EBU publishes royalty-free CA standard for live content streams

Friday, April 6th, 2018
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EBU publishes royalty-free conditional access standard for live content streams

The European Broadcasting Union (EBU) has published a new protocol, developed in close collaboration with network equipment vendors ATEME and NEVION, which makes it a lot easier for media rights holders to grant clients access to live video content.

The protocol, called BISS-CA mode, acts like an on/off switch on the sender’s side, controlling whether a specific receiver can decode a given signal. The cryptographic entitlements are transported together with the live video content, allowing the rights holder to grant and revoke usage rights in real-time. BISS-CA also includes safety measures such as watermarking, which makes live content traceable and discourages piracy.

Dr Hans Hoffmann, Senior Manager at EBU Technology & Innovation, says: “This is a much needed technology that fills a long-standing gap. With BISS-CA, business partners can now exchange live content, regardless of which vendor systems they operate.”

The EBU BISS (Basic Interoperable Scrambling Standard) protocol was first issued in 2002 to enable secure and interoperable stream exchange over satellite and is a widely adopted standard for secured B2B transmissions. The BISS update extends the protocol’s relevance beyond satellite contribution: the BISS Conditional Access (CA) mode is network agnostic and software friendly, aligning the technology with the growing trend of software-defined media appliances. BISS-CA, described in EBU Tech3292S1, is based on state-of-the-art symmetric AES and asymmetric RSA cryptography.

Adi Kouadio, Development Lead at EBU Technology & Innovation, says: “Developing this new technology standard was a great collaboration between the EBU and key industry players to address an important business need in the world of live content exchange. It is a win-win for content owners and the industry at large. ”

Oscar Teran, Senior Manager Media Network Solutions at Eurovision Media Services, says: “Securing content is at the core of our business. This new system will simplify credential management while securing our transmissions over satellite and IP. We look forward to its wider adoption in the industry.”

The BISS-CA standard will be demonstrated at supporting vendors’ booths at NAB 2018 and on the EBU booth at IBC 2018.