PlayReady is a content access and protection digital rights management (DRM) technology created by Microsoft which can be used to securely distribute audio and video content over an OTT network. It also offers protection against content leakage and its unauthorized usage. The integration of the PlayReady platform is done with the help of a device-porting kit and a source code for hardware partners. It also offers a license server component which can easily be integrated into the existing infrastructure of a service provider. The first step is to encrypt the content by a content packager that supports PlayReady. The client device then decrypts and plays the content using the information in the DRM license.

All PlayReady-protected media files have a PlayReady Object (PRO) located in the content header. This contains information that PlayReady needs, such as the metadata for audio and video tracks, along with the information needed by the client to locate or acquire license for the content. The client devices which support the trusted execution environment (TEE) in the device processor can implement the updated version of the PlayReady Porting Kit for enhanced content protection. Content providers and DRM video protection solution providers use the PlayReady SDK to custom-build servers that can support their specific services.

During content encryption on PlayReady DRM, a KeyID (KID) is generated which contains the globally unique identifier (GUID) for the client to retrieve the corresponding key from the server, and an ALGID, which decrypts the file. The keys in PlayReady systems are AES-128 CTR and AES-128 CBC keys. The keys can be generated either by using a key management system or the PlayReady Key Seed Mechanism. When a license request is made, the PlayReady header is sent to the license issuer which then extracts the KID and determines the corresponding key value. The license response typically includes the key value and the rights and restrictions for the content.

Service providers can use the PlayReady technology to control content expiration, resolution, and type of device and screen on which the content can be rendered. It can be deployed on set-top boxes, mobile devices, PCs as well as CE hardware and software platforms. Multi-DRM service providers which provide cloud-based SaaS have now eased the integration process by offering integrated license management for PlayReady as well as Apple’s FairPlay, and Google’s Widevine.