Microsoft® PlayReady™ DRM/Content Access Technology
Discretix Multi-Scheme DRM supports Microsoft’ PlayReady content access technology for both mobile and connected home entertainment devices. Microsoft PlayReady enables a wide range of business and distribution models to be applied to virtually any type of digital content.
The Evolution of Microsoft PlayReady
PlayReady has been developed to address the massive changes that have occurred in the mobile and home entertainment industry over the past few years. PlayReady expands upon the solid foundations of the Windows Media® DRM technology launched in 1999. The content access technology recognizes the need for a greater range of business models, providing support for everything from purchase to super-distribution. In addition PlayReady has been optimized for the new generation of mobile devices including smartphones, tablet computers, e-Book readers, mobile internet devices, netbooks and media phones.
Microsoft PlayReady Features - Core Enhancements
- The following list provides a summary of the core enhancements of Microsoft PlayReady technology compared with Windows Media DRM.
- Multiple content types – All types of content, including games, images, and ringtones, in addition to music and video. Audio and video content formats supported include: WMA, WMV, AAC, AAC+, enhanced AAC+, H.263, and H.264 codecs.
- Domains – Allows the consumer to access content on all the devices joined to the domain.
- Embedded License – Option to have the content license embedded in the content file itself, rather than distributed separately, enabling more seamless usage for consumers.
- WMDRM 10 Backward compatibility – A Microsoft PlayReady based device has full support for Windows Media DRM 10 content and licenses.
- Performance enhancements – New methods to store licenses have enabled a faster lookup time and faster storage time, making both playback and storage of protected content faster.
- Rights visibility – Allowing service providers to provide users with useful metadata e.g. usage rights and license validity.
Enabling Business Models for Digital Content
- Microsoft PlayReady technology supports a wide range of business models for delivering digital content, in addition the service provider has the ability to create its own business rules.
- Subscription – Flat rate for access to any and all content in the service provider’s catalogue, using three different parameters.
- Time – Specify the length of time for which a license is valid
- Metering – Limit the number of times the file can be played
- License chaining – One master license per subscription period, instead of an individual licenses for each content item
- Purchase – Buy content on a per-track basis
- Pay per view – Supported for all content types
- Rental – Time-based licenses
- Gifting – Purchasing rights for another user according to any of the business models
More Options for Distributing Content
- Microsoft PlayReady supports a number of different options for distributing content.
- Basic and progressive download – The file can be played after being delivered in its entirety to the device (basic download), alternatively the file can be played when only a small portion of the file has been delivered to the device buffer (progressive download).
- Streaming – Content located on a streaming server is transmitted across a network then played by client software, without the entire content file needing to be stored on the client.
- Sideloading – Loading content from a PC to a mobile device.
- Over the air distribution – Direct License Acquisition Over-the-Air (DLA-OTA), enables the service provider to deliver content and the rights necessary to play that content over a network connection.
- Super-distribution – Various distribution mechanisms (MMS, ad hoc WiFi, Bluetooth) allowing users to share content to other users, monetizing this distribution channel.
Complying with Microsoft’s Compliance and Robustness (C&R) Rules
With the release of PlayReady, Microsoft has also published a set of requirements regarding the different security features of PlayReady and a set of robustness requirements for PlayReady implementers. Discretix fully complies with this requirements specification (called in short Microsoft’s C&R). Discretix solution is based on Discretix Security Middleware to ensure the highest robustness level and to comply with Microsoft’s robustness requirements.