RealNetworks’ ‘Helix’ Added to OpenCable DNA

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Cable Television Laboratories Inc. gave RealNetworks Inc.’s “Helix” digital-rights-management system a stamp of approval for use in OpenCable Unidirectional Receiver (OCUR) devices, paving the way for consumers to watch TV content on their PCs.

Using Helix, manufacturers can build and deploy OCUR devices -- single-direction boxes that can funnel TV signals from the cable connection to other devices -- while ensuring that the content is protected from uses the content owners do not approve. With that, consumers can watch digital and HDTV programming on PCs and other video devices attached to their home networks.

The Helix DRM will be added to the CableCARD removable security modules used in the OCUR devices. The device receives the encrypted digital content via the CableCARD and then encrypts it using the Helix DRM. The result is a secure Internet-protocol-video output that follows CableLabs’ Digital Receiver Interface protocol application, allowing the OCUR device to be connected to any PC that also uses the Helix DRM system.

Offering content transfer from TV to PC with digital-rights protection is seen as an important step to encourage programmers and content providers to allow alternative viewing of their content beyond the TV.

"We are constantly working to deliver customers innovative technical solutions that match their usage preferences," said Glenn Britt, chairman of the CableLabs board of directors and CEO of Time Warner Cable. "This DRM solution provides a secure environment while guaranteeing a high-quality customer experience. We hope this will lead to a competitive marketplace for secure DRM technologies."

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