How does Penthera Download work? What are the major components of the product?
Penthera Download consists of two major components: the Client SDK and the Penthera Cloud.
Client SDK is a binary library that links into your mobile app (iOS, Android). The SDK assumes all of the complex responsibilities for downloading, managing, securing, playing and deleting downloaded content. The SDK exposes an API that the enclosing app (your app) calls to manage the enqueue, download, playout, and expiry of downloaded videos. The SDK also connects directly to your origin servers/CDN and DRM servers via HTTP(s) to download content.
Penthera Cloud is a centralized server management system for the Penthera Download system. The Penthera Cloud exposes a secure web API and a web console for you to configure and manage your settings and configurations.
Does Penthera’s download engine rely heavily on the native download engines of iOS and Android?
No. Unlike competitive solutions, we built a custom download engine from the ground up, without relying heavily on the native download engines of the operating system. This allows us to deliver video downloads faster and more reliably than other download solutions. Both our Android and iOS SDKs are constantly improved and optimized for the unique complexities of the operating systems and the wide variety of devices they are present on.
What advantages does Penthera Download have over alternative systems provided by online video platforms or DRM systems?
Penthera’s technology is the result of 7 years of development and 15 patents on processes to increase the reliability and speed of downloads, including a patent for ad-supported downloads. Our flagship product, Penthera Download, provides the most robust and flexible download capability in the market.
When implemented poorly, downloading can frustrate users by draining their battery, having a high failure rate, or leading to situations where video cannot be played back offline after a successful download. Penthera’s years of expertise help prevent these issues and facilitate a better user experience.
OTT providers also need to know their content is protected. Penthera has implemented extensive business rules and content protection capabilities, so you don’t have to build them yourself.
Will Penthera integrate with my environment and existing streaming infrastructure?
Yes. Penthera designed our download engine to integrate into a variety of OTT video environments with as few changes as possible. We rely on standard HTTP interfaces to your CDN, CMS and DRM servers and provide APIs for you to utilize.
Penthera Download can handle individual mp4 files as well every popular streaming video format, including HTTP Live Streaming (HLS), and Dynamic Adaptive Streaming over HTTP (MPEG-DASH). The SDK will download each individual fragment and create a new local manifest file. Then, the device media player can “stream” the downloaded video, fragment by fragment, directly from the local disk.
How does Penthera protect my content?
Penthera Download fully interacts with your existing DRM system so that your rules are maintained when your video is played back regardless of whether the device is online or offline. Additionally, we provide a sophisticated permissions capability that can be used to enforce rules to limit downloads of specific assets, or on devices and accounts. Finally, expiry and remote wipe functionality ensures that your content remains protected if a device goes offline for an extended period of time, or permanently.
How does Penthera Download integrate with my DRM system?
Penthera Download is internally integrated with Google’s Widevine and Apple’s FairPlay DRM, allowing rapid deployment of protected content. It also interoperates with most other commercial DRM systems, including Adobe Access, and has been deployed with internal DRM servers. The product has also been deployed with Multi-DRM solutions including those from CastLabs and BuyDRM.
Penthera has extensive relationships in the industry and will work with your DRM provider to ensure that their system works even if the device is offline during playback.
How does Penthera handle permissions and how customizable are business rules?
Penthera Download has a sophisticated permissions capability. We’ve developed and refined rules to ensure that your content is protected and that your customers aren’t unintentionally impacted by poorly implemented content controls and permission checks.
Our technology can manage content on customer devices when they remain offline, limit the number of customer devices on a single account with content on them, and more. We also have a wide range of customizable business rules, including: max copies of an asset per account and limits on devices, accounts, or assets.
I often hear about customers having trouble with downloaded content from some providers, how does Penthera ensure a good customer experience?
Penthera has worked with the most demanding customers in the industry, so we are very familiar with what can go wrong. Our product ensures your customers won’t experience common failures that result from a poorly implemented download technology. Although the specific steps we’ve taken to ensure a smooth download experience are too numerous to describe, here are some examples.
Error handling: There are many reasons that a download can fail—wireless networks, whether mobile or WiFi are unreliable, a customer losing connectivity or switching between networks, and more. Penthera’s error handling technology provides multiple opportunities to retry a download when conditions improve.
Background download: Penthera’s proprietary engine initiates and continues downloads even when the app is not active or running. With iOS, background download can only be done with Apple’s native download engine. Penthera’s technology works with iOS background download, but, unlike competitive engines, it can fluidly transition back to our proprietary high-powered foreground engine when the app is brought back into the foreground. Penthera ensures the asset is seamlessly downloaded as fast as possible in the foreground or background.
License renewal: Nothing is more frustrating than downloading a title and then getting on a plane, opening the app, and finding that the show you were looking forward to won’t play. Oftentimes this is a result of an expired DRM license. Penthera works with your DRM company to make sure that DRM licenses are updated regularly so your customers won’t be disappointed.
What kind of analytics are available with Penthera Download?
The SDK records key events, along with a timestamp and other relevant parameters. These events are cached until the next time the client syncs with the Penthera Cloud, at which time the cached event logs are uploaded and then erased from the client.
Built-in events include: queue for download, user removed download from queue, download start, download complete, sync with server (when a device syncs with the Penthera Cloud), user triggered delete of an asset, asset expires, asset is played, download pause, start playback, and pause playback.
Additionally, Penthera’s customer support team constantly monitors download events and errors to advise our customers on events that are impacting customer experience, and how to fix them.
Does Penthera Download support 4K, VR or 3D video?
Yes. 4K, VR and 3D video can be difficult to stream reliably even over a high-quality broadband connection, but Penthera Download can download the video. This ensures perfect-quality playback, no matter what the network conditions.
Does Penthera support downloading on desktop or other devices?
Yes. Penthera Download is currently deployed on Chromebooks through the applications available in the Google Play app store. Additionally, Apple’s latest generation of Macs (announced in the 4th quarter of 2020) that run its M1 chip will be able to run iOS apps, including full functionality of Penthera Download.