High Efficiency Streaming Protocol

Standards-centric Low-latency ABR 

A Complete Low-Latency ABR Solution

Low-latency streaming delivery represents a critical advance in live event quality of experience for consumers, but must be implemented in a way that does not  sacrifice streaming security.

  • EZDRM a key contributor to HESP definition and commercialization
  • Optimized streaming architecture includes explicit support for security optimization
  • Close interworking with partners on trials and commercial deployments
  • Demonstrated minimal impact of DRM security on HESP deployments

Today’s streaming consumers are no longer satisfied with experiencing annoying delays between live events delivered on a traditional broadcast service, the commentary on those live events via social media, etc., and their own experience with online “live” streams. Additionally, consumers are increasingly demanding about fast stream start-up and lower source-to-source zapping times. As Free Ad-supported Streaming (FAST) services become commonplace, for example, the channel surfing behavior of traditional broadcast sets the expectation for any kind of streamed content channel line-up.

Lowering start-up times and end-to-end latency on live streaming services will undoubtedly improve the quality of experience–and therefore the competitive profile–of all types of linear streams. But very low-latency streaming, perhaps at the sub-second latency level, will also open up the potential for a vast new range of information and entertainment services, including driving the use of streaming for real money-making applications such as live sports events and the associated wagering services.

The HESP Alliance brings together streaming video vendors and media companies to provide practical implementations of this superior online video quality of experience through standardizing and advancing the High Efficiency Streaming Protocol (HESP). The full scope of the HESP Alliance approach can be seen at the associated web site.

Note that the goal of low-latency delivery cannot in any way compromise service integrity by a sacrifice of streaming security. The EZDRM contribution to the commercialization of HESP streaming technology has helped ensure that this vital consideration is front of mind, as well as validating the minimal impact that DRM protection actually has on overall stream latency in such services.

A distinct benefit of the HESP approach to defining the streaming approach is the manner in which data and processes have been structured to be sympathetic to the needs of the security implementation. In particular, with regard to latency and channel change time reduction, care has been taken to ensure the key management processes on secure streams will have a negligible effect on overall performance. This manifests itself in at least the following critical ways:

  • The support for core DRM technologies, the critical mechanisms that enable business model enforcement through the software and hardware embedded in client devices, is pervasive in the HESP implementation approach. This includes overt consistency with established and globally deployed standards - including EME, CDM, and CBCS encryption - to enable leverage of a trusted DRM ecosystem to full effect.
  • Building on this, it is important to leverage the now expected hardware-assisted native DRM device support that’s provided on platforms as diverse as Smart TV’s, Roku, FireStick, iOS mobile, AppleTV, Android TV and Android mobile devices. The leverage of Multi-DRM stream features enables the broadest array of native runtimes and players from a single stream source.
  • The HESP innovation of initialization streams provides inbuilt support for accelerated DRM license acquisition during stream startup. The player is able to initiate the device native DRM subsystem, for example the CDM in a modern browser, and create a DRM session for subsequent playback in parallel with initial content buffering.
  • The primary video content, delivered in a HESP continuation stream, will be decrypted frame-by-frame using the same DRM session that was created in conjunction with the contents of the initialization stream. This eliminates any overhead of additional DRM license request calls and eliminates the potential for security mechanisms to impact the overall latency.
  • The multi-presentation content protection envelope extends to any inserted ad load within the service, using manifest markers and event message boxes to time new license acquisition as required. Protecting core content and ad content in a seamless manner protects stream integrity and prevents hijacking of advertising material that is critical to service business ROI.
Based on the significant benefits we see in a growing footprint of real-world deployments, the HESP approach will gain significant commercial traction as conquering latency related issues become more and more a commercial streaming imperative. In support of this, EZDRM has introduced its Universal Complete DRM service that fully enables the secure low-latency delivery capabilities of HESP. We look forward to supporting our customers in extending the competitive edge of their deployments in this way, as well as continuing to support alliance efforts in measurement and optimization related to partner implementations, as can be found on the HESP website.


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