Our TV Everywhere Solution at Work

Posted 11/11/2010
by Marty Roberts, Co-CEO

Over the past year, thePlatform has worked directly with many multi-video programming distributors, or MVPDs, to develop a simple and clear TV Everywhere solution. Various methodologies have popped up throughout the industry, but we’ve focused on building and refining a solution that actually works. The outcome is a set of adapters that enable programmer sites to authenticate subscribing customers of Comcast, Time Warner Cable, Cox, and Bright House Networks, and give those customers online access to the content to which they’re entitled.

What’s different about our particular approach to TV Everywhere? After all, TV Everywhere should be fairly straightforward: let cable subscribers access the content they’re entitled to from any location on any device. Pretty simple, right? Think again.

There are two key challenges that quickly make the process complex:

  • First there’s user authentication, which often requires data from disparate back-end billing systems to validate the subscriber. These systems are typically not easy to access or integrate with.
  • And then there’s playback authorization, which is complicated by inconsistent channel IDs, local token authentication, and the necessity of processing authorization calls quickly for a seamless user experience.

So how have we simplified this complex problem?

We’ve done the heavy lifting required for system integration with a single Authentication Adapter service that manages the entire complex cross-referencing among the various companies and systems involved. The adapter translates the user credentials into the format required by each system.

And what about authorization?

Once a consumer is authenticated as a subscriber, programmers might need to control content playback based on the consumer’s subscription package. thePlatform uses a secure token and its associated channel IDs to tailor the browsing experience and identify the content a user has access to.

It’s important that these processes happen fast—consumers want to start watching their videos instantly, and don’t want to wait. So within milliseconds, thePlatform’s service speeds through all of the tasks necessary to maintain the business policies and financial obligations between programmers and service providers:

  • Verifying alignment between the video, the TV service provider’s channel lineup, and the consumer’s subscription package
  • Ensuring that media rights associated with individual shows—such as airdates, geographic restrictions, and other business polices–are enforced
  • Re-verifying that the consumer is still an active customer of the TV service provider

Ready to get started? If you want to extend subscription packages for premium content, read our TV Everywhere Solution Guide.

We have helped launch successful TV Everywhere initiatives with these adapters, and are continuing to onboard more. To learn more about our TV Everywhere solution, contact your Account Manager.


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