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Multi-DRM Compatibility Across Devices and Platforms

Comparison of Content Protection Technologies

The distribution of premium content comes with the most rigorous security requirements to counter content piracy. Hence there is a pressing need for Multi-DRM (Digital Rights Management) solutions that support both a wide range of platforms and the highest quality of service and experience (QoS/QoE) to the users.

Behind the scene, DRM solutions have to integrate with multiple sets of components that make up a content supply chain workflow. The components include players (of all screen types), encoders, and back-end systems. Further complications crop up in integrating components developed in-house and those by third-party vendors.

With the various platforms and devices come the varying DRM technologies they support. The most prominent ones with the widest support are:

  • Google Widevine β€“ Widevine is a popular DRM technology, acquired by Google in 2010. Integrated to the Google ecosystem, Widevine is supported on a broad range of devices, from the Android operating system to Smart TVs, browsers, etc.
  • Apple FairPlay – FairPlay is a DRM technology from Apple, designed to secure content packaged using HLS (HTTP Live Streaming). FairPlay is supported on all iOS devices, Apple TV, QuickTime, and content stored locally on Apple Music.
  • Microsoft PlayReady – PlayReady was introduced by Microsoft in 2008. The DRM technology is available within Microsoft products while also having a wide range of device support, such as Smart TVs and Gaming Consoles.

An Overview of DRM Compatibility

The DRM support table below looks at the compatibility of the major DRM technologies with popular platforms and devices:

Desktop OS

PlatformWidevinePlayReadyFairPlay
Chrome 75+ on Windows

(tick)(error)(error)
Firefox 68+ on Windows

(tick)(error)(error)
Internet Explorer 11+ on Windows

(error)(tick)(error)
Edge Chromium on Windows
Widevine on Chromium 79+
(tick) (tick)(error)
Edge (Legacy)  on Windows

(error)(tick)(error)
Opera 55+ on Windows

(tick)(error)(error)
Chrome 75+ on Linux

(tick)(error)(error)
Firefox 68+ on Linux

(tick)(error)(error)
Opera 70+ on Linux

(tick)(error)(error)
Chrome 59+ on macOS 10.10+

(tick)(error)(error)
Firefox 47+ on macOS 10.9+

(tick)(error)(error)
Opera 32+ on macOS

(tick)(error)(error)
Safari 8+ on macOS 10.10.3+

(error)(error)(tick)

Mobile

PlatformWidevinePlayReadyFairPlay
Chrome on Android 4.4+

(tick)(error)(error)
Applications on Android 4.4+

(tick)(error)(error)
Safari 8+ on iOS 11.2+

(error)(error)(tick)
Chrome on iOS

(error)(error)(error)
Applications on iOS 
Widevine on iOS 9+ and FairPlay on iOS 6+
(tick) (error)(tick) 

Other

PlatformWidevinePlayReadyFairPlay
Chromecast
Generation 1+
(tick)(tick)(error)
Android TV

(tick)(tick)(error)
Apple TV
Generation 3+
(error)(error)(tick)
Xbox 360/One/Series X and S

(error)(tick)(error)
PlayStation 3/4/5

(error)(tick)(error)
HbbTV 1.5+

(tick)(tick)(error)
Samsung TV
Widevine on Tizen 2017+ and PlayReady on 2011+ models
(tick) (tick) (error)
LG TV
Widevine on WebOS 3.0+ and PlayReady on NetCast 3.0 and WebOS 3.0
(tick) (tick) (error)
Sony 2012+

(error)(tick)(error)
Philips NetTV 4.1+

(error)(tick)(error)
Panasonic Viera 2013+

(error)(tick)(error)

CENC (Common Encryption Scheme)

PlatformWidevinePlayReadyFairPlay
Chrome 75+ on Windows

(tick) (error)(error)
Firefox 47+ on Windows Vista+

(tick) (error)(error)
Internet Explorer 11+ on Windows 8.1+

(error)(tick) (error)
Edge on Windows 10+

(error)(tick)(error)
Chrome 59+ on Linux

(tick) (error)(error)
Firefox 49+ on Linux

(tick) (error)(error)
Apps that use API level 19 on Android 4.4+

(tick)(error)(error)
Chrome 59+ on Android 4.4+

(tick) (error)(error)
Firefox 47+ on macOS 10.9+

(tick) (error)(error)
Chromecast
Generation 1+
(tick) (tick)(error)
Xbox 360/One/Series X and S

(error)(tick)(error)
PlayStation 3/4/5

(error)(tick)(error)

CBCS (Cipher Block Chaining)

PlatformWidevinePlayReadyFairPlay
Apps that use API level 25 on Android 7.1+

(tick)(error)(error)
Apps on iOS 9+

(error)(error)(tick)
Safari on iOS 11+

(error)(error)(tick)
Safari on macOS 10.13+

(error)(error)(tick)
tvOS 10+

(error)(error)(tick)
Xbox One, One S, One X
Version 1709+
(error)(tick)(error)
PlayReady Client 4.0+

(error)(tick)(error)
Chrome 75+ on Desktop

(tick) (error)(error)
Chromecast
Generation 2+/Ultra
(tick) (error)(error)

CENS, CBC1

PlatformWidevinePlayReadyFairPlay
Apps that use API level 25 on Android 7.1+

(tick)(error)(error)
Chromecast
Generation 2+/Ultra
(tick)(error)(error)

Content Protection During Playback

At the point of playback, premium content can be vulnerable to screen capturing software and output recording on external devices. A DRM offers a degree of security in both instances but requires hardware-level DRM implementation with native DRM technology.

  1. Screen capture is prevented on PCs with Windows OS if your content is accessed from Internet Explorer 11 or Edge, as the browsers support the native PlayReady DRM. Likewise, content playback on a Safari running on Mac OS devices eliminates screen capturing as FairPlay is natively supported.
  2. Transmitting content over a digital interface (HDMI, Chromecast, Miracast, and others) onto an external display carries the risk of being intercepted and recorded through unauthorized devices. Configurations within a DRM solution to enforce playback on only HDCP (High Bandwidth Digital Content Protection) compliant devices offer protection by securing the connection.

However, not all devices and platforms support hardware DRM implementation, and alternative measures might have to be taken. It could be a separate anti-recording tool, restricting access to content on unauthorized devices, limiting the resolution of content served based on the device's security level, and forensic watermarking.

Multi-DRM as a Solution

A multi-DRM solution ensures cross-platform compatibility by providing a unified interface that uses the same business logic for different DRM technologies, so you can efficiently protect premium content no matter where it’s viewed. Axinom DRM is a highly scalable multi-DRM solution that serves all major DRM technologies (Microsoft PlayReady, Apple FairPlay, and Google Widevine) through a unified API. Our customers can therefore broaden their audience base by reaching a wide range of platforms and devices, with just a single solution. Offered as a managed service within the Axinom Mosaic framework, the DRM easily integrates with other Mosaic services and third-party services to create complete content supply chain workflows. We take on the responsibility of on-boarding the latest technologies and security features so that you enjoy the best of content protection.

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