New Over-the-Top Service, ZillionTV, in Deals with Verimatrix, Inlet

Studio-backed, subscription-free, "over-the-top" on-demand TV service, ZillionTV, said Monday that it has deployed Verimatrix's Video Content Authority System (VCAS) for IPTV to enable secure delivery of its on-demand programming offerings over the Internet. Verimatrix bills the software-based VCAS technology as providing the encryption needed to protect content from widespread piracy and enable a wide choice of consumer viewing options.

ZillionTV claims that its service will offer around 15,000 titles from Hollywood studios and TV networks. The content will be delivered through an Internet-connected box called, simply, the ZillionTV Device, which comes with a motion-sensing remote control that is based on technology from Hillcrest Labs. The service will provide viewers with a choice of watching programming free-of-charge with targeted, addressable advertising; renting it for what ZillionTV says will be a "nominal fee"; or buying it to own--depending on how each content owner decides to offer each title. Content providers that have signed up for the service to date include Disney, 20th Century Fox Television, NBC Universal, Sony Pictures, The Weinstein Company, and Warner Bros. Digital Distribution. "Content security is an essential, foundational element of the ZillionTV service, as our content partners must be assured that their assets are well protected," ZillionTV CTO, Mike Catalano, said in a prepared statement. "Verimatrix brings us best-in-class content security. VCAS for IPTV offers the flexibility to adapt to our device architecture and enables a distributed delivery infrastructure, while also providing a transparent viewing experience for consumers."

According to ZillionTV, Verimatrix configured VCAS for IPTV to work in conjunction with the ZillionTV service's IPTV middleware, which the company says includes "specific methods of entitlement for a secure viewing experience." Verimatrix bills VCAS for IPTV as a software-based security system for broadband entertainment networks that can be transparently updated as required, in order to combat "evolving piracy concerns." "The ZillionTV deployment is an excellent example of how content security can help enable innovative business models, rather than limit them," Steve Oetegenn, Verimatrix's chief sales and marketing officer, said in a prepared statement. "The service combines the content, viewing and search options typically available only via the PC with the ease-of-use of the TV, plus the new targeted advertising model. Within this challenging platform, we were able to meet all the security requirements from the content owner, service provider and viewer perspectives."

In other ZillionTV news: Encoding specialist, Inlet Technologies, said Monday that ZillionTV is using its Armada automated encoding workflow management platform as its backend infrastructure to support the encoding handled by ZillionTV's third-party encoding company partners. According to Inlet, the Armada platform helps ZillionTV's encoding partners to quickly and efficiently transcode large volumes of content from a variety of sources into multiple digital media formats. By automating the entire encoding workflow and incorporating encoding intelligence into the system, the company claims, Armada saves time and resources. "We needed an encoding partner that really understands how to build a business around digital content, and an encoding technology that could scale to meet our quality thresholds in coordination with our third-party encoding partners," Charles Cataldo, ZillionTV's SVP of digital entertainment, said in a prepared statement. "Inlet Technologies is recognized for their industry expertise, and Armada was an ideal solution for our needs."

North America