Intertrust and Sofia Digital partner to enable direct-to-Smart TV for operators

Saturday, September 10th, 2022 
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Intertrust and Sofia Digital Partner to Offer Direct-to-TV Services with ExpressPlay XCA

As Smart TVs become the centerpiece of home entertainment, customers have come to expect flawless broadcast and broadband service. With this shift, the TV today plays a major role in a home system, often eclipsing the hardy set top box (STB) after so many years.

Operators seeking to implement Direct-to-TV applications (applications for video services that are accessible from a Smart TV) must thread the requirements of legacy broadcast systems and modern broadband systems to provide seamless support to consumers to increase subscriber stickiness and average revenue per user. This means they offer robust content security that meets stringent Hollywood studios requirements and minimize the costs of new technologies.

In light of these trends, operators should be ready to look for new standards-based technologies that bridge the technologies of the past and the future. Standards like HbbTV Operator Application (HbbTV OpApp) enable operators to build their own broadcast and OTT TV services directly from smart TVs with or without a set-top box. HbbTV and OpApp technologies are broadly deployed around the world.

“We wanted to provide a cost saving option for operators to be able to modernize their distribution platform through a simple API integration allowing consumers the freedom of choice to access content seamlessly”, said Manas Matti, Managing Director, ExpressPlay. Combining Sofia Digital HbbTV Application with Intertrust ExpressPlay XCA, operators can avoid the costly set-top box device and provide customers premium Direct-to-TV services.”

In this world, Intertrust XCA Conditional Access is the ideal bridge technology for this transformation. XCA is built on the Marlin open standard for Digital Rights Management and is a DRM in Conditional Access clothing – which means that it is totally compatible with DRM systems while implementing seamlessly into a transitional CA head-end. Furthermore, the cost point for XCA is far lower than any other CA system. Given its availability on the majority of televisions in Europe, XCA is an easy choice for operators. We’re proud to have worked together to deliver an XCA enabled system to HD+ and are looking forward to announcing more operator partners globally as we move forward.

“Sofia Digital has been at the forefront of HbbTV and Operator Applications development. Our company is happy to participate in creating new ways to access premium broadcast and OTT content with Intertrust and smart TV manufacturers”, said Juho Mäyränpää, Sales Director at Sofia Digital.

To recap, XCA has the following advantages:

  • Cost savings: Operators can lower their total cost of ownership (TCO) since there is no need to deal with STBs or smart cards.
  • Broadcast TV and OTT streaming convergence: In many cases, it is not feasible for operators to simply switch to a streaming-only distribution model for distributing protected video content.
  • Distribution flexibility: Modern content protection needs to be deployed across all distribution modes, such as broadcasting, adaptive streaming, multicasting, etc.
  • Easy API integration: Any converged broadcast-OTT application with security deployment needs to be integrated alongside the broadcaster’s existing systems through a well-defined API Sofia Digital is able to deliver pre-integrated applications.
  • Accelerated certification: A modern and converged content security solution, used in combination with client-devices such as smart TVs, self-certification accelerates service providers’ time to market.
  • Improving consumer choice: When consumers purchase a Smart TV, Smart TV based applications let consumers select a service provider with just a click of the remote. Consumers can skip the hassle of installing STB devices and just start watching their favorite content directly from the TV.

Links: ExpressPlay; Sofia Digital