Jörn Krieger ©RapidTVNews | 31-08-2011

Technology company NDS has launched a new content protection solution allowing pay-TV operators to securely distribute premium content such as movies, sports or entertainment over the open Internet to connected devices.

VideoGuard Connect is a software-based digital rights management (DRM) solution for multi-platform pay-TV, as Howard Silverman, senior product marketing manager, and Leonid Sandler, chief technology officer, DRM Technologies, at NDS told Rapid TV News.

The solution targets both traditional pay-TV broadcasters wanting to make their content available on additional platforms such as PCs, smartphones, tablet devices or games consoles, and new market players, for example using over-the-top distribution (OTT) methods to reach the owners of hybrid TV sets or set-top-boxes through the Internet.

BSkyB in the UK is the first broadcaster employing VideoGuard Connect to distribute live streams of selected pay-TV channels to Apple’s iPhone, iPad and iPod Touch through 3G or Wi-Fi networks. Sky Go, as the service is called, enables BSkyB subscribers to view the pay-TV content they have subscribed to on their devices at home or on the go.

In addition, DirecTV in the US has also selected VideoGuard Connect for the deployment of a broad range of linear and on-demand OTT and home networking services on the PC, Mac, iOS and Android-based mobile and tablet devices.

VideoGuard Connect is a complementary product to NDS’ VideoGuard conditional access (CA) system - not intended to replace the latter, as the NDS executives point out. It is, however, not tied to VideoGuard, but can be used as a stand-alone product.

Three different usage scenarios are possible: An existing customer such as BSkyB can use VideoGuard Connect alongside VideoGuard CA; a pay-TV operator employing a different CA system can employ VideoGuard Connect solely for connected TV services; or a company can use the system as its sole content protection solution, for example for an OTT-based pay-TV package.