.
Leveraging on its initial VCAS for DVB release, targeting hybrid networks, this support for Digital Video Broadcasting (DVB) services can be offered with the same pay-TV head-end architecture supporting IPTV (News - Alert) and hybrid networks. Verimatrix will be demonstrating VCAS for DVB 2.0 at IBC2008 in stand 4.B45.
Conditional Access (CA (News - Alert)) systems, which feature a removable hardware security device or smart card, are common in the mature DVB pay-TV market, though with limitations such as intrinsic cost and renewability challenges. Verimatrix in this scenario offers a new cost-effective approach to secure services that is especially appropriate for green field deployments and existing service providers transitioning from analog to digital pay-TV. The software-based architecture is based on core Verimatrix Video Content Authority System (VCAS) technology, which is proven with more than 150 operators and 5 million screens globally.
"The business opportunity for technology in broadcast or one-way networks such as cable and satellite still far outweighs that offered by the pure IPTV market. Although Screen Digest predicts that the bulk of linear content will continue to be sent over one-way networks, many television operators also have an active roadmap for combining linear and return-path technology for applications such as VoD and content-rich interactivity. In order to facilitate this, the market will need CA systems that can work between both DVB and IPTV networks," said Tom Morrod, head of TV technology at media analyst firm Screen Digest.
VCAS for DVB, with the advantages of current generation set-top box system-on-chip (SOC) platforms, secures receiver devices that will never have access to a direct return path to the head-end. The innovative software approach supports a base of existing one-way subscribers and provides a clear upgrade path to capture higher ARPU subscribers who desire more interactive capabilities and video-on-demand (VoD) services.
"Verimatrix has uniquely extended its software-based content security technologies to address more traditional markets, which really highlights its power and flexibility," says Bob Kulakowski, chief technology officer at Verimatrix. "We are providing a proven choice for forward-thinking operators that see the cost and capabilities advantages of IP. Securing one-way networks is a strategic milestone on our technology roadmap to penetrate additional pay-TV markets."
Along with Verimatrix's recently launched VCAS for Mobile TV, this solution highlights the company's vision and commitment to provide competitive 3-Dimensional Content Security solutions – multiple networks, multiple devices and multiple layers of protection – to pay-TV operators globally.
Some of the striking features of the product are as follows:
- Secure indirect provisioning: Set-top boxes can be provisioned and managed through indirect non real-time response methods (by voice call, email, SMS messaging, web site, or even by postal mail) in conjunction with standards-based broadcast protocols.
- Upgrade path to interactive services: Within the limited one-way environment, VCAS for DVB 2.0 supports a completely seamless upgrade of services when transitioning to DVB-IP hybrid and broadband networks.
- Layered security regimes: Operators can stratify the class of set-top box and value of the content by matching different layers of content security to the appropriate price point of the set-top box.
- Platform flexibility: Leveraging strong IPTV partnership ecosystem to integrate top tier components necessary to deploy a complete pay-TV system solution, including system integrators, key head-end equipment, middleware, SOC and set-top box partners.

Arun Satapathy is a contributing editor for TMCnet. To read more of Arun's articles, please visit his columnist page.

Edited by Eve Sullivan