The History of the OATC

Founded in 2010, members of the OATC worked diligently to make it easier for viewers to log into TV Everywhere offerings using their cable subscription credentials.

Timeline

From 2011 to 2019, the OATC worked on technology solutions enabling consumers easier access to streaming video content through their cable subscriptions on devices other than their TV.

2008 - 2009
2008 - 2009

Pioneering Authentication Deployments & Trials

February 2010
February 2010

First Use Case Document Completed & Released

August 2010
August 2010

Decision to Form a Technical Standards Organization

September 2010
September 2010

OATC Incorporated

December 2010
December 2010

First OATC Board Meeting

September 2011
September 2011

First Annual OATC Member Meeting

March 2012
March 2012

Public Website Launched

June 2012
June 2012

Live TVE Signaling and Resource Use Monitoring (RUM) WGs Formed

September 2012
September 2012

Open Multimedia Authorization Protocol (OMAP) 1.0 Published

October 2012
October 2012

Second Annual OATC Member Meeting

February 2013
February 2013

TVE Usability WG Launched

March 2013
March 2013

Live TV Signaling Recommended Practice and SCTE Collaboration Launched

June 2013
June 2013

Metadata Feed Recommended Practice Released

October 2013
October 2013

Third Annual OATC Member Meeting; 45 Day Plan Initiative Launched

October 2013
October 2013

Extended Authentication Session Experience, Home Based Authentication, TVE Content

February 2014
February 2014

Search & Navigation, Social Login, Authentication Measurement, Authentication, Error Handling, and Marketing WGs Launched

March 2014
March 2014

Online Resource Usage Monitoring (RUM) Specification Released

June 2014
June 2014

Usability Testing Completed

July 2014
July 2014

Social Login for MVPDs Recommendation Practice Released

July 2014
July 2014

Authentication Conversion Funnel for Content Programmer's Apps and Sites Recommended Practice Released

August 2014
August 2014

Error Messaging for TV Everywhere Authentication and Authorization Recommended Practice Released

September 2014
September 2014

Home-Based Authentication (HBA) Recommended Practice Released

October 2014
October 2014

Fourth Annual OATC Member Meeting

May 2015
May 2015

HBA Workshop Held in Chicago for Members and Non- members

October 2015
October 2015

Home-Based Authentication User Experience Guidelines for TV Everywhere Recommended Practice

October 2015
October 2015

Usability Recommendations For TV Everywhere Recommended Practice

December 2015
December 2015

Fifth Annual OATC Member Meeting

November 2019
November 2019

Board Decides to Wind Down the OATC and Selects the Streaming Video Alliance as the Future Home for OATC Technical Documents

November 2020
November 2020

SVA Absorbs the OATC Assets and Establishes the OATC Microsite To Make All OATC Documents Available In Perpetuity

January, 2022
January, 2022

OATC Is Awarded A Technical Emmy For Work Done Towards SCTE-224

The Years in Review

2009-2010

The original work undertaken by OATC included developing Use Case and recommendations based on existing standards for Authentication (“AuthN”) and Authorization (“AuthZ”). These recommendations were based on standards developed by the Oasis Technical Security Services group known as SAML with additions and modifications needed to adopt these standards to the Pay TV industry. Given that there was no central ID authority the SAML model of IDP’s (Identity Providers) and Service (content) Providers was a natural fit for OATC environment.

2011-2012

After completing the initial AuthN and AuthZ use cases it came to the OATC members’ attention that a parallel effort with a very similar SAML-based solution was in development by the Cablelabs organization. The OATC Board decided to reach out and coordinate the AuthN specification to avoid duplication of efforts. The OATC then focused on developing its own Multimedia Authorization spec based on the OpenID and Oauth standards which culminated in the publishing of the OMAP Open Multimedia Authorization Protocol in 2011.

The OMAP specification addresses Authorization – the process of granting or denying access to protected media content. It defines the architecture, protocols and data formats needed to build and deploy interoperable systems that authorize access to protected media content on any Internet-connected device. Various authentication methods, such as SAML 2.0, may be used as needed in conjunction with this specification

This specification is compliant with the Oauth 2.0 protocol. Oauth 2.0 provides support for both browser and native applications, is natively RESTful with a strong developer framework support, and has broad and growing industry adoption.

While the OMAP spec was forward looking and based on then emerging Oauth 2.0 standards, it has remained mostly a theoretical spec as most of the OATC participants had already deployed SAML based solutions for Authentication and could not justify the time and expense to re-work existing systems to conform to the OMAP standard. However, as the TVE ecosystem matures and provides parental control capabilities where access may be granted or denied to different program rating levels or to specific programs, the Authorization capabilities of OMAP may yet see commercial deployment.

2013-2014

After the release of the OMAP spec in 2012, the OATC created a Usability Working Group whose mission was to improve the consumer experience. The working group makes recommendations on ways to improve the consumer experience by adopting common iconography, naming conventions and approaches to building a consistent visual experience for the user. OATC collaborated with CTAM, the marketing arm of the Cable TV industry, and this led to work on user testing and recommended practices published by CTAM and an Error Messaging recommendation which was released by OATC In 2014. In 2014 additional working groups were formed and work began on Extended Authentication Session Experience, Home Based Authentication, TVE Content Search & Navigation, Social Login, Authentication Measurement, and Authentication Error Handling. The Extended Authentication Session Experience “Ease” working group focuses on recommendations around extending the TTL (Time to Live) of the initial authentication tokens and how the distributors and content owners should handle a user who was previously authenticated but their token has expired. The Home Based Authentication “HBA” working group deals with recommended practices for distributors who want to auto-authenticate users who are accessing content provider portals from within their home network. HBA also recommends how to handle the in-to-out-of-home transition. The TVE Content Search & Navigation working group’s mission is to create recommended practices to standardize the metadata and description of content and how that content can be used (which platforms it can be distributed on). This is for content exchange between content provider(s) and distributors rather than the consumer. The Social Login for MVPDs working group recommends practices for MVPD’s who want to can use Social Networks logins to improve the TV Everywhere user experience for their customers. The Authentication Measurement working group has defined a set of metrics/funnel steps for the authentication process as it pertains to a Content Programmer’s TV-Everywhere site/app. Subsequent goals include adding representative data to each of the steps to better understand where the biggest problems are and to create a set of reference implementation guidelines. Future updates will focus on second screen authentication use cases and Social ID use cases. The Authentication Error Handling working group recommends standardized Text messages and Error codes for use by MVPD’s when authentication or authorization calls return with an error(s) message, in order to enable consistent reporting across sites from multiple companies and a consistent experience for consumers.

2015

During 2015, OATC released Recommended Practices for Home Based Authentication (“HBA”) User Experience Guidelines and OATC TVE Usability Recommendations. Several HBA deployments by OATC members helped raise the number of successful logins and were partially responsible for increases in consumer awareness and use of TV Everywhere. OATC 2.0 metadata and live signaling was incorporated into SCTE 224 spec. OATC provided feedback and changes to the CableLabs Online Content Access specification (“OLCA”) which is used in some form by many OATC members. OATC proposed enhancements in areas of device signaling, network signaling (in /out of home) and for parental ratings. These changes are expected to be incorporated in the next OLCA revision by CableLabs in 2016.

2022

The OATC was awarded a Technical Emmy for work contributed to the SCTE-224 ESNI standard. Because the OATC no longer existed, the Streaming Video Alliance accepted the award in its stead.

Why Did the OATC Wind Down?

The board of the OATC decided in 2019 that there was no more work to be done. The revolution of OTT had changed the TV Everywhere landscape. Many content owners were moving to direct subscriptions with consumers (rather than running through cable operators) and large technology providers, like Adobe, had developed out-of-the-box authentication solutions for TV Everywhere. The board felt that the Streaming Video Alliance was a perfect place to house the documents going forward.

Find out How You Can Contribute!

This document archive is managed by the Streaming Video Alliance and all publications are provided “as-is” with no warranty. Any use of these documents is governed by the policies set forth by the OATC prior to its dissolution. You can find those policies here.