08.00 Europe/London, August 31, 2011 By Julian Clover

NDS has launched VideoGuard Connect, a next generation DRM for multiscreen pay-TV, confirming the company’s involvement with the newly launched Sky Go and a similar service premiered by DirecTV in the US.

VideoGuard Connect is designed to provide an end-to-end to end protection of an operator’s services. According to NDS, it enables the secure ingestion, delivery and consumption of premium content over both managed and over-the-top networks.

“It’s something that we’ve been working on for a number of years, and in various guises, but we’ve immediately got two large operators using it,” Nigel Smith, VP and chief marketing officer, NDS, told Broadband TV News. While Sky is using the service to Apple iOS devices, DirecTV will also use it for delivery to PCs, Macs, iOS and Android devices. “There’s a lot more media ready devices becoming available, and combined with broadband feeds stepping up, so it’s quite feasible to stream high quality video into the home, people are looking to widen their services into the home”.

Smith said that consumers were looking to other operators such as Netflix to provide content where it had been absent, but ultimately it was pay-TV operators that held all the cards, and that market would ultimately be the most successful providing they launched the services. “The technology we’re building is designed for the pay-TV operators. It’s a higher level of security over the existing DRMs that are out there. The challenge for operators is to provide a level of security equal to what they have on their existing platforms and that’s exactly what we’ve been working on here.”

Through VideoGuard Connect operators are able to expand their range of business models, including download rentals, expanded subscription packages and content bundling. BSkyB’s Sky Go is placing an emphasis on the ability to watch sports channels on the move. Sky Deutschland and Sky Italia are both introducing Sky Go services, but there was no confirmation from NDS as to any involvement it may have.

VideoGuard Connect is part of the NDS Unified Headend, the NDS security platform, which has been in place since 2008 and is the standard NDS broadcast platform. This means the operator does not need to migrate existing subscriber information over, so a consumer could but a pay-per-view movie on their set-top box, and have the purchase information transferred automatically to the companion device.