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Verimatrix in German marriage of Comvenience

US IPTV DRM specialist Verimatrix has acquired German broadcast DRM specialist Comvenient, which encrypts DVB signals whether they are DVB-T for terre


Published: 31 March, 2011


US IPTV DRM specialist Verimatrix has acquired German broadcast DRM specialist Comvenient, which encrypts DVB signals whether they are DVB-T for terrestrial, DVB-S for satellite or DVB-C for cable. The company already provides the Verimatrix VCAS for DVB product, and now the two say that this can be better integrated into VCAS, working with the Comvenient software in simulcrypt with its own DRM system.

Slowly we see Verimatrix, which was one of the very earliest to push multi-screen capability, becoming totally focused on multi-screen environments, but also on multi signal hybrid systems and says that this will enable it to offer systems with two different types of signal – a DVB signal of any sort, cable, IPTV, DTH and an IP signal, mostly likely unmanaged – slotting it straight into OTT environments. Verimatrix also has embraced third party DRMs with VCAS, allowing for Windows Media DRM clients and Marlin clients, for instance, served from the same security servers as its own Viewright clients.

Vermiatrix is not giving out financial details of its deal and cynically we think that Comvenient became an important piece of technology in its armory, which could not be allowed to slip away into other hands. Perhaps it was running out of money itself and needed a rescue, it’s likely. It is especially likely in the light of the fact that Vermiatrix is venture funded and would need most of its cash to keep heading towards profitability, so we suspect that this was a share deal involving no cash. But the relationship with Comvenient does show a well thought out plan from Vermiatrix on how to go about supporting OTT from a single security instance.

Comvenient has a team of 20 staff and they will continue to work in Munich from where it will run a development and support center. The company claims 100 operator installations in Europe and Latin America, though the largest Latin American deal is a 150,000 home DVB-T service with a DVB-H trial service. Although most of Latin America has agreed to use ISDB-T for its digital terrestrial services, there are a few remaining pockets of resistance true to DVB digital terrestrial protocols.

The purchase of Comvenient will leave Vermiatrix well positioned to either add hybrid OTT conditional access to cable (and some satellite) companies with existing traditional conditional access suppliers; able to offer DRM onto DVB-T multiplexes for paid content on DVB-T or in hybrids with OTT plays for broadcasters, something that is starting to happen with some energy in Europe, and also able to offer greenfield Telco sites IPTV and unmanaged IP services side by side. It will also mean there is virtually no equipment swap out or change of processes for any existing Verimatrix client to support OTT services, just a software upgrade.

What this strategy also does for Verimatrix is make it worthwhile for chip vendors to embed its VCAS client into chips for devices which will work with multiple services and require multiple DRMs.


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