This is how Chrome 58 could interrupt your streaming service

In next release of Chrome (version 58 now in Beta) to be released on April 25th two significant changes that can have negative impact on your streaming service will be included. If your service is distributing Widevine DRM protected content you need to have streaming over HTTPS and the use of Widevine service certificates.

Streaming over HTTPS

Last year Google announced that they intend to remove the support EME APIs over non-secure contexts by end of Q1 2017. The EME API (Encrypted Media Extensions) is an HTML5 API that enables playback of DRM protected content. Chrome includes a Content Decryption Module (CDM) with the support to handle Widevine DRM protected content and the video player access the CDM through the EME API. Removing the support to use EME over non-secure contexts basically means that the entire website needs to provide a secure context with HTTPS.

The impact of this is that a Javascript based video player that is loaded from the website and uses EME needs to use HTTPS for all requests including the download of video segments from the CDN. This requires that your video CDN can provide support for HTTPS and as HTTPS adds a bit of CPU overhead in the handshaking process it could have impact on performance. So it is not only sufficient that the CDN can provide support for HTTPS but it also needs to handle this increase of CPU on each edges. For a streaming service with high peaks and many viewers this could have significant impact on the viewer experience (buffering, startup times etc).

Verified Media Path

The other change is that the Widevine CDM included in this release introduces a CDM security feature called Verified Media Path (VMP) and that requires the use of a service certificate. This means that prior to a license request the CDM module will also request a service certificate from the Widevine license server and that certificate needs to match the certificate you set in the Javascript player with the EME API function setServerCertificate.

You need to verify that the license server provider have implemented this feature and that your Javascript player is loaded with a matching service certificate.

Chrome 58 exists in the Beta channel so you can already now try this out and see how this release will affect your streaming service. If you want to know more about this or just want to connect with me you can find me on Twitter (@JonasBirme) or in our Streaming Tech Sweden community on Slack where you also will find some of my colleagues.

Jonas Birmé is a Solution Architect and partner at Eyevinn Technology. A Swedish consultancy company specialized in streaming, VR and gaming.