By Yeng Peng, Vice-President of Product Operations, Kilopass
Apr 28 2006 (15:19 PM), Courtesy of Video/Imaging DesignLine
The proliferation of digital video and audio content has created a big problem for the owners of this content. How do you protect your intellectual property from illegal transfer to non-authorized users of music, movies, and other valuable entertainment and infotainment property? The problem is making video and audio products easily accessible to authorized users who have paid for the right to listen to or view these products and non-accessible to those who have not.
Secure protection systems are necessary components of digital content protection and encryption keys are critical components of these systems. The security of such keys must be paramount--if a key is stolen, the entire system is compromised, valuable content may be lost, and the owner of this content may lose huge amounts of money.
The solution lies in emerging protocols and interfaces that permit the transfer of encrypted high-quality video and audio streams that can be decrypted and used only by authorized “receivers.” Currently, the HDCP Authentication protocol and HDMI interfaces are gaining wide acceptance for the secure passing of video and audio streams. Also needed are the supporting technologies that support HDCP-compliant and HDMI-enabled equipment, including non-volatile memory (NVM) storage of the device keys and identifiers this type of equipment requires.
The market for devices receiving audio and video content is quite large and continuing to grow very rapidly. In 2005, research firm iSuppli predicted shipments of MP3 players to rise by nearly a factor of four from 2004 to 2009. The firm stated that total MP3 player shipments would expand to 132 million units in 2009, rising at a Compound Annual Growth Rate (CAGR) of 29.1% from 36.8 million units in 2004. In January of 2006, research firm InStat reported that digital cable set-top box worldwide unit shipments reached 12.2 million in 2005, up from 10.8 million in 2004. Also in January 2006, the Digital Entertainment Group, an industry trade organization, said an estimated 37 million DVD players were sold to U.S. consumers in 2005, with nearly 17 million DVD players sold in the fourth quarter alone. Growth should continue strong with the introduction of and acceptance of the two next-generation blue laser DVD formats, Blu-ray and HD-DVD. Finally, along with these “dedicated” digital content receiver devices, one should not forget the cell phone – in mid-2005, Gartner Dataquest estimated that almost 800 million units would be sold during the year, a 16% increase over 2004.
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