The Glossary of Video Delivery: Getting your Jargon Right

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Delivering video is full of intricacies and comes with its fair share of acronyms and jargon. What is CTE, when should you use mABR, and how does BISS-CA protect content? Read on to discover the meaning of these acronyms – and many more terms that we use!

Anti-piracy Services

The collection of services a company offers to fight against piracy is referred to as “anti-piracy services.”. These generally include monitoring content to detect, track, and remove illegal distribution of VOD or live content.

Forensic watermarking is a tool that can help to identify the source of the illegally distributed content.

Once illegally distributed content has been detected, the company offering anti-piracy services takes actions to remove the content using legal means, which can include notification and revocation, or immediate deletion.

BISS-CA

BISS stands for Basic Interoperable Scrambling System. It is an open, royalty-free, secure and interoperable conditional access encryption standard that can be used on video production equipment to transmit high-value content extremely securely. It allows equipment entitlement and revocation in real-time for content streams over any network.

BISS-CA was developed by Ateme alongside an alliance of public service media and other network equipment vendors and first came to market in late 2020. It uses very secure 128-bit encryption, with the encryption key being changed every 10 seconds to stay ahead of pirates, using a combination of symmetric and asymmetric ciphers.

BISS-CA is interoperable, simple to operate, and scalable. It makes it possible to disable the descrambled output from the source, and to force forensic watermarking in the video stream.

BISS-CA is based on BISS2, an evolution of BISS-1 (Tech 3292v1) and Extended BISS (Tech 3292v2) standards.

BISS-2 (Tech3292v3) replaces the encryption and scrambling algorithms DES and
DVB-CSA with more secure and robust state-of-the-art algorithms: AES-128 for session word
encryption and DVB-CISSA for stream scrambling, respectively.

BISS-CA (Tech3292v3s1) adds conditional access mode to manage the list of receivers from the source using ECM and EMM tables multiplexed in the same transport stream.

Container

A container is a piece of software that embeds all the libraries and configuration files it needs to run autonomously. Containers are at the heart of the micro-services architecture, enabling the creation of multiple separate pieces of software each dedicated to a limited function of a larger application, with each piece being decoupled from the others.

Docker used to be the default container runtime used in Kubernetes, and is now being replaced by containerd.

CTE

Chunked Transfer Encoding (CTE) is a data transfer mechanism introduced in the HTTP/1.1 protocol that allows clients and servers to transfer objects of yet unknown size by sending the known portion as a continuous stream of small chunks of data until the object is fully available. Such “growing” objects are typically used in live video streaming as video encoders create video segments on the fly on the HTTP server. Previous versions of the HTTP protocol typically required the server to know the exact size of the object before starting its transfer, which generally meant having to wait to receive a “complete” segment. So for example, an encoder would take five seconds to generate a complete five-second video segment, and the HTTP server would have to wait all this time before being able to transfer it to a requesting client. CTE enables the HTTP server to start transferring the segment chunk by chunk, without waiting for the encoder to “finish” generating the segment, thereby reducing latency. The huge benefit of CTE is that it allows HTTP objects to be “streamed” with a single HTTP request, rather than sending individual HTTP requests for each chunk of data, which would generate a huge overhead.

Deindexing

Deindexing means removing web content from a search engine’s index, so that the content cannot be found through that search engine.

During live events, pirate links are created to offer content, and technological solutions exist to immediately deindex the set of links available on Google. Such deindexing is the most efficient way to protect live content because it makes the illegal website appear useless, so companies advertising on it withdraw their ads.

DMCA notification

A DMCA (Digital Millennium Copyright Act) takedown notice or DMCA request informs a company that it is hosting or linking to content with copyright infringement.

A party that receives a DMCA notification should immediately take down the illegal content. If the site owner does not comply, the ISP can force removal.

A DMCA notification is generally included in the anti-piracy services offered to remove illegal content and immediately stop piracy.

Forensic Watermarking

Forensic watermarking is the insertion of an invisible and hidden mark (known as a “watermark”) in video or audio content in order to identify the source of content leaks.

The watermark must be invisible but robust and secure to avoid modification.

The goal of forensic watermarking is to identify the leaker quickly so as to take anti-piracy action.

HTTP/2

HTTP/2 is a major version of the HTTP protocol bringing significant improvements to the still widely used HTTP/1.1. The main goal of HTTP/2 is to reduce latency, which it does by implementing a completely new transport mechanism based on binary framing (i.e. using binary language to communicate between clients and servers), enabling new features such as:

  • Multiplexing of requests and responses: Clients and servers can efficiently send multiple requests and responses over a single connection, rather than opening multiple connections
  • Server push: Servers can proactively push resources to clients instead of waiting for the client to request them
  • Compression of HTTP headers: HTTP headers are compressed more efficiently, reducing the amount of data to transfer
  • Request prioritization: Requests can be prioritized to increase delivery speed.
Kubernetes

Kubernetes is an open-source technology used to orchestrate multiple containers. It introduces a management layer, making it possible to automate the software deployment of applications based on a micro-services architecture, as well as to dynamically scale up and down parts of these applications. Kubernetes is composed of a set of nodes: some are part of the control plane handling all the logic of the orchestration, and others are part of the data plane running the workload.

Kubernetes was created by Google in 2014 and was then handed over as an open-source project to the Cloud Native Computing Foundation a year later.

mABR

ABR (Adaptive Bit Rate) video streams are usually delivered as unicast.

Multicast ABR is a technology leveraging multicast infrastructure for delivery of ABR video streams.

Multicast ABR delivery has many use cases:

  • Radio delivery to the end device (such as in ATSC 3.0 or 5G broadcast)
  • Radio delivery to a local repeater (such as in OTT via satellite for ABR delivery in cruise ships)
  • Transition from IPTV to OTT – to postpone the investment in the network infrastructure to support unicast peaks.
Rights protection

Content distribution must respect the rights or entitlements that people or organizations have to the content that is being distributed. Rights protection refers to the methods of ensuring that these rights or entitlements are indeed respected.

The respect or protection of these rights is enforced using security tools such as encryption or watermarking. However, these tools are not enough, and a more complete protection involves solutions that permanently monitor Internet content, detecting and verifying live events, IPTV streams, social media and download links. Rights protection services can also include analysis and reports detailing the use of a piece of content throughout its distribution, to check for the correct usage and respect of entitlements.

UGC platforms

“UGC platforms” stands for User-Generated Content Platforms, referring to platforms used to distribute content created by people rather than brands. Illegal content is simple to create, and individuals who do that often use social media platforms to distribute the content quickly to a large community across different media networks.

This type of piracy is rising, and even though tools are being used to fight against rights infringements, breaches need to be quickly identified and corrected.

Social media piracy is present on Facebook, YouTube, Dailymotion, Twitter, Reddit and others, but detecting self-generated illegal content requires specific knowledge to be responsive.