This use case discusses Unified Streaming’s solutions for the non-compatibility issue facing Chrome users now that support for the Netscape Plugin Application Programming Interface (NPAPI) plugin is being fully phased out.

In September 2014, Google announced it would drop support for its Chrome plugins that use the Netscape Plugin Application Programming Interface (NPAPI), an old browser standard for hosting application runtimes, such as Java, Microsoft Silverlight, and Unity. As Google noted: NPAPI’s 90s-era architecture has become a leading cause of hangs, crashes, security incidents, and code complexity.”

So far, we have seen the impact of this decision on Chrome users. But with Google having stated that NPAPI support will be completely phased out from Chrome in 2015, we anticipate even more complications. For example, by year end Silverlight will stop functioning altogether in Chrome. This will affect Chrome’s audience, comprising approximately 35% of the browser market, according to June 2015 statistics.

The solution

Unified Streaming has the solution. By using Unified Origin with PIFF2CENCtm, your existing catalog can continue to stream MPEG-DASH with any DRM that supports CENC. There is no need to re-encode or repackage. There is no need for player modification.

Unified Origin is a software plugin that allows industry standard webservers to ingest one format (HLS, MP4, fMP4) and package it on the fly to all formats. PIFF2CENCtm is a unique feature, developed by Unified Streaming, that offers streaming to MPEG-DASH using PlayReady-encrypted content as-is.


  • Use your existing catalog to stream MPEG-DASH with any DRM that supports CENC
  • No need for player modifications
  • No need to re-encode or repackage
  • Quick time to market

Find the right solution for you

In view of the dropped Chrome plugins, moving to a multi-platform, multi-DRM solution based on common encryption (CENC) is safest way to go. To know your options, first determine which scenario applies: You do not use or need DRM or You use and need DRM

You do not use or need DRM

You have been streaming your content to Silverlight. Assuming your content is in MP4 or fMP4 format, you can use Unified Origin to stream it on the fly to MPEG-DASH. For DASH to play in Chrome, use the DASH-IF reference player or another DASH player on the market, such as dash​play​.nl, castLabs’s flash-based DASH​.as or other player.

If you use and need DRM

Having content DRM encrypted on disk or requiring DRM for play-out means you have likely one of the following setups:

Your content is stored unencrypted on disk and you apply DRM on the fly for playout.

You are still using MP4 or fMP4 and encrypt on the fly with PlayReady. Since this setup has become incompatible with Chrome, you can use DASH for streaming and apply Widevine Modular DRM for protection. Unified Origin ingests MP4 or fMP4 and plays out to Microsoft Smooth Streaming (MSS) with PlayReady, DASH with PlayReady and DASH with Widevine. All packaging is done on the fly, so there is no need for storing multiple formats; the only format stored is MP4 or fMP4.

Your content is stored on disk in PIFF-encrypted format.

Since this setup has become incompatible with Chrome, update it with a system in which Unified Origin can ingest PlayReady-encrypted content to create on the fly DASH with Widevine Modular-encrypted content. That, in turn, can be streamed using a DASH player. Other possible playout formats include DASH with PlayReady and MSS with PlayReady. Unified Origin applies PIFF2CENC, a unique feature that takes PlayReady PIFF-encrypted content and repackages it on the fly without decryption. The result is CENC via DASH with PlayReady and/​or DASH with Widevine. There is therefore no need to repackage or re-encode your catalog to PlayReady CENC.

Your content is stored on disk in CENC-encrypted format.

This setup allows for easy work with DASH content protected by Widevine Modular. CENC enables protection of the same file using PlayReady and Widevine, both CENC-ready. Now you can also stream MSS with PlayReady, using Unified Origin’s CENC2PIFF.

Your content is stored on disk in PIFF-encrypted format and you would like to play out to HLS.

In this setup, it may be possible to use trans DRM, a unique feature allowing a change of DRM that is applied on the fly using pre-encrypted content. For more information about this option, please contact sales@​unified-​streaming.​com