Nagra: TV Is Now a Connected Play

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TV is now a connected play, according to Nagra as it introduces options tuned to optimizing the user's any screen experience combined with data analytics and 4K/UHD streaming security.

"TV is an internet web-like play, and that means service providers have got to run their business the way web giants run theirs," says Simon Trudelle, senior product marketing director. "That means having the right foundation technology from IP and cloud to software-defined platforms—as well as leveraging data from users and data from the system."

Nagra notes that service providers need to deliver TV across multiple screens at the same time as they fend off new competition from OTT players like Netflix. "This is something we anticipated for almost a decade but the reality is here," says Trudelle. "Targeted advertising, the internet of things, and the smart home are sources of revenue for service providers. High-scale cloud capability and high-bandwidth networks in the home are making that shift real now, particularly in North America where operators are launching smart home plays more successfully than anywhere else."

Findings from its "Pay-TV Innovation Forum" report show that up to 1Gbps broadband is the new benchmark for cable companies, and telcos opening up new forms of video content distribution.

Nagra's focus at IBC is on its core content protection business. It is taking this one step further by adding more flexibility for service providers to implement security with TVkey, a Movielabs-certificated USB device, which enables users to sign up for pay-TV services directly on selected Samsung TVs. This dongle offers operators an straightforward route to market for 4K services without additional investment in additional equipment.

It also has a more holistic approach with cyber security and watermarking. Nagra owner Kudelski Group acquired Civolution's NexGuard technology in July. Its watermarking solutions represent a leap forward in the fight against piracy, as they are resistant to any attempts to tamper with them. Using a watermark enables Nagra to scan the internet and pirate streaming services for illegally redistributed content. When such content is identified, it empowers the rights owner to take steps to stop the illegal flow of content, helping to keep the value of content in the legitimate value chain.

Nagra's other pillar of expertise is user experience, and for this it is showing a new version of intuiTV "TV-as-a-Service" (TVaaS) product, which integrates additional features and services from partners such as Metrological, Wurl, Voxtok, as well as the latest Netflix 4K Ultra HD HDR application.

The overriding philosophy here is that as video delivery itself gets more complex, the UI needs to be simplified in order to make the service provider's brand the leading place for users to discover and consume content.

"At the same time, the UI needs to be engaging to encourage user interaction and personalised service while feeding valuable data about individual consumption habits back to the service provider," says Trudelle.  "We are bringing more intelligence to payTV service providers, the ability to gain insights from data in order to compete with the Netflix's of this world."

He stresses, "There is no opt out from this. Service providers have to make live and on-demand content very intuitive on any device."

Nagra is also displaying technologies designed and packaged to raise Net Promoter Score (NPS) by improving customer satisfaction through engaging and immersive user experiences; reducing churn through a better experience and pertinent market offer; and improving operational efficiencies allowing for faster service innovation and optimised platform operations.

 Kudelski subsidiary SmarDTV is highlighting its latest range of interactive TV modules and set-top boxes supporting 4K Ultra HD, Android and HbbTV, as well as several major product enhancements for their Conditional Access Modules product line, integrated with Nagra anyCAST and MediaLive Suite products.

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