Today’s Verimatrix vision – shared by our customers and partners – is that the expectation of next generation video services will not be limited by the type of network used, or by the chosen consumption device. The competitive frontier for digital TV operators around the globe will be defined by transparent, yet highly effective protection of their revenue streams, everywhere that their services might reach,whether over managed or managed or unmanaged networks - to a multitude of devices.This video services evolution must encompass a proactive revenue protection and enhancement approach that enables service operators to cast a much wider net with their service offerings. As a consequence, the central value proposition for a pay-TV enterprise shifts beyond that of traditional, single network content protection alone, towards the broader perspective of multi-network revenue security. This shift ultimately means that operators need to embrace different types of delivery methods to reach all desired devices while shielding the subscriber from the complexity that this entails. A unified approach to multi-network security is required – which inevitably will require “super domain” entitlement management: cross-network, cross-DRM enablement of a subscriber’s devices in a transparent manner that does not force the user to be network or DRM aware.Within the new video service model lies the opportunity to offer subscribers of pay-TV a Direct-2-TV service that does not require the use of a set-top box and extra remote control. This opportunity is present whether the network is managed (typically by the pay-TV operator) or the video is delivered over-the-top (OTT) using fixed-line third-party networks, and wireless networks to mobile devices.
A connected or smart TV can offer the entire content universe to the consumers, at the click of a remote control.
First, let’s consider what this really means. A connected or “smart” TVs can enable a full pay-TV experience without requiring a set-top box!This reduces complexity – one box and one remote control less – and also reduces the cost, either for the operator if the Pay-TV provider STB was subsidized, or for the subscriber if the STB had to be purchased at full price. By doing away with the STB, both the operator and the consumer will benefit. One challenge for the pay-TV operator, which no doubt wishes to remain in control as in traditional pay-TV, is how to become the main user interface instead of one icon of a myriad on-screen icons that includes competing OTT services. Let us look at the options at hand.
In reality, there are three ways to access pay-TV services on a Connected or Smart TV:When the TV is powered on – this would be the ideal scenario for the pay-TV operatorFrom the Input / Sources list – requires the user to search for the right inputFrom within the Smart Hub – but the challenge for the pay-TV operator is how to get the attention of the user among the myriads of icons
In this case study we will take a look at how TeliaSonera, a progressive Swedish telco, has utilized technology from Samsung and Verimatrix for its IPTV service. It is a perfect example of an Operator as an App with full pay-TV control. It was first implemented in Estonia in 2012 by TeliaSonera’s subsidiary Elion.
TeliaSonera, Samsung and Verimatrix have created what could be the world’s first true example of the ‘Operator as an App’ model, whereby TeliaSonera is using Samsung Smart TVs as if they were set-top boxes, with the televisions launching into the IPTV UI as the default mode when connected to TeliaSonera homes. The model is revolutionary in that it supports IPTV without the need for an external set-top-box, with full support for linear, catch-up and on-demand content and navigation support. The Verimatrix Video Content Authority System (VCAS) is integrated into the TV.The solution was announced August 30, 2012; it was launched in Estonia in late 2012 (with Elion, a subsidiary of TeliaSonera, as the operator,).The new solution is unique in terms of ease of use. As soon as the Smart TV equipped with the solution is connected to Internet, it recognizes the local IPTV provider of the subscriber and the IPTV user interface will appear automatically and all TV services are ready to use. No additional settings or equipment is needed. In addition it reduces the number of remote controls and set top boxes for the customer – and by that also the cost. The new solution enables the use of all IPTV services, such as VoD (Video on Demand) and catch-up.
The new solution is unique in terms of ease of use. As soon as the Smart TV equipped with the solution is connected to Internet, it recognizes the local IPTV provider of the subscriber and the IPTV user interface will appear automatically and all TV services are ready to use.
The combined IPTV solution is an industry first, and an excellent example of an “operator as an app” implementation in the real world. This approach dramatically improves the consumer’s quality of experience by eliminating the need for a set top box (STB) and additional remote control. The app recognizes TeliaSonera customers automatically though their IP address as soon as TV is turned on for the first time. The consumer signs in once, and after that, the app automatically appears on the screen. In addition, the TeliaSonera user interface (UI) launches automatically when the TV set is turned on.
John Moulding of UK-based Videonet quoted in a webinar conducted jointly in December 2012 by Samsung, TeliaSonera and Verimatrix.
Etisalat is one of the largest telecommunications companies in the world and the leading operator in the Middle East and Africa, headquartered in the UAE. Etisalat operates in 18 countries across Asia, the Middle East and Africa, servicing over 135 million customers out of a total population of 2 billion people. Etisalat is a comprehensive telecommunications provider offering a one-stop shop for mobile, fixed-line voice and data services to individuals, enterprises, international telcos, ISPs, content providers and mobile operators.Etisalat has taken advantage of the latest technologies to build the largest and most dynamic TV operation in the Middle East, with rich, expanding pay-TV services in conjunction with other operators around the region. Its flagship Etisalat TV service is branded as eLife, Etisalat’s brand for fiber-based residential services, which offers quad-play services – voice, mobile, broadband, and IPTV within the UAE.Etisalat and its partners such as LG and Verimatrix have simplified access to pay-TV content on popular connected devices, and thus accelerated the adoption of multi-screen, TV Everywhere services, as exemplified by Etisalat’seLifeOnWeb offer.
Etisalat'seLifeOnWeb service today has over 24 unique content partners offering thousands of hours of content, 100% on-demand. Users can access the eLifeOnWeb service today through the eLifeOnWeb application that is already accessible via the 'Home' menu found on any of the LG 3D/Smart TVs that are sold in the UAE today.The full scope of eLife illustrates how extensions to an IPTV pay-service paradigm can help the world’s leading digital TV service operators engage, inform and entertain across screens in the home and across continents.On June 7th, 2011, Verimatrix and partner Etisalat won a Global Telecoms Business Innovation Award in the video service innovation category for the robust security features embedded in Etisalat’s IP and over-the-top (OTT) TV services. This is very exciting news for Verimatrix and Etisalat, but also for our partner LG with its new line of Smart TV enabled products leveraging the winning solution.
Through an easy-to-use interface, the subscriber is guided through the available OTT video options and streaming begins immediately upon content selection.eLife, Etisalat’s flagship range of fiber-based services, has OnWeb service directly available through LG Smart TVs that customers purchase in UAE. OnWeb appears as a remote control-accessible menu item on the homepage of all LG Smart TVs. As compared to the traditional consumption of content on TV, customers will be thrilled with the experience and ease of finding and watching unique web-based video services on their TV.
Etisalat and LG have entered a unique partnership that will see Etisalat’s broadband services and content delivered through LG’s new range of Smart TVs. The first completed effort of the alliance is the launch of Etisalat’sOnDemand, the region’s first managed IPTV Video-on-Demand service without STBs and OnWeb, the new web-based video service to Etisalat’s fiber-connected residential customers on all of LG’s Smart TVs.Verimatrix has integrated its ViewRight Web for Connected TV into the LG Smart TV devices for both managed IPTV as well as OTT services.
Transparency of subscriber experience: The user is not bothered with multiple log-ins even if several networks and DRMs are involvedSubscriber rights coordination across multiple delivery networksNetwork transparency – the user does not need to be concerned with network typesThe broadest range of device types and delivery formatsSet-top boxes, connected TVs, smart phones and tablets, PCs and Macs,Video format independentMPEG-2 Transport Stream, adaptive bitrate streaming (HLS and Smooth Streaming)Management of subscriber “super domains”A subscriber super domain encompasses all of a user’s devices across all networks and DRMsA user may have e.g. a DVB satellite STB, a PC, an Android tablet, a Windows 8 PhoneA single entitlement enables content for all devices thanks to cross-DRM and cross-network entitlement management
From a business management perspective, the pay-TV operator benefits from a single point of integration with the Verimatrix VCAs head-end system, regardless of the type of devices, networks, transport formats, and DRMs.
This diagram illustrates IPTV and OTT multi-network deployments for several major telcos. A single back-end integration API connects the Subscriber Management and/or Middleware System with the Verimatrix VCAS entitlement and subscriber component (OMI = Operator Management Interface). VCAS then manages each subscriber’s device domain across VCAS protected networks as well as non-VCAS DRMs. The user only sees what he/she wants to see: great content delivered to all subscribed devices in a frictionless manner.
TeliaSonera is the leading supplier of telecom services in the Baltic countries. The first investment in the region was made in 1991 in Estonia, where TeliaSonera is the majority shareholder in the mobile operator EMT and the fixed network operator Elion. The companies are both leaders in their respective markets. A market leader in all fixed network product areas, Elion has a comprehensive range of fixed services for consumers and businesses, including everything from voice and terminals to integrated business solutions. Elion has also developed attractive services in the growth areas of broadband, internet and data communications at the same time as the offers in fixed voice are renewed.
"Operator as an App" - The Smart Pay-TV Future in Russia/CIS
Alexandre GuitineSales Director, Russia/CIS MarketsVerimatrixMoscow, March 26, 2013“Operator as an App” –The Smart Pay-TV Future
John Moulding, Videonet:“Launching straight into the app is important because one ofthe main concerns for any service provider, when thinkingabout the „operator as an app‟ approach, is that consumerswill get distracted on their way to finding their service.Typically the Pay TV app is just one among many, even if it isgiven some priority or „favourite‟ status. CE manufacturershave encouraged content onto their platforms that rivals PayTV, including various VOD services, so these other appscould be competing directly for attention and dollars.”12