Extending Conditional Access Systems To Support DRM Systems (2007)

By Balu Ambady, Cable Television Laboratories, Inc. and Bill Helms, Time Warner Cable, Inc.

Conventional implementations of content security by Multiple System Operators (MSOs) rely on hardware based broadcast Conditional Access Systems (CAS). However, competitors like IPTV providers, and Internet based movie-on-demand sites have started offering high value content using content protection based on software Digital Rights Management (DRM) systems like Microsoft WMDRM, and Real Helix DRM. It appears that content providers are increasingly becoming comfortable with the reduced level of security provided by DRM systems for certain levels of content.

Under currently available solutions, while the content is under CAS protection, opportunities to offer innovative content packages to the customer are preserved.

This paper describes architectural options where CAS protected content can be transferred securely from Set Top Box (STB) devices to Portable Media (PMD) or PC devices with DRM protection. This would allow the operator to provide an enhanced home networking and content usage experience to the subscriber.

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