Guest post by Juan Martinez Puig | Senior Product Manager, Irdeto
Blog originally published on June 26, 2018 on the AWS Media Blog. The content and opinions in this post are those of the third-party author and AWS is not responsible for the content or accuracy of this post.
Like many famous 4-letter words, CPIX conveys surprise, shock even, but not in a bad way. It stands for Content Protection Information Exchange, a rather bland term for a standard that brings very exciting changes for the media industry. Driven by the DASH Industry Forum, CPIX is designed to create operational efficiencies and slash the cost and launch time for your OTT services. Suppliers of video solutions such as Irdeto and AWS Elemental have already embraced CPIX and are at the forefront of its adoption.
As OTT matures, standardization is the next step
OTT technologies started in a fragmented way, like many innovations in media and other industries. At the beginning, cobbling together the best available vendor solutions was the only way to launch an OTT service into the market, relying on proprietary integration between the different components. But as OTT services became widely adopted, propelled by streaming video pioneers such as Netflix and Amazon, operators sought to innovate and become more cost-effective so they could retain and grow their subscriber base. The media industry took note and has begun to collaborate on standardization as the video ecosystem matures, to the benefit of not just the operators but also ultimately consumers.
As the first major breakthrough on standardization, MPEG-DASH significantly changed the economics of OTT operations. Such a push forward sounds great, but there is a catch: sometimes technology providers wouldn’t play ball. At least not until the market clearly demanded such support from all major players, like in the case of CMAF emerging to bridge the gap between Apple HLS and MPEG-DASH.
By mid-2017, thanks largely to collaboration and standardization, offering an OTT service that could reach virtually every multiscreen device was already much simpler. Now the industry leaps forward again in another giant step by introducing CPIX as a standard way for security information to be exchanged between packagers and digital rights management (DRM) headends.
CPIX, supporting both DASH and HLS to cover all devices
Unlike other previous standardization efforts, CPIX comes out of the gate already supporting both DASH and HLS. This enables operators who adopt CPIX to securely stream video to Apple devices and virtually every other connected device. CPIX is used to exchange keys and DRM policies between the DRM management headend and packagers. Until now, every packager vendor used its proprietary interface and sometimes DRM-specific APIs to handle this information exchange. This makes switching from one packager solution to another a very expensive and time-consuming project, often not worth pursuing unless the operator has become extremely unhappy with their current solution.
CPIX breaks the vendor lock-in for operators. By adopting this standardized approach, operators can more easily choose the packager and DRM management solutions that are right for them. CPIX allows operators to avoid custom integration since information exchange follows the same format from one product to another.
Preparing for wider adoption
Some work is still needed to make CPIX an easy standard to adopt, and the standard is undergoing fine tuning to achieve this. While many technology providers are still grappling with specific implementation approaches, AWS Elemental and Irdeto have already built CPIX support into their video solutions. With the ability to slash OTT costs and bring integration time down from months to days, CPIX is destined to become everyone’s favorite 4-letter word in 2018.
If you’re looking for video encoding subject matter experts, the AWS Media Blog is where you’ll find them. From explaining how complex media workflows work in practice, to technical how-to instructions, to choice recaps of technology demos and tech talks from recent industry conferences, all information is presented in a consumer-friendly format. Some recent examples:
In this first of a series, AWS Elemental Senior Solutions Architect Nicolas Weil and Solutions Marketing Manager Kiran Patel explain in detail why latency is a challenge, for content providers and audiences, in live video streaming. “How-to” topics in the series include formulas, workflows, and technical walk-throughs to achieve low latency through:
- Optimization of your video encoding pipeline
- Selecting an appropriate segment duration
- Building the right architecture for your application
- Tuning video player settings
Read it now: How to Compete with Broadcast Latency Using Current Adaptive Bitrate Technologies: Part 1. And stay tuned for additional installments in the coming days.
In a related post, Patel explains origin storage and the role it can play in reducing video streaming latency while maintaining a high quality viewing experience at scale. Get the writes and reads needed with AWS Elemental MediaStore.
Wondering how to configure your video processing with cloud services? AWS Elemental Product Marketing Manager Dan Gehred has authored a five-part blog series – with workflow examples and step-by-step instructions – about how to configure and connect various encoders to AWS Media Services, which you can read now:
- Connecting AWS Elemental Live On-Premises to AWS Media Services in the Cloud
- Connecting OBS Studio to AWS Media Services in the Cloud
- Connecting FFmpeg Using RTP to AWS Media Services in the Cloud
- Connecting FFmpeg Using RTMP to AWS Media Services in the Cloud
- Connecting VLC Media Player Using RTP to AWS Media Services in the Cloud
Keep an eye on this space for continued learnings from AWS video experts immersed in the media and entertainment industry.
It is with deep sadness that we share news of the death of our good friend and colleague, Manuel De Peña, Senior Director Field Operations, East Region, for AWS Elemental. Manuel died on May 9, 2018, in a car accident. Our thoughts and prayers are with his wife, Pam, and his two sons at this time, with whom we share in deeply grieving this loss.
Manuel was a huge part of AWS Elemental’s success and in growing one of the industry’s most unique companies. He brought his passionate and thoughtful approach to every aspect of his work and inspired those around him. His incredible personality could fill a room. Manuel was a trusted expert and a good friend to so many across the industry. He will be sorely missed.
The journey we all shared with Manuel was much too short. We honor his memory by committing ourselves to finding the inspiration in each day we are given, and to living life with a passionate commitment to kindness and excellence.
Memorial contributions in Manuel's name can be made to The Virginia Tech Foundation on-line by visiting http://www.givingto.vt.edu or by mail to:
Virginia Tech Advancement (0336)
Office of Gift Accounting
902 Prices Fork Road
Blacksburg, VA 24061
Please note on your check or correspondence that this gift is for a “scholarship in memory of Manuel De Pena” when mailing tributes or include this note in the Honorary/Memorial Gifts section when making gifts on-line.
Donations can also be made to the mikeroweWorks Foundation in Manuel's name. This group provides scholarships to people who want to learn a skill or a trade. Donate by check or on-line at mikeroweworks.org - Giving Options.
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Santa Monica, CA 90401