Microsoft PlayReady DRM

PallyCon provides cloud-based Multi-DRM license service, content packaging and SDK to help you quickly and easily apply content security.

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About Microsoft PlayReady DRM

Microsoft PlayReady content access and protection technology is a set of technologies that can be used to distribute audio/video content more securely over a network, and help prevent the unauthorized use of content.

Benefits of Microsoft PlayReady DRM

  • Supports natively a wide range of audio and video codecs, including WMA, WMV, Dolby Digital +, AAC, AAC+, enhanced AAC+, and H.264.
  • Ability to protect essentially any type of digital content — music, video, games, ringtones, images, and more.
  • Tight integration with Microsoft platforms including Windows 8, Xbox, Windows Phone, Mediaroom, and Microsoft Silverlight for Windows and Mac.
  • Implement user domains and embedded licenses to facilitate the legal distribution of content among devices.
  • The capability of Over-The-Air (OTA) delivery of content and licenses.
  • Allows side-loading of content from Windows PCs.

Features of Microsoft PlayReady

Version Release Date Feature
1.x 2008-2010 Supported embedded license and smooth streaming common encryption
2.x 2011-2014 Added key rotation for live TV support, iOS / Android support, MPEG-DASH, etc.
3.x 2015-2017 Added SL3000 security level, multi-key, Secure Stop, Secure Time, etc.
4.0 October 2017 Added support for AES-CBCS encryption mode and Secure Delete
4.2 February 2019 The client sends SecureStop2 messages to the server
4.4 May 2020 The SecureStop2 feature is added. This provides a higher level of security than the previously-extant SecureStop1 feature.

Supported ecosystem of Microsoft PlayReady DRM

Platform Version
  • Windows 8.1 or later: IE11 browser
  • Windows 10: Edge browser or Universal Windows Platform (UWP) app
  • Samsung Smart TV: Tizen OS 2.3 or later
  • LG Smart TV: webOS 3.0 or later
  • Roku: Roku OS 8.0 or later
  • Xbox One, Chromecast

Support formats of PlayReady DRM

Formats Protocols
Video MPEG-TS, fMP4 container
Video Codec AVC(H.264), HEVC(H.265)
Audio Codec AAC, AC3

Integration if you use Microsoft PlayReady service directly from Microsoft

Clients and Servers are the two main components in the PlayReady ecosystem. These components communicate using protocols specified by Microsoft. Content is protected by a content packaging service using PlayReady, then transferred to clients that decrypt the content by using information stored in a license.

PlayReady Clients

PlayReady Clients are devices capable of playing back protected content when given a license for that content (such as media player programs on personal computers or applications on devices such as cell phones, tablets, and smart TVs). PlayReady Clients must also be able to enforce the rights and restrictions associated with a policy included in a license.

PlayReady Servers

Content providers use the PlayReady Server Software Development Kit (SDK) to build Servers with service-specific business logic. For example, a video subscription service would customize Servers to have a service-specific license. The license might include expiration times and license issuance restrictions that tie to a specific data backend that has subscriber information.

PlayReady Servers include License Servers, Domain Controllers, Metering Servers, Secure Stop Servers, and Secure Delete Servers. These Servers are all developed on the same PlayReady Server SDK.

Content Packager

In addition, a service also needs to be developed which can act as a content packager to encrypt and encode the content, and a Streaming backend and CDN to distribute the content on the network.

The following figure shows the icons used throughout this document to represent the different Servers.

Microsoft PlayReady DRM Servers

DIY Microsoft PlayReady

DIY Microsoft PlayReady - PallyCon
  1. Content is encrypted by a content packager that supports PlayReady, and then sent to clients that decrypt and play content using information stored in the DRM license.
  2. A PlayReady client is a device that can play protected content when licensed for that content. It can be a media player on personal computers or an application on devices such as mobile phones, tablets, and smart TVs.
  3. The PlayReady client enforces the rights and restrictions associated with the policies contained in the license when playing the DRM content.
  4. A PlayReady server enables the integration with clients. Content service providers or DRM solution vendors use the PlayReady Server Software Development Kit (SDK) to build servers that support service-specific business logic.

Why Choose Pallycon PlayReady DRM

Simple setup

Offline Support

Pay as you go with Multi DRM service (WV, FPS, and PR in a  single workflow)

No need to develop and manage individual components like License Key server Secure stop server and Content Packager

Pallycon manages and provides a key exchange server, keeps updating the service as per PlayReady updates.

Provides service in both API based and SDK based models.

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PlayReady Integration Flow (with Pallycon)

PlayReady Integration Flow - PallyCon

Integration Document (with PallyCon)

PallyCon Multi DRM service provides integration APIs and SDKs to support various client environments such as PC, mobile, OTT, TV platforms.

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PallyCon Multi DRM service provides integrated DRM license management and client integration of PlayReady, Widevine, and FairPlay easily and quickly.

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News Section

Microsoft Playready

Microsoft PlayReady News

Microsoft announces the availability of a new PlayReady version 4.4 for both the PlayReady device porting kit and PlayReady Server SDK’s.

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PlayReady DRM FAQ’s

How does PlayReady DRM work?

PlayReady Servers include Content Packaging Server: Takes unprotected content and packages it for distribution. When the content is packaged, the protected content is copied to a Distribution Server and the license information is transferred to a License Server.

What is PlayReady HWDRM?

Hardware-based content protection support enables secure playback of high definition (HD) and ultra-high definition (UHD) content on multiple device platforms. Key material (including private keys, content keys, and any other key material used to derive or unlock said keys), and decrypted compressed and uncompressed video samples are protected by leveraging hardware security. When Hardware DRM is being used, neither unknown enabler (play to unknown/play to unknown with down res) has meaning as the HWDRM pipeline always knows the output being used.

How much does PlayReady DRM cost?

There are no licensing fees or royalties associated with the Microsoft PlayReady Server Agreement.

Note that WMLA may require an Extended Validation Code Signing Certificate for verification before obtaining a license which may have associated fees from a third party certificate authority.

What is the recommended way to use DRM in a player?

Enabling DRM requires changes to at least three components of your streaming workflow:

Content – your assets must be transcoded, encrypted, and packaged in formats compatible with the DRM systems you need to support.

Player – your video player must be able to request a key from a license server and decrypt the video; this may require different players on different platforms.

License Server – your video player will request decryption keys from a license server every time a piece of content is requested; the license server authenticates and responds to these requests.

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