Google Widevine, Apple ProRes Come to Microsoft Azure Media Services
Microsoft adds support for Google's digital-rights management tech and Apple's video codec to its cloud-based streaming service as part of this week's updates to Azure.Azure Media Services, Microsoft's cloud-based media creation, management and delivery platform, is embracing technologies from some of the company's fiercest rivals as it strives to stream video to practically every device. "We are pleased to announce Azure Media Services now offers the ability to protect both Video-On-Demand (VOD) and Live Streams with Widevine Modular DRM [digital-rights management] technology," Mingfei Yan, senior program manager of Microsoft Azure Media Services, said in a Sept. 10 announcement. "Widevine protection, together with Microsoft PlayReady DRM packaging capability, now enables you to reach even more end points with protection for premium content using a single streaming end point in Azure Media Services." Google Widevine dates back to late 2010 when the search giant acquired the technology to protect YouTube content. Azure customers can now set up a Widevine license server with the help of three partners, namely Axinom, castLabs and EZDRM. When it comes to protecting copyrighted content, Microsoft is taking an all-encompassing approach, according to Yan. The company "is embracing international standard MPEG-DASH streaming with Common Encryption (CENC) and multiple-DRM, in order for your content to be played across devices and platforms," she revealed. "Azure Media Services platforms allow you to encrypt your stream only once, apply different DRM headers and our player could decrypt the same file using different DRM systems based on the capability of the platform."
On the video format front, Azure Media Services has expanded its codec support to include Apple's high-resolution ProRes codec.