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Offline Downloads DRM for In-Flight Entertainment

Posted by Roman K. on Mar 2, 2018 10:00:00 AM



In one of our previous posts (Onboard DRM Goes Offline), BuyDRM CEO, Christopher Levy, wrote about how studio content becomes more and more accessible in cases when the Internet is either limited or is not available at all. Aircraft, buses, trains, cruise-ships and other means of transportation become your own private cinema where you and your loved ones can enjoy a favorite live show or a movie during the long flight or road ahead of you.

BuyDRM Pioneered Downloads with HBO GO 5 Years Ago

While currently a large topic of discussion thanks to operators like NetFlix, the offline playback is not something new and innovative. Our clients have been delivering progressive downloads of mp4 files with either embedded or pre-acquired licenses using our MultiPlay SDKs for some time now. BuyDRM has also previously supported models with kiosks where customers could buy a song or a movie and acquire a license along with a purchased asset.

All of these scenarios were possible with the older WMRM DRM technology and with PlayReady DRM long before today. In fact, using DRM with downloads for online and offline playback has been possible for nearly 15 years now. With the prevalence of bandwidth and the ubiquity of the Internet the focus has been on streaming but now more and more disconnected environments are driving the use of offline downloads.

Today’s Marketplace Demands Streaming _And_ Downloads

As the OTT Marketplace has evolved, BuyDRM has led the way. New media formats and new DRMs have come into play which have made deployments a bit more complex. Content owners want to offer adaptive streaming models for their customers to allow smooth playback of their content in difficult network conditions. Along with it, content owners don’t want to maintain two silos of content; one to support online streaming and one to support offline downloads.

 Who would want spend more time on encoding and packaging and hosting and delivering a second set of assets just for offline playback? This model of having multiple silos of content just doesn’t scale and eats into the operating profit of operators around the Globe.

From a consumer’s standpoint there is also a will to receive a “pay once and watch forever” business model. I, as a consumer, would not want to suffer watching my favorite movie in SD because there is no Internet connection in my cabin in the woods. I wouldn’t want to pay extra for a dedicated satellite link and pay the bills for every megabyte I streamed just to watch a movie. I want to download and forget about it and spend my time enjoying my shows during my trip to the Bahamas or on a busy, crowded train.

As the market continues to put demands on delivery models, DRM is there to fulfill this demand. Consumer DRMs allow  license persistency and expiration policies. What the market lacks are a wider array of clients that allow downloading of formats that allow an adaptive streaming experience. In this case, we are referring to the MPEG-DASH, Microsoft Smooth Streaming and, of course, HTTP Live Streaming from Apple – the three most widely used formats out there today.

Allowing the download of MPEG-DASH, MSS and HLS assets will not only solve consumer issues of time, convenience and managing multiple formats for multiple cases, but will also allow consumers the ability to experience download to own business models.

Solving Tomorrow’s Problems with Today’s Solutions

To address this growing demand for offline downloads, especially in the in-flight entertainment industry, BuyDRM has a solution for Android and iOS that allow the downloading MPEG-DASH, MSS and HLS assets for later playback in offline.

The KeyOS MultiPlay SDKs come with a built-in Download Manager that supports various content types and allows the downloading of in-the-clear or DRM-protected assets. We support PlayReady, Widevine and FairPlay DRMs and you can now package once and use the asset in online scenarios when the Internet is available and your customers can stream, or, you can allow them to download the same asset on their devices for later use.

The KeyOS MultiPlay SDKs not only oversee  the download and storage of the downloaded assets, they also implement internal error correction logic to make sure the download finishes in case there are network issuers along the way.

Simple License Delivery. Complex Controls

The KeyOS MultiPlay SDK works with DRM protected content and allows multiple license acquisition scenarios from simple license acquisition before the download starts to deferred license acquisition and license renew for already downloaded content.

Licenses are stored in a secure way that ensures that license is not compromised. The MultiPlay SDKs use a wide array of sophisticated, state-of-the-art security technologies to ensure that the device, the content and the associated keys are all used in a legitimate manner in-line with the content owner’s rights and the content license provided to the operator. All of this is done while still enabling a transparent and seamless user experience playing back the content both locally and via 3rd party platforms like Google Chromecast, Apple AirPlay and other screencasting technologies.

Easy to Deploy and Easier to Use

The MultiPlay solution works right out of the box. All you need to do is point your application that implements the KeyOS MultiPlay SDK to your asset’s manifest and the content will be downloaded in the highest possible qualities along with embedded subtitles and alternative audio tracks if they exist. If you do not want to download the highest bitrate, you can control it via your code. For example, here is a simple code snippet for Android that shows how to add a download item into the MultiPlayDownload Manager.

Code Snippet.png

Code Snippet for cueing an asset using the KeyOS MultiPlay SDK Download Manager on Android

In summary, to deploy downloads with the MultiPlay SDKs, you just add the download item that points to your manifest into the download manager. You then set this download item’s license URLs and CustomData (Authentication XML within the KeyOS infrastructure) and un-pause the download to start the download progress. The download will be added into the queue and downloaded in its own time. It’s just that simple.

We hope these blogs continue to provide you a wider perspective on the deployment of DRM at large and while we have made a point to focus on our product platform, most of these concepts are universally applicable and relevant to the operations of your digital media content today.

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Playready Widevine Fairplay

Offering PlayReady, Widevine, and FairPlay, we can help you deliver protected content to any device in any situation whether online or offline or both.

Established in 2001, we are a market-leading Multi-DRM service provider. Over the last fifteen years we have seen drastic changes in the content protection arena as a variety of new technologies have entered the marketplace. Through our pioneering efforts in this field and decades of experience in digital media, we have your bases covered with the KeyOS Multi-DRM Platform supporting PlayReady, Widevine, and FairPlay DRMs. KeyOS supports all of the popular consumer platforms and business models.

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If you are either just beginning your search or are a seasoned streaming media pro, we think our team can help you. 


Contact us to learn more about our solution.  We would be happy to setup a call to evaluate your scenario and find out how we can help you.  Our consultations are always free. Our KeyOS platform powers the biggest names in media across the globe and we are eager to assist you as well. 

Topics: DRM, OfflineDRM, IFE

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