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IBC 2018: Com Hem launches world’s first large-scale Android N pay-TV system using Verimatrix VCAS Ultra

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Sweden’s largest multi-channel TV provider, Com Hem, has upgraded to Verimatrix VCAS Ultra protection to provide pay-TV security for its deployment of set-top boxes using the Android N (Nougat) operating system. Based on Android TV Operator Tier, this is the first such large-scale deployment of Nougat (the seventh major iteration of the Android OS), claim the two companies.

The new Nougat STB is being rolled out to Com Hem’s 1.4 million subscribers on cable, terrestrial, and IP networks. VCAS ultra, which will be demonstrated by Verimatrix at IBC, will protect services across all three types of network and screens using its multi-DRM capability, ensuring that the security of the UHD/4K content delivered by Com Hem will meet or exceed the MovieLabs specs for Enhanced Content Protection.

Verimatrix notes that the open Android environment presents a variety of new challenges for VCAS Ultra, because it requires pay-TV security processing to be separated from data from other applications. VCAS Ultra harnesses a Trusted Execution Environment (TEE) inside the STB’s system-on-a-chip (SoC) to achieve this, and also provides an option for robust forensic watermarking to be adopted by Com Hem and its content providers.

According to Thomas Helbo, Com Hem CTO, Android TV presents “a very different and a very particular challenge compared to the closed environments of traditional STBs”, describing it as “critical” for the operator to work with a security provider that can deliver an end-to-end solution to address this.

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