castLabs partners with SDMC on Widevine CAS integrationMonday, November 7th, 2022
castLabs partners with SDMC to enable new Widevine CAS approach to significantly lower set-top box integration cost and deployment time
BERLIN — castLabs, a leading video delivery technology provider, has today announced a collaboration with SDMC, a leading Android TV solution provider, to simplify operator deployments of Widevine CAS protected content streaming at a significantly lower integration cost and turnaround time than today’s practices.
Operators wishing to enable Widevine CAS licensing across IPTV or DVB networks can now avoid traditional costly customization and integration efforts. As a leading streaming security specialist, castLabs has been selected by Widevine to supply Widevine CAS backend infrastructure, players, and support. Working together with SDMC, they have created the first plug-and-play Android TV set-top box which delivers on the promise to make CAS integrations with Widevine purely app-based, in the same manner the industry is used to with DRM integrations on all Android devices. Their approach removes the need for operator-specific customizations on device firmware or the OS level.
The SDMC Android TV set-top box features ready-to-use Widevine CAS, a compatible DVB-C tuner for broadcast, ethernet for multicast and OTT, and Amlogic as the initially selected SoC vendor. In addition to castLabs’ DVB-stack enabling adaptation to operators’ network specifics via configuration rather than code customization, the box also includes an integrated broadcast and OTT player using their feature-rich PRESTOplay technology. This supports secure IPTV/DVB (MPEG-TS with Widevine CAS) as well as OTT (MPEG-DASH/HLS with DRM) hybrid streaming experiences through a single playback app and API to reduce development and maintenance costs. On top of security capabilities, the hybrid player also enables low-latency fast channel zapping between DVB and OTT, catch up, unified analytics for all content types, remote DVB table configuration updates, and advanced TV advertising options.
Traditionally, operators have needed to engage in timely CAS integration efforts from scratch for each new set-top box they offer. “We’ve consistently heard from customers that this current method simply takes too long to ship and creates vendor lock-ins. This practice can be considered legacy as Widevine CAS and the Android TV framework evolved to enable app-based deployments which are identical across different SoCs and device OEMs,” said castLabs Co-founder, Michael Stattmann. “Complex integration efforts experienced today are not only costly and unnecessary, but lead to revenue delays for all parties involved with time to market extended by many months. Our streamlined turn-key box provides built-in Widevine CAS functionality and enables a launch within weeks, showing that operators can adopt innovative practices to significantly simplify set-top box rollouts by avoiding integration steps.”
castLabs has helped achieve this on the player-side by introducing a common API to access both the Android tuner framework for DVB and media framework for OTT, as well as a highly configurable stack for adapting to operator-specific DVB networks while reducing the need for firmware updates. “In addition to lowering cost, our approach can also speed up turnaround time by months, both of which provide huge value over traditional methods,” said Michael. Operators can then take the ready to ship box as a starting point and add specific customizations for their use case.
Ryan Yan, Senior VP of Sales Department at SDMC Technology, said, “We understand the challenges our customers face in providing their subscribers with diverse services and compelling features while securing the content. We’ve worked closely with castLabs and Amlogic to ensure that our Android TV set-top box solution is fully integrated with Widevine CAS functionality, so operators can deliver next-generation TV service including broadcast and OTT services in a more secure way but with accelerated time-to-market, which will significantly contribute to their business.”
SDMC and Amlogic are the first to pre-integrate this innovation enabling simplified operator deployments, however, it can also be ported to other vendors as castLabs has been directly engaged with all SoC suppliers currently supporting Widevine CAS to ensure full compatibility. This means any vendor supporting Android TV’s tuner framework and MediaCas is already pre-integrated to use castLabs’ DVB-stack and playback technology, which operates equally across any device. Frontend development then also becomes simplified as a player app only needs to be created once to be usable across any OEM adopting this approach.
To complement this, castLabs also offers their DRMtoday cloud service providing scalable Widevine CAS and multi-DRM licensing. To learn more and view a demo of the set-top box, visit the castLabs booth at the Android TV Summit in Bangkok on 10 November 2022.