Lufthansa Systems and partner castLabs are working to develop browser-based playback of DRM-protected movies on iOS devices, meaning that passengers will no longer need to pre-install an app to enjoy movies and TV series on their own iOS devices while on board a flight.
The latest version of iOS from Apple, 11.2, allows protected video content to be played on smartphones and tablets in the Safari browser. Previously, this was only possible with the help of a separate player app. “If passengers can simply enjoy our entertainment offering on their own devices as they wish, instead of having to install an app before departure, we believe this will increase the number of users,” said Jan-Peter Gaense, head of passenger experience products & solutions at Lufthansa Systems. “This not only improves the passenger experience but also creates a larger potential target audience for the airline’s advertising activities and ancillary revenue opportunities. Airlines also benefit from greater usability, as they no longer need to offer a separate app for their entertainment offerings.”
Different operating systems and device suppliers currently use different encryption formats for video file copy protection. This means that the same content has to be stored in several different formats for all passengers to be able to access it regardless of which device they are using. The new DRMtoday Onboard solution from castLabs changes that. castLabs uses the Common Media Application Format (CMAF), which has a secure encryption converter. This means that airlines will only need to store a single encrypted video file on the aircraft for each movie or TV series that can then be safely used on any device.
“We are delivering technology that makes DRM-protected movie files playable on all devices, and in BoardConnect, Lufthansa Systems has a proven and comprehensive IFEC solution with which to provide its entertainment offering – a perfect combination,” said Michael Stattmann, CEO of castLabs.
Both companies are currently working on integrating DRMtoday’s new functionality into BoardConnect to give passengers app-free access to on-board entertainment in the future. Passengers simply connect their own devices to the aircraft’s Wi-Fi and are automatically taken to the airline’s entertainment homepage. From there, they can watch all content through their browser, regardless of their device’s model and operating system.