14th October 2011
Prisa TV goes Multiscreen with NAGRA
The media landscape has changed dramatically in just a short amount of time. And the appetite for consuming media outside of the traditional TV environment, whether hybrid TVs and PCs or tablets and smartphones, is growing exponentially. But this proliferation of media outlets brings its own challenges.
How do TV service providers ensure a consistent user experience across multiple platforms? How do they keep costs down and quality up? And importantly, how do they protect content from piracy?
“Customers are increasingly asking for advice on how to power, manage and protect their valuable content in this new multiscreen world”, said Matthew Huntington at NAGRA. “So it’s down to service providers
to carefully balance subscriber demands of wanting new ways to consume content with the need to ensure their services are secured". Add the ever-increasing drive to pare costs to a minimum and improve subscriber loyalty and revenues, and the equation becomes even more challenging”.
Innovate and thrive
Never has the mantra ‘innovate or thrive’ been more relevant, especially in today’s fast-moving media market. Service providers have to stay on top of consumer behavioral trends, the latest technology developments and the ever-changing regulatory environments to survive and prosper. One company that has managed to achieve this successfully is PRISA TV.
PRISA TV's satellite platform (recently renamed Canal+) is Spain’s largest pay-TV service with nearly two million subscribers and is one of the pioneers of digital TV, HD and 3D services in Spain.
Recognising the growing consumer trend to access content anywhere, any time and from any device, PRISA TV looked at the feasibility of expanding their offering to include a full multi-device VOD
and catch-up TV service, across TV, PC, tablet and phone.
As Fernando Enrile, Director for Digital TV Systems & Services at PRISA TV
recalls: “We have to deliver consumers the programmes they want, when they want them and however they want them. But what’s absolutely crucial is that the user experience needs to be consistent across platforms, so that subscribers can enjoy the same programming regardless of the device they use – all of course without compromising on content protection”.
There are also the simple economics to consider. As more devices, content and delivery networks are added, PRISA TV has to ensure its platform can scale while also keeping costs under control. So a major part of the brief for the new service was to have a single head-end to deploy OTT services to multiple devices and manage VOD content in both SD and HD formats.
Finally, it was vital that the PRISA TV
system be flexible, open and future-proof – from the customisation of the user interface at the front end to the integration with third-party platforms. This allows PRISA TV to quickly take advantage of any future technologies, and get new services to market quickly, efficiently and cost-effectively.
So the brief was set. The decision to go with NAGRA
“was an easy one”, says Fernando. “We’ve used NAGRA Media Access technology to secure our satellite-TV service for many years, and we felt confident they would come up with a way to power and secure our OTT service”.
Powered by NAGRA Multiscreen
NAGRA Multiscreen is at the heart of the PRISA TV service, it is built from the ground up to help pay-TV service providers address both the opportunities and challenges in this multiscreen world.
It has a number of key components: it’s a complete server-to-client solution that delivers content across all platforms – anything from hybrid set-top boxes to open consumer electronic devices. Based on NAGRA's Federated Headend, which provides a
common head-end to transparently serve the same content using HTTP progressive download for VOD to set-top boxes, and HTTP adaptive streaming to open devices.
The system is supplemented by the PRISA TV
in-house team who have integrated the traditional broadcast automation and metadata workflow to feed the system with rights management, metadata and customer policy information. PRISA TV is already reaping the benefits of its new OTT VOD and catch-up subscription and pay-per-view service, CANAL+ a la carta, which launched in February this year. The SD and HD service is available to PRISA TV subscribers on an iPLUS hybrid set-top box, as is a PC-based service that includdes both VOD services and a selection of linear channels . PRISA TV add iOS devices (iPad and iPhone) in the coming months, with additional devices like Android-based platforms, planned for the future.
In a multiscreen world, innovate and thrive is the new watchword for growth.