OATC publishes HBA and RUM specs

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The Open Authentication Technology Committee (OATC), a non-profit industry association of programmers/content owners, multi-channel video programme distributors (MVPDs), technology companies, and system integrators, has announced that its Home-based Authentication (HBA) and Resource Usage Monitoring (RUM) Specifications are now available.

OATC specifications are voluntary open standards that provide MVPDs and programmers with consistent technology guidelines for verification service systems that make customers’ subscription content available online across a variety of Internet-based platforms.

OATC specifications secure back-end data exchanges between content websites/applications and MVPD billing and authentication systems that preserve consumer anonymity and privacy. In addition, the specifications define the architecture, protocols and data formats needed to build and deploy interoperable systems that authorise access by consumers.

OATC’s Home-based Authentication (HBA) specification defines a TV Everywhere (TVE) feature aimed at reducing the need for users to manually enter login credentials while they are in their homes. It allows users to bypass the step of entering MVPD credentials and to login on the same device on which the user is consuming content.

OATC’s Resource Usage Monitoring (RUM) User Experience specification proposes a set of stream concurrency monitoring use cases and offers related user experience flows. It recommends a common set of practices for implementing a concurrency management solution for MVPDs, programmers and/or developers/solution integrators.

OATC’s RUM Protocol v1.1 specification proposes means of monitoring authorized usage of Internet multimedia resources and ways to collect real-time data from the applications used to access the content. Collecting metrics on consumers viewing habits, preferences, types of shows viewed, and other data, together with demographics, geographies and other categories is desirable for a variety of reasons, among them are to provide a more intuitive/personalised experience to the user, understand the popularity of certain programming, and tailor advertising based upon user preferences, viewing habits, choice of programmes.

“OATC creates open specifications and recommended practices to enable simple online access to TV Everywhere services by bridging gaps in existing technology with practical and workable solutions,” said John Ehrig, OATC executive director. “We are very excited to release these three specifications that will help MVPDs and programmers give their subscribers more choices and greatly improve the TVE user experience.”


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