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Encyclopedia > Conditional access

Conditional Access (abbreviated CA) is the protection of content by requiring certain criteria to be met before granting access to this content. The term is commonly used in relation to digital television systems, most notably satellite television. Image File history File links Mergefrom. ... Conditional Access System (CAS) is a system by which electronic transmission of digital media (especially satellite television signals through cable) is limited only to subscribed clients. ... Image File history File links Question_book-3. ... Digital television (DTV) refers to the sending and receiving of moving images and sound by means of discrete (digital) signals, in contrast to the analog signals used by analog TV. Introduced in the late 1990s, this technology appealed to the television broadcasting business and consumer electronics industries as offering new... Satellite television is television delivered by way of communications satellites, as compared to conventional terrestrial television and cable television. ...


Conditional access in DVB

Under the DVB, conditional access system standards are defined in the specification documents for DVB-CA (Conditional Access), DVB-CSA (the Common Scrambling Algorithm) and DVB-CI (the Common Interface). These standards define a method by which a digital television stream can be obfuscated, with access provided only to those with valid decryption smart cards. DVB, short for Digital Video Broadcasting, is a suite of internationally accepted, open standards for digital television maintained by the DVB Project, an industry consortium with more than 300 members, and published by a Joint Technical Committee (JTC) of European Telecommunications Standards Institute (ETSI), European Committee for Electrotechnical Standardization (CENELEC... Conditional Access System (CAS) is a system by which electronic transmission of digital media (especially satellite television signals through cable) is limited only to subscribed clients. ... Scrambling on Crib Goch, Snowdonia, Wales Scrambling is a method of ascending rocky faces and ridges. ... Flowcharts are often used to graphically represent algorithms. ... DVB, short for Digital Video Broadcasting, is a suite of internationally accepted, open standards for digital television maintained by the DVB Project, an industry consortium with more than 300 members, and published by a Joint Technical Committee (JTC) of European Telecommunications Standards Institute (ETSI), European Committee for Electrotechnical Standardization (CENELEC... scheme The Common Interface (CI) is the slot on a digital television receiver into which a conditional access module (CAM) may be inserted for satellite television. ... A smartcard or smart card is a tiny secure cryptoprocessor embedded within a credit card-sized or smaller (like the GSM SIM) card. ...


This is achieved by a combination of scrambling and encryption. The data stream is scrambled with an 8-byte secret key, called the control word. Knowing the value of the control word at a given moment is of relatively little value, because it changes very frequently, about every 10 seconds. The control word is generated automatically and randomly, in such a way that successive values are not predictable; the DVB specification recommends using a physical process for that.


In order for the receiver to unscramble the data stream, it must be permanently informed about the current value of the control word. In practise, it must be informed slightly in advance, so that no viewing interruption occurs. Encryption is used to protect the control word during transmission to the receiver: the control word is encrypted as an entitlement control message (ECM). The CA subsystem in the receiver will decrypt the control word only when authorised to do so; that authority is sent to the receiver in the form of an entitlement management message (EMM). The EMMs are specific to each subscriber, as identified by the smart card in his receiver, or to groups of subscribers, and are issued much less frequently than ECMs, perhaps at monthly intervals. This being apparently not sufficient to prevent unauthorized viewing, TPS has lowered this interval down to about 12 minutes. Encrypt redirects here. ... To meet Wikipedias quality standards, this article or section may require cleanup. ...


The contents of ECMs and EMMs are not standardized, they depend on the conditional access system being used.


The control word can be transmitted through different ECMs at once. This allows to use several conditional access systems at the same time, a DVB feature called simulcrypt, which saves bandwidth and encourages multiplex operators to cooperate. Simulcrypt is widespread in Europe; some channels, like the CNN International Europe from the Hot Bird satellites, can use 7 different CA systems in parallel. CNN International (CNNI) is an English language television network that carries news, current affairs and business programming world-wide. ... Hot Bird or Hotbird is the common name of a family of satellites operated by Eutelsat, located at 13°E over the Equator (orbital position) and with a transmitting footprint over Europe, North Africa and the Middle East. ...


The decryption cards are read, and sometimes updated with specific access rights, either through a Conditional Access Module (CAM), a PC card-format card reader, or through a built-in card reader meeting DVB-CI standards, such as that in the Sky Digibox. A conditional access module (CAM) is an electronic device, usually incorporating a slot for a smart card, which equips a DVB television or set-top box with the appropriate hardware facility to view conditional access content that has been encrypted using a conditional access system. ... The PCMCIA is the Personal Computer Memory Card International Association, an industry trade association that creates standards for notebook computer peripheral devices. ... An Amstrad Digibox with Viewing Card Inserted A Sky Digital Viewing Card The Digibox is a device marketed by British Sky Broadcasting in the UK and Republic of Ireland to enable home users to receive digital satellite television broadcasts (satellite receiver). ...


Several companies provide competing CA systems; VideoGuard, Irdeto Access, Nagravision, Conax, Viaccess and Mediaguard (a.k.a. SECA) are among the most commonly used CA systems. VideoGuard (sometimes referred to simply as NDS), produced by NDS, is a digital encryption system for use with conditional access television broadcasting. ... Irdeto provides solutions for digital content protection in digital TV, IPTV and mobile environments. ... Nagravision is a company of the Kudelski Group that develops conditional access systems for cable and satellite television. ... Conax is a crypting system for digital television. ... Viaccess is an encrypting system for digital television developed by France Télécom. ... Mediaguard is a conditional access system for digital television developed by SECA (Société Européenne de Contrôle dAccès), which has since become Nagra France. ... seca company logo seca is a German manufacturer of health care products, with headquarters in Hamburg where they have been established since 1840. ...


Due to the common usage of CA in DVB systems, many tools to aid in or even directly circumvent encryption exist. CAM emulators and multiple-format CAMs exist which can either read several card formats or even directly decrypt a compromised encryption scheme. Most multiple format CAMs and all CAMs that directly decrypt a signal are based on reverse engineering of the CA systems. A large proportion of the systems currently in use for DVB encryption have been opened to full decryption at some point, including Nagravision, Conax, Viaccess and Mediaguard (v1). Pirate decryption most often refers to the reception of compromised Pay TV or pay radio signals without authorisation from the original broadcaster. ... Reverse engineering (RE) is the process of taking something (a device, an electrical component, a software program, etc. ...


Conditional access in the USA

In the United States cable systems, the standard for conditional access is provided with CableCARDs whose specification was developed by the cable company consortium Cablelabs. Cable companies in the US are required by the Federal Communications Commission to support CableCARDs, but standards exist only for one way communication and do not apply to satellite television. Next generation approaches in the United States eschew such physical cards and employ schemes using downloadable software for conditional access such as DCAS. The main appeal of such approaches is that the access control may be upgraded dynamically in response to security breaches without requiring expensive exchanges of physical conditional access modules. Another appeal is that it may be inexpensively incorporated into non-traditional media display devices such as Portable media players. Cable television in the United States is a common form of television delivery, generally by subscription. ... CableCARD is a plug-in card approximately the size of a credit card that allows consumers in the United States to view and record digital cable television channels on digital video recorders, personal computers and televisions without the use of other equipment such as a set top box (STB) provided... FCC redirects here. ... Downloadable Conditional Access System or DCAS is a proposal advanced by CableLabs for secure software download of a specific Conditional Access client (computer program) which controls Digital Rights Management (DRM) into a OCAP-compliant host consumer media device. ... Access control is the ability to permit or deny the use of something by someone. ... A conditional access module (CAM) is an electronic device, usually incorporating a slot for a smart card, which equips a DVB television or set-top box with the appropriate hardware facility to view conditional access content that has been encrypted using a conditional access system. ... An idle PMP compared with a coin A portable multimedia player (PMP) - sometimes referred to as a portable video player (PVP) - is an electronic device that is capable of storing and playing digital media. ...


See also

Access control is the ability to permit or deny the use of something by someone. ... CableCARD is a plug-in card approximately the size of a credit card that allows consumers in the United States to view and record digital cable television channels on digital video recorders, personal computers and televisions without the use of other equipment such as a set top box (STB) provided... Card sharing is a method by which independent devices obtain simultaneous access to a pay television system protected by a conditional access scheme by sharing one legitimate subscription card. ... Conax is a crypting system for digital television. ... DigiCipher 2, or simply DCII, is a digital signal compression standard used on many communications satellite television and audio signals. ... Digital rights management (DRM) is an umbrella term that refers to access control technologies used by publishers and copyright holders to limit usage of digital media or devices. ... Downloadable Conditional Access System or DCAS is a proposal advanced by CableLabs for secure software download of a specific Conditional Access client (computer program) which controls Digital Rights Management (DRM) into a OCAP-compliant host consumer media device. ... Irdeto provides solutions for digital content protection in digital TV, IPTV and mobile environments. ... Nagravision is a company of the Kudelski Group that develops conditional access systems for cable and satellite television. ... Pirate decryption most often refers to the reception of compromised Pay TV or pay radio signals without authorisation from the original broadcaster. ... PowerVu is a conditional access system for digital television developed by Scientific Atlanta. ... Smart card used for health insurance in France. ... Television encryption, often referred to as scrambling, is encryption used to control access to pay television services, usually cable or satellite television services. ... Viaccess is an encrypting system for digital television developed by France Télécom. ... VideoCipher is a brand name of analog scrambling equipment for satellite television invented in 1983 by Linkabit systems, which was bought out by MA/COM in 1985. ... VideoGuard (sometimes referred to simply as NDS), produced by NDS, is a digital encryption system for use with conditional access television broadcasting. ...

  Results from FactBites:
 
20CFR654.654.403 - Conditional access to the intrastate or interstate clearance system. (446 words)
Upon receipt of a request for conditional access pursuant to paragraph (a)(2) or paragraph (b)(1) of this section, the RA shall review the matter and, as appropriate, shall either grant or deny the request.
The authorization for conditional access to the intrastate or interstate clearance system shall be in writing, and shall state that although the housing does not comply with the applicable standards, the employer's job order may be placed into intrastate or interstate clearance until a specified date.
If the RA denies the request for conditional access to the intrastate or interstate clearance system, the RA shall provide written notice to the employer, the appropriate State agency, and the local Job Service office, stating the reasons for the denial.
Oftel News 56, June 2002: Oftel finalises arrangements for Conditional Access (371 words)
Conditional access services allow broadcasters to supply their television programmes only to customers who are entitled to watch them.
Conditional access ensures, for example, that only people who have paid to receive certain programmes can do so, and that free-to-air channels such as the BBC can only be viewed by UK consumers.
Suppliers of conditional access services are obliged by the terms of their licence to provide them on a "fair, reasonable and non-discriminatory" basis, and Oftel has the power to intervene to set prices if commercial negotiations fail.
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