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Cable Technology Feature Article

October 21, 2008

Report: IPTV Service Providers Looking to Boost Revenue with Converged Services

By Nathesh, TMCnet Contributor

A recent report from Multimedia Research Group (MRG) indicates that both small and large service providers, but mostly those that specialize in IPTV (News - Alert), are preparing to offer converged services. A converged service is one in which content is time- and place-shifted to different devices besides the TV set.
The main challenge in rolling out these services is that providers have to find efficient ways to protect and trace original content, MRG said.
IPTV (News - Alert) SPs will have to embrace Converged services in most markets where there's already competition from cable, satellite or even (free) multi-channel digital terrestrial,” said Jose Alvear (News - Alert), analyst at MRG. “This report greatly simplifies the path to securing high-value multi-platform content as a means for SPs to move more quickly toward differentiation of their services.”
Since convergence means adding more release windows and more platforms to distribute new (or re-released) content, many of those windows need to be secured with both content protection and forensics.
The report, “Content Protection for IPTV & Mutli-Screen Converged Services,” addressed some basic questions about the securing of high-value content for single and multi-screen services such as the pricing structure used by vendors; factors that will affect the price changes as IPTV operators go for basic, intermediate and advanced converged services. The report also looks into the methods of content protection and also the benefits for the operators who would like to deploy these content protection techniques.
The report examined the evolution of IPTV content protection from basic conditional access and encryption to digital rights management (DRM) and forensics. This included a look at the problems faced by content owners, IPTV operators and multi-platform service providers; as well as middleware, VOD and encoder/decoder vendors. It identified a roadmap for enhanced security products plus best practices and tips to operators on turning content protection into added revenue.
“Because content owners have high concern about controlling their content, SPs [service providers] are finding that a flexible protection and forensics strategy can actually help improve negotiations with content owners for unique programming and new release windows,” said MRG CEO Gary Schultz, in a statement.

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

Edited by Mae Kowalke