DRM (digital rights management)-protected movies will soon be able to be played on Apple iOS devices, following a new development by Lufthansa Systems and its partner, castLabs. DRM is a means of regulating the copy protection of digital movie files, and it was previously decided that iOS was not sufficiently secure to ensure the security of certain IFE content. However, whereas in previous versions of iOS protected video content could only viewed with the help of a separate player app, the latest version (11.2) allows protected video content to be played on devices in the Safari browser.
Different operating systems such as iOS and Android, and indeed different device suppliers, use different encryption formats for video file copy protection. This means that the same content has to be stored in several formats on board the aircraft in order for the widest possible range of passengers to be able to access it on their various devices. However, the DRMtoday Onboard solution from castLabs uses the Common Media Application Format (CMAF), which has a secure encryption converter. This means that airlines will only need to store a single encrypted video file on the aircraft for each movie or TV series that can then be safely used on any device. (For more on file formats, see the feature by Michael Childers HERE). This new capability also means that once DRMtoday functionality is integrated into Lufthansa Systems’ wireless BoardConnect IFE system, passengers accessing the system will no longer need to pre-install an app to enjoy protected content on their own iOS devices – they simply connect their own devices to the aircraft’s wi-fi system and are then automatically taken to the airline’s entertainment homepage.
“If passengers can simply enjoy our entertainment offering on their own devices as they wish instead of having to install an app before departure, we believe this will increase the number of users,” said Jan-Peter Gaense, head of passenger experience products & solutions at Lufthansa Systems. “This not only improves the passenger experience but also creates a larger potential target audience for the airline’s advertising activities and ancillary revenue opportunities. Airlines also benefit from greater usability, as they no longer need to offer a separate app for their entertainment offerings.”