Steve Oetegenn joined Verimatrix in 2004 as the Senior Vice President of Global Operations. In this role, he was responsible for defining and implementing the company’s go to market strategy and operational success factors. Meet Steve at Cable Congress, 11-13 March 2015, The SQUARE, Brussels.
Tell us more about how you work with content providers and the cable tech community.
Verimatrix offers a full range of content and revenue security solutions that help enable digital TV operators to think beyond silo-based conditional access approaches – and beyond the managed network – to harmonize rights management and the consumer experience in multi-screen services. The Verimatrix Video Content Authority System (VCAS™) provides the tools and support digital TV operators require in order to address the new opportunities arising from the accelerating convergence of video delivery over various types of networks –managed and unmanaged – to a multitude of devices.
What are the key challenges facing the revenue security business at the moment?
These are certainly exciting times for both the cable industry and the viewer with the advent of multi-screen pay-TV content delivery and ultra HD (UHD) on the horizon. However, with these opportunities come challenges, including managing revenue security in somewhat fragmented landscape. Perhaps the greatest challenge for operators is the ever-evolving security environment, especially considering the fact that the number of non-proprietary CE devices accessing OTT video services is dramatically increasing every day. The wide proliferation of these services creates multiple potential and vulnerable attack points for pirates. To prevent content piracy and misuse from occurring, operators must have a thorough understanding of the specialized content protection requirements of an OTT environment.
What innovative products is Verimatrix working on now?
We recently unveiled the next-generation of the Video Content Authority System (VCAS™) architecture called VCAS Ultra™. Capitalizing on the clear trend towards IP- and software-based technologies as the foundation of future of pay-TV service delivery, VCAS Ultra offers operators a comprehensive multi-network revenue security approach today – with the flexibility and scalability to meet their future goals for growth.
The marketplace has clearly established that cardless security solutions based on software and IP technologies represent the new state-of-the-art for pay-TV operator deployments. VCAS Ultra will enable today’s progressive pay-TV operators to take full advantage of this development, while preparing for new premium service delivery in for UHD/4K content. VCAS Ultra will fully empower next-generation video operators by providing unparalleled agility and efficiency within the pay-TV infrastructure, including:
- Enhanced content security profiles to meet MovieLabs defined ultra-high definition (UHD) service requirements – including fully integrated multi-network VideoMark™ watermarking technology as well as TrustZone support.
- Flexible, physical or virtual configurations to support cloud system integrations – with server, virtual or mixed deployment modes, plus a rapidly growing base of cloud-based integration partners.
- Streaming format evolution with support for HTTP Live Streaming (HLS) and MPEG-DASH – supports multi-format, multi-DRM, HEVC and multi-track audio with harmonized security, as well as standard hybrid network approach such as HbbTV.
- An enhanced architecture for monitoring, operational and subscriber intelligence to enable actionable analytics – securely gathers performance and system management data and maintain subscriber privacy.
VCAS Ultra will also feature extended support for aggressive new distribution models and integration options, including wholesale/retail, multi-tenant, and virtualized/cloud offerings, including those delivered over-the-top (OTT). In addition, VCAS Ultra will enable a flexible range of commercial models, including those based on subscription and distributed deployment, with the latter supporting centrally managed licensing. VCAS Ultra has been designed with pre-configured, scalable deployment architectures for today’s prevalent Broadcast-Hybrid, IPTV and OTT network configurations and features backward compatibility with current generations of the VCAS platform for a smooth upgrade path.
What are your biggest priorities for customer experience at Verimatrix?
Our solutions are not one of those part of the delivery chain that is very visible to consumers – which is just as it should be! But we do believe that harmonized rights management is fundamental to a good video service experience – nothing undermines the value of a service quite like dealing with a fragmented pattern of restrictions and consumption rules that vary across devices.
What does Verimatrix do better than its competition from a marketing and engagement standpoint?
We believe strongly in our innovative technology – but believe even more strongly that the technology must be back by a committed team that helps drive the customer’s business forward over the long term.
Consumer habits are likely to continue to change with more and more content consumption via smart TVs and the Internet. How is Verimatrix anticipating these trends?
The diversity of consumer devices leads to another challenge for service operators that want to maximize their reach – video services may have to be delivered in a variety of streaming formats protected by a variety of security solutions. The current marketplace is dominated by HTTP Live Streaming (HLS) format, but significant device types still only support Microsoft’s proprietary Smooth Streaming (MSS) or Adobe’s Dynamic HTTP Streaming (HDS). At worst, this means duplicating the processing and storage required for service delivery as well as running duplicate DRM and entitlement management systems. But the future looks somewhat more organized with the advent of a more standard adaptive streaming format – MPEG-DASH. Amongst the advantages of DASH are better support for subtitling languages and audio formats, plus the ability to support a system of common encryption (CENC) where a single stream can be decrypted by different DRM schemes on different devices.
Innovative vendors have already shown how multiple DRM key management solutions can be aligned behind a common subscriber entitlement system to support this kind of service delivery model in a way that’s transparent to the consumer.
For example, the Verimatrix MultiRights solution helps ease these multi-platform challenges and provides DRM and content consumption transparency across networks and device. Leveraging such a solution ensures that same rights are executed on all devices so that consumers have a harmonious experience and get to watch the same movies no matter which device they use.