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Conax unveil new platforms and the contracts keep on coming

September 10th / Thomas Flanagan / Link to Rethink Research article

Norwegian conditional access specialist Conax, now part of Kudelski, has revealed a platform expansion that includes additions to its Contego unified security hub – featuring UHD forensic watermarking, secure Android TV and a new product for IPTV.

There is currently a host of announcements from every security firm aimed at jostling for position in the UHD content market – based on MovieLabs new security specifications, and this deal heads Conax in that direction, and the new system involves a deal with Civolution’s NexGuard UHD watermarking.

“Subscriber-level watermarking is the next frontier in the prevention of illegal re-distribution of premium content, in particular movies and premium sport, which is quickly becoming a serious global threat for premium pay TV operators,” noted Jean-Philippe Plantevin, SVP of products and solutions at NexGuard.

Conax recently secured a deal with Supercanal in Argentina, to launch a new pay TV platform offer using the Conax Contego multi-DRM security hub – implemented by integrator Bold MSS. Last week also saw French video compression provider Ateme integrate its Titan software transcoder with Nexguard SDK in a forensic watermarking product for 4K and UHD content.

Further developments for Conax include a partnership with the operator StarTimes in its African operations, to develop a media gateway for households without internet – for easy and secure sharing of live TV to multiple devices. StarTimes will integrate Conax’s security client Conax Trusted Link, as well as the technical blueprint for designing and deploying a secure multi-room service. The combined “Whole Home” project aims to provide improved services for households in Africa, improving the ease to share Live TV and PVR within the home, without requiring an internet connection. First established in China, StarTimes now has more than five million DTH and DTT subscribers across 16 countries.

Conax’s parent Kudelski Group has seen a big turnaround over the past few years from the days when it was a disparate group of pure security businesses, but assets, sales and shrewd acquisitions, such as Conax, have secured its footing and the Swiss group seems to be growing stronger. It is also expected to bring cost savings by improving sourcing arrangements for smartcards and better leveraging SmarDTV services in the CAM business.

At IBC 2015, Nagra will demonstrate how service providers can leverage connected TVs to deliver IPTV and OTT services securely and easily to new and existing customers and will showcase how they can acquire and distribute content with its Anycast in 4K resolutions. As far as participation is concerned, Nagra recently said it has completed the “first steps” in allowing pay TV operators to deliver Netflix on set tops – using its anyCast Connect client and OpenTV 5 connect ware. This comes about nine months after the two decided to put aside the legal differences concerning patent litigation in the US, involving a deal with Kudelski, integrating its video security technology with Netflix OTT services.

Just as we thought we could call it a day, Conax announced another product launch in the form of a new security client for IPTV, Conax Connected Access – supported by its Contego security hub. This new hybrid content protection client is based on a single CAS/DRM technology to securely deliver content over a network to multiple connected devices, including set tops.