Irdeto gives details on AppWatch, its solution for operators migrating to Android TV, in the latest Nextv Series Mexico’s virtual edition

The panel that opened the second day of Nextv Series Mexico’s virtual edition was called ‘The new pay TV goes to Android TV and GPON’. The main topics of the debate focused on the risks and benefits of Android TV development: migration strategies from DOCSIS to GPON; and other related issues. For the development of the panel, Dataxis featured Gabriel Ricardo Hahmann, Sales Director, Brazil and Southern Cone at Irdeto.

‘We have seen the migration to GPON and Android TV globally, through our customers, although we saw mostly the migration to Android TV’, Hahmann said. ‘Our clients that have not launched an Android TV platform yet, are in the process of investigating and detailing the projects to make the deployment, with which it is definitely a global fact’, he completed.

Regarding whether operators should choose Android TV or AOSP for their STBs, the executive reported that ‘both platforms have their advantages, according to the size of the operator and what they are looking for with the Android deployment; but we believe that, for the vast majority of them, Android TV is the most interesting option, because it brings all the features of the Android platform, but also the portfolio of applications and specific features of Google TV Services, such as play store, searches by commands of voice, Google Assistant, embedded Chromecast functionalities, and others. If we talk about a pure OTT deployment model or taking advantage of the operator network, we have seen that although the pure OTT deployment may allow for a greater reach in terms of customers, a hybrid deployment makes sense for operators because, for example, the operator can take advantage of the network of linear channels that it already has, and add these interesting features of the Android TV platform. The operator prefers to make this type of launch, because it takes advantage of the investment that has already been made’.

Regarding how Android favors the OTTs aggregation, Hahmann expressed that ‘in general, the Android platform allows the operator to take advantage of all the resources that have been developed by Google, and the same happens with aggregation. In the previous model, to guarantee these aggregations, the operator took more than a year to implement an OTT application, and add services on its own STB, because it required specific development. In this case, we are talking about an open playstore, where it is possible to download everything that is available: OTT applications, games, and other content. Being able to add this content on those platforms, or already having the applications installed by default, helps a lot, even if there is already an agreement on the part of the operator to be able to add content from different studios’.

The executive also expressed himself about how Irdeto is working with Android operators, and reported that ‘since the Android TV boom began, we knew that it would have the importance it has today. For this reason, we have developed a suite of security products and services for Android TV platforms. We created Irdeto Armor, which adds these products and services that are very important for the operator; not only CAS and DRM, but also watermarking, anti-piracy search, and most importantly on Android TV platforms, which is what we called ‘App Watch’, a product that is placed on the Android TV box and gives the operator total control out of the box, so you can deploy without fear of pirated apps being downloaded or illegal content accessed. App Watch is the solution for operators to make this deployment’.

‘I see a future without STBs for smart TVs migrating to Android. Not only smart TVs, but also smartphones and tablets are an alternative to watch content the way users want to. That is why it is important to have security control on devices that the operator does not control’, said the executive regarding whether he thinks a future without STBs on Android TV may be possible. The executive also expressed  himself on the link between FTTH, Android TV and piracy, and expressed that ‘the fear of operators with Android boxes was linked to pirated Android boxes. Although it is necessary to work together against this problem, each operator individually has their responsibility to implement the most advanced technology in terms of protection, anti-piracy and others. CAS and DRM are not the only ones available for operators. When it comes to Android TV, AppWatch is what really gives operators this peace of mind. There, the operator has control of the applications that are included in these boxes’.

With regard to security in Android TV operations, the executive reported that ‘there are tools and solutions available to make a safe deployment, and so that the operator can have all the advantages of this platform that Google has developed, and do so effectively. Piracy has evolved, but anti-piracy solutions have evolved too, and there are many more tools today than there were before. We are much more advanced than pirates, but it is necessary to implement the tools available in the market. It is necessary to make a massive deployment of these solutions in the market’.