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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 – 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

Platform Widevine PlayReady FairPlay

Chrome 75+ on Windows

check

error

error

Firefox 68+ on Windows

check

error

error

Internet Explorer 11+ on Windows

error

check

error

Edge Chromium on Windows
(widevine on Chromium 79+)

check

check

error

Edge (Legacy) on Windows

error

check

error

Opera 55+ on Windows

check

error

error

Chrome 75+ on Linux

check

error

error

Firefox 68+ on Linux

check

error

error

Opera 70+ on Linux

check

error

error

Chrome 59+ on macOS 10.10+

check

error

error

Firefox 47+ on macOS 10.9+

check

error

error

Opera 32+ on macOS

check

error

error

Safari 8+ on macOS 10.10.3+

error

error

check

Mobile

Platform Widevine PlayReady FairPlay

Chrome on Android 4.4+

check

error

error

Applications on Android 4.4+

check

error

error

Safari 8+ on iOS 11.2+

error

error

check

Chrome on iOS

error

error

error

Applications on iOS
Widevine on iOS 9+ and FairPlay on iOS 6+

check

error

check

Other

Platform Widevine PlayReady FairPlay

Chromecast
Generation 1+

check

check

error

Android TV

check

check

error

Apple TV
Generation 3+

error

error

check

Xbox 360/One/Series X and S

error

check

error

PlayStation 3/4/5

error

check

error

HbbTV 1.5+

check

check

error

Samsung TV
Widevine on Tizen 2017+ and PlayReady on 2011+ models

check

check

error

LG TV
Widevine on WebOS 3.0+ and PlayReady on NetCast 3.0 and WebOS 3.0

check

check

error

Sony 2012+

error

check

error

Philips NetTV 4.1+

error

check

error

Panasonic Viera 2013+

error

check

error

CENC (Common Encryption Scheme)

Platform Widevine PlayReady FairPlay

Chrome 75+ on Windows

check

error

error

Firefox 47+ on Windows Vista+

check

error

error

Internet Explorer 11+ on Windows 8.1+

error

check

error

Edge on Windows 10+

error

check

error

Chrome 59+ on Linux

check

error

error

Firefox 49+ on Linux

check

error

error

Apps that use API level 19 on Android 4.4+

check

error

error

Chrome 59+ on Android 4.4+

check

error

error

Firefox 47+ on macOS 10.9+

check

error

error

Chromecast
Generation 1+

check

check

error

Xbox 350/One/Series X and S

error

check

error

PlayStation 3/4/5

error

check

error

CBCS (Cipher Block Chaining)

Platform Widevine PlayReady FairPlay

Apps that use API level 25 on Android 7.1+

check

error

error

Apps on iOS 9+

error

error

check

Safari on iOS 11+

error

error

check

Safari on macOS 10.13+

error

error

check

tvOS 10+

error

error

check

Xbox One, One S, One X
Version 1709+

error

check

error

PlayReady Client 4.0+

error

check

error

Chrome 75+ on Desktop

check

error

error

Chromecast
Generation 2+/Ultra

check

error

error

CENS, CBC1

Platform Widevine PlayReady FairPlay

Apps that use API level 25 on Android 7.1+

check

error

error

Chromecast
Generation 2+/Ultra

check

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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