Interactive TV News Round-Up (V): NDS, BSkyB, DirecTV, Opera, CreNova

--NDS Launches VideoGuard Connect Solution for Operators Seeking to Bring Pay-TV to OTT Platforms
--NDS Secures Deals for VideoGuard Connect with BSkyB and DirecTV
--Opera HbbTV Browser Selected by CreNova for Hybrid-TV Set-Top Boxes

Because the [itvt] editorial team has been working on TVOT NYC Intensive 2011, we are covering stories in this issue in round-up/summary format. We anticipate that it will take us several days to catch up with all the recent news: so if your company has sent us a press release or briefed us on an announcement, and you don't yet see your news covered in this issue, please bear with us.

  • NDS has launched VideoGuard Connect, a digital rights management (DRM) solution for multiplatform pay-TV. "VideoGuard Connect provides end-to-end protection of an operator's services, utilizing the unique security capabilities of each individual platform," NDS states in its press materials. "A complete content- and service-protection solution that builds on over two decades of premium content-protection expertise, VideoGuard Connect is designed to help TV operators to seamlessly extend their pay-TV services to connected media devices. It enables the secure ingestion, delivery and consumption of premium content over both managed and OTT networks. With VideoGuard Connect, the DRM for multiplatform pay-TV, platform operators are able to deploy linear channels, on-demand content and download services on the most popular devices, delivered over the open Internet utilizing content delivery optimization technologies from NDS. The premise for VideoGuard Connect is to enable TV operators to capitalize on the opportunities presented by multiplatform pay-TV. As such it enables a significantly wider range of business models, such as download rentals, expanded subscription packages and content bundling with the ability to enrich the user's entertainment experience. Integrated with an operator's existing broadcast system, VideoGuard Connect enables a unified security solution for pay-TV platforms. Providing a security profile customized to the specific capabilities of the device and functionality tailored to the requirements of each pay-TV operator, VideoGuard Connect provides a rich roadmap and ongoing support for the introduction of new services and devices; in addition, VideoGuard Connect provides the headend tools to support integrated management and workflow functions that are needed to provide full operator control over content distribution and consumption. Interoperable with solutions such as the NDS Unified Headend, the NDS Service Delivery Platform and partnered with NDS' expertise in content security, VideoGuard Connect provides a versatile, holistic approach to multiplatform content protection; supporting the most popular devices including embedded devices, the PC, Mac, games consoles, iOS (iPad, iPhone) and Android mobile and tablet devices." Said NDS chief marketing officer, Nigel Smith: "VideoGuard Connect allows TV operators to incorporate OTT into a more compelling and complete suite of TV services without compromising the security or reliability of the platform. Highly rated by an independent security audit and approved by all of the major US studios, VideoGuard Connect enables our customers to extend their businesses into the OTT space and onto multiple devices."
  • NDS has also announced two customers for VideoGuard Connect: 1) BSkyB is using the solution to deliver its Sky Go service to iOS devices. "Sky Go provides flexible access to Sky content across multiple devices," the company states in its press materials. "VideoGuard Connect, the DRM for multiplatform pay-TV from NDS, helps enable Sky to deliver live linear channels to iPhones, iPads and the iPod touch in line with a user's subscription. Utilizing content delivery optimization technology from NDS, VideoGuard Connect helps enable the Sky Go service to offer a high-quality live TV experience when on the move in the UK and Ireland, via 3G or WiFi. VideoGuard Connect provides content segmentation and encryption of the Sky Go service, protecting content delivery and consumption on all iOS devices." 2) DirecTV is using the solution to protect its multiplatform OTT and home networking services. "In conjunction with DirecTV's existing pay-TV solutions from NDS, VideoGuard Connect will enable the seamless addition of OTT and home networking content distribution to multiple platforms, including PC, Mac, iOS and Android-based mobile and tablet devices," NDS states in its press materials. "Utilizing content delivery optimization technology from NDS, VideoGuard Connect will enable DirecTV to implement linear channels, on-demand events and download services over the open Internet providing a traditional TV user experience."
  • Browser specialist, Opera, contacted [itvt] Tuesday to let us know that set-top box company, CreNova Technology, is now offering set-tops equipped with the Opera HbbTV browser (note: HbbTV is a pan-European hybrid-TV initiative that aims to harmonize the delivery of broadcast and broadband content through connected-TV devices). The boxes, which Opera says will be available in retail across Europe, offer support for Internet-based interactive TV applications, VOD and catch-up TV. "It is clear that the future of the set-top box relies on delivering services such as catch-up TV and VOD in a user-friendly manner," CreNova CEO, Metin Atalan, said in a prepared statement. "HbbTV offers an excellent opportunity to deliver new services in a hybrid environment. We selected Opera, as we found they deliver the best product and highest performance in the market."
North America