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INTX 2016: Cisco, Roku Connect on Streaming Security

Cisco Systems and Roku said they are working together to enable Cisco’s Cisco VideoGuard Everywhere video service protection platform on Roku’s streaming players and integrated Roku TVs.

Cisco VideoGuard Everywhere, a software-based video security product whose roots stem from Cisco’s $5 billion acquisition of NDS in 2012, will also be used to support Charter Communications’ Spectrum TV app for Roku devices, they said.

Cisco and Roku added that they are collaborating to pre-integrate  VideoGuard Everywhere, a security system that compasses both conditional access and digital rights management, into Roku firmware starting next month. All Roku devices will be automatically upgraded to include Cisco security software.

Initial features and services the security integration support on Charter’s Spectrum TV app for Roku devices will include secure video-on-demand and linear TV playback, as well as control the number of devices that can be used simultaneously per subscriber account.

Charter is deploying the VideoGuard Everywhere solution across its systems, including the MSO’s new IP-capable “Worldbox” and Charter Spectrum TV apps offered on a variety of consumer electronic devices such as PCs, tablets and phones.

In February, Charter shed a bit more light on its downloadable security system, telling the FCC in a filing that it had completed two national centralized data centers to support the MSO’s new platform. Pursuing a retail option for that downloadable system was part of a set-top waiver that the FCC granted to Charter in 2013 that allowed the MSO to deploy dual-security boxes as it developed and deployed the new downloadable security platform. The FCC, meanwhile, is trying to move forward on new set-top rules that would apply to cable operators and other MVPDs and aim to "unlock" the set-top and spark a more vibrant retail market for video devices (the cable industry has argued that a new government mandate is unnecessary because the retail market for video devices that are capable of supporting pay TV is evolving amid natural market forces.). 

“We are always looking ahead for ways to make our customer experience better, providing more flexibility and options for accessing the television content people want to watch,” said Jim Blackley, Charter’s executive vice president, Engineering and IT, in a statement. “By expanding the Cisco downloadable security solution to our Spectrum TV App channel on Roku streaming devices, we can better control device streaming rights and functions within the home without compromising on the experience.” 

“We have been working closely with Roku to deliver a lower-cost, easy-to-deploy software security solution leading to innovative services like the Spectrum TV app on the Roku platform,” said Rajeev Raman, senior director of Strategy, Studio Design, and Product Management, Video Software and Solutions, Cisco. “Charter has been a pioneer in the industry for downloadable security to give its customers more options to watch what they want on the devices they want in their homes.”

“Utilizing the fast growing Roku streaming platform in combination with the Cisco VideoGuard Everywhere security solution enables operators to simply and securely deliver their branded video streaming services to the home, and optimally manage digital sharing rights for their content library,” added Andrew Ferrone, vice president of pay TV at Roku. “With this powerful combination, Charter continues to offer its pay-TV customers unique options to watch TV in ways that fit their lifestyles.”