Microsoft® PlayReady DRM

Microsoft PlayReady DRM is a comprehensive content delivery and management solution for media and entertainment products and services across all platforms and types of devices. The DRM solution supports all content types and various user scenarios for live, linear and premium on-demand streaming services. The flexible business models include subscriptions, advertising, rentals and single purchases. 

PlayReady technology is integrated with Microsoft browsers, operating systems as well as some smart TVs and set-top boxes. Adaptive bitrate streaming formats that can be used with this DRM technology include MPEG-DASH, Common Media Application Format (CMAF), HLS, and Smooth Streaming.

Security options with Microsoft PlayReady DRM

The PlayReady Client Security Level defines how robust a DRM client is against unauthorized use. There are two security levels (SL), SL2000 and SL3000. The higher the level, the more robust the client: 

  • SL2000 is the original security level that was created by Microsoft from the launch of this DRM. SL2000 Clients are commonly referred to as “Software-DRM” Clients, because their robustness is backed mostly with software means. On some specific integrations though they could also make use of some hardware cryptographic functions.
  • SL3000 was introduced by Microsoft in 2015 along with PlayReady DRM version 3 to formally define their “Hardware-DRM” Clients. In SL3000 Clients, the core functionalities of the DRM stack must be implemented via hardware in a Trusted Execution Environment (TEE) of the processor. The clients are supported on both Windows and non-Windows devices such as smart TVs, phones, and tablets.

Intertrust ExpressPlay Multi-DRM Service and PlayReady DRM

Intertrust’s cloud-based ExpressPlay multi-DRM service features support for PlayReady version 4. 

PlayReady supports the Common Encryption standard (CENC; ISO/IEC 23001-7:2016) using AES–CTR and AES–CBC encryption modes. A key advantage is that an encrypted file-set can be streamed to different devices regardless of the DRM they support. This reduces the need to create and store multiple file-sets. 

The ExpressPlay multi-DRM service enables PlayReady protected content playback on all kinds of CE devices, from Microsoft and third-parties:

  • The ExpressPlay DRM license server delivers PlayReady DRM licenses to video streaming operators and their subscribers using our cloud-based PlayReady servers and PlayReady native clients
  • ExpressPlay DRM supports SL3000 to enable hardware protection via the TEE, which is usually mandated by rights owners for premium content.

Please refer to the DRM Compatibility matrix for a full overview of the device types supported. Visit our DRM FAQ for explanations of technical concepts and terms. More information from Microsoft can be obtained here.

Intertrust has amassed more than 20 years of experience in designing, developing, operating and supporting DRM solutions. The cloud-based ExpressPlay multi-DRM service enables the use of all common DRM systems and client devices. The Intertrust Professional Services team consists of highly experienced staff, who will make sure each project is executed on time.

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Discover first-hand how ExpressPlay DRM with PlayReady support can protect your valuable assets and facilitate content licensing. Get started by requesting your free 30-day trial.

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The ExpressPlay multi-DRM service also provides support for:

For a full DRM platform comparison, please visit our multi-DRM platform comparison page.