Pay TV operators face a growing range of deployment options for multiscreen ecosystems following the launch last week at ANGA Cable in Germany of a pre-integrated package from Norwegian content protection vendor Conax.
Called Conax Xtend Multiscreen, the package was developed in partnership with Polish IPTV and OTT software company Cubiware, and Swedish online video streaming and content management company MPS Broadband. Between them, the three companies have all the ingredients needed for a pay TV ecosystem, Conax said. The package is designed mainly to enable existing pay TV operators to bolt on multiscreen and OTT extensions, with Conax contributing its Contego Unite CAS/DRM system, which can protect both broadcast and OTT content.
Cubiware is providing its CubiTV middleware with user experience and consistent look-and-feel across multiscreen devices, while MPS is injecting its Publishing Platform with end-to-end content management system for publishing and distributing live and on-demand video services. This controls the content and metadata workflows, as well as web distribution through MPS’ Peer2View streaming technology.
The pre-integrated pay TV ecosystem is an option for operators who want the advantages of a one stop shop without being totally dependent on just one large vendor. By the same breath, it enables smaller or specialist vendors within the pay TV ecosystem to club together and compete with the big players that are effectively one stop shops, such as Cisco, Ericsson and Alcatel-Lucent. However, as the pre-integrated approach tends to involve a single lead vendor, in this case Conax, it is arguable whether it really does provide operators with greater freedom, especially as they will rely on the separate components continuing to work together. But, it does provide greater choice and some ability to shop around for the best options for individual components such as middleware and content security, especially if various players come together in many different combinations.
Another pre-integrated grouping comprises video infrastructure vendor Harmonic, streaming and content delivery specialist Broadpeak, content security company Viaccess, and middleware vendor Orca Interactive, the latter two both being France Telecom subsidiaries that just merged their management teams to create a single unit.