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Encyclopedia > Downloadable Conditional Access System

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. The National Cable & Telecommunications Association (NCTA) proposes that DCAS be used as a substitute for physical CableCARDs, a standard also created by CableLabs for which products began appearing in August, 2004 as part of industry compliance to the #FCC Mandate, which in turn is pursuant to the Telecommunications Act of 1996. DCAS is a controversial proposal for a variety of reasons: it currently does not exist, has no set deadlines for support on all Cable systems, the specification even in draft form is not currently public, may not satisfy FCC requirements that security modules be separable, and requires an operating system (OCAP) that a majority of consumer electronics (CE) manufacturers do not wish to implement. Cable Television Laboratories, Inc. ... 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. ... OpenCable Application Platform, or OCAP, is a technical software standard created by CableLabs for the cable networks of North America. ... The National Cable Television Association (NCTA) is the major trade organization for the American cable television industry, mediating the professional activities of cable system operators, program services (networks), and equipment manufacturers. ... 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... The Telecommunications Act of 1996[1] was the first major overhaul of United States telecommunications law in nearly 62 years, amending the Communications Act of 1934, and leading to media consolidation. ... Consumer electronics is a term used to describe the category of electronic equipment intended for everyday use by people, the consumers. ...

DCAS System Diagram

DCAS as currently envisioned, removes the need for physical set-top boxes or CableCARDs currently required to protect encrypted digital content. It is proposed that instead of a card with removable circuitry, that a custom ASIC chip be soldered onto the circuitboard of any digital cable ready device. DCAS software would run on this custom chip. Additional circuitry needed to run the OCAP operating system would be required. OCAP programs then would be used as the sole method of interacting with DCAS since it will enable cable companies to force the download of new security software. Image File history File linksMetadata DCAS_system_diagram. ... Image File history File linksMetadata DCAS_system_diagram. ... A set-top box (STB) or set-top unit (STU) is a device that connects to a television and an external source of signal, turning the signal into content which is then displayed on the television screen. ... 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... Encrypt redirects here. ... The acronym ASIC, depending on context, may stand for: Application-specific integrated circuit ASIC programming language Australian Securities and Investments Commission This is a disambiguation page — a navigational aid which lists pages that might otherwise share the same title. ...


The basic purpose of DCAS is to implement DRM protection in software, supported by future OCAP-compliant consumer devices such as digital televisions, DVRs, and set-top boxes (still required to support legacy non-OCAP-compliant devices). This secures the information transmitted in the link between the cable company and the consumer device. Besides decryption, the DCAS software controls how the content is used- whether it must be deleted immediately after viewing, after a set period of time, which devices it may be transferred to and if transfer or recording is permitted. The scheme may be used more broadly and is being advanced by Rupert Murdoch's company NDS as a DRM method useful also for portable media players and other devices not attached to cable networks. A working DCAS prototype was created by Samsung and NDS for the cable industry and was demonstrated to the FCC in November 2005. [1] 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... Foxtel IQ, a digital video recorder and a satellite cable set-top box. ... Keith Rupert Murdoch AC, KCSG (born 11 March 1931) is an Australian born United States citizen who is a global media executive and is the controlling shareholder, chairman and managing director of News Corporation, based in New York. ... NDS Group plc is a DRM and conditional access firm. ... 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. ... Samsung Group is one of the largest South Korean business groupings. ...


According to Brian Dietz of the National Cable & Telecommunications Association (NCTA): The National Cable Television Association (NCTA) is the major trade organization for the American cable television industry, mediating the professional activities of cable system operators, program services (networks), and equipment manufacturers. ...

...we expect downloadable security to be supported nationwide by MSOs by July 2008. M.S.O. (MULTIPLE SYSTEM OPERATOR) In the cable TV industry, an operator of multiple cable systems. ...

It is asserted by proponents that DCAS provides greater security for the cable industry because it allows them to change their entire security structure by downloading new software into host devices. If a particular encryption algorithm is cracked, it can be replaced by another one. Detractors note that if the physical circuitry is compromised, that it may not be replaced as is the case with CableCARDs. Some DCAS scenarios do use removable cards: OCAP-based devices may incorporate internal support for a kind of "smart card" (similar to the current SIM chip in a GSM cell-phone) to identify the subscriber and provide further protection. Proponents assert that DCAS is more supportable since DCAS devices would not require a qualified technician to install the card. Detractors assert that the final version of DCAS may require a physical card insertion, and that technicians are not required to insert CableCARDs anyway, since they are merely the same kind of cards that consumers routinely insert in their laptops. It is asserted that if Cable companies are finally forced to agree on a standard for two way communication that Cablecards will be able to be remotely configured as would be the case with DCAS devices. Smart card used for health insurance in France. ... It has been suggested that Virtual sim be merged into this article or section. ... The Global System for Mobile communications (GSM: originally from Groupe Spécial Mobile) is the most popular standard for mobile phones in the world. ...


The appearance of DCAS as a possible future technology has been used as a reason that the FCC should release cable companies from obligations regarding CableCards. Verizon FiOS wishes to be released from having to support cablecards at all on its network. Cable companies point to DCAS as a reason that they should be released from their obligation to use Cablecards in their devices, as the FCC directed in 1998. The Consumer Electronics Association representing major Consumer electronics manufacturers disagrees with these applications for waivers pointing to the insubstantiality of the proposal and that Cable companies are notoriously late and half hearted in their support of their own standards, as evidenced by their behavior with their earlier CableCARD proposal. Detractors of DCAS point out the proposal is being used to sow fear, uncertainty, and doubt in the minds of consumers, CE companies, and the FCC. Consumers are motivated to hold off buying Cablecard devices, CE companies are wondering whether their cablecard technology investments will soon be obsolete, and causes doubt amongst FCC regulators whether they should enforce deadlines and restrictions placed on cable companies regarding CableCARDs. Detractors point to this as the latest in a decade long set of delaying tactics that the cable company has used to avoid compliance with the Telecommunications Act of 1996. Cable companies counter that CableCARD devices have failed in the marketplace and that it would be foolish for them to be forced to use CableCARDs when the superior technology of DCAS will soon be available. FiOS (Fiber Optic Service) is a fiber to the premises (FTTP) telecommunications service, originally piloted in Keller, Texas, and now offered in many areas of the United States by Verizon. ... The Consumer Electronics Association (CEA) is the trade organization for the consumer electronics industry in the United States. ... In the computer software industry, (and by extension, those which are connected with it) FUD is an abbreviation for Fear, Uncertainty, and Doubt. ... The Telecommunications Act of 1996[1] was the first major overhaul of United States telecommunications law in nearly 62 years, amending the Communications Act of 1934, and leading to media consolidation. ...

Contents

FCC Mandate

The FCC has ruled that starting July 1, 2007, cable customers are able to purchase DVRs and other 3rd party devices to legally view digital cable without having to rent hardware from the cable company. is the 182nd day of the year (183rd in leap years) in the Gregorian calendar. ... Year 2007 (MMVII) was a common year starting on Monday of the Gregorian calendar in the 21st century. ...



Widevine offers solutions consistent with the FCC's separable security initiatives


Recently, the FCC issued a mandate to US video operators ascertaining if they are in compliance with the FCC's separable security initiatives. In paragraph 35 of the Commission's Second Report and Order on the implementation of Section 304 of the Telecommunications Act of 1996, Commercial Availability of Navigation Devices, the FCC stated that downloadable security technology would comply with their rule.


The Commission specifically states:


"...[T]he rule should be interpreted to require the physical separation of conditional access and other navigation functions only in the case of hardware-oriented conditional access solutions or other approaches that may preclude common reliance on the same security technology and conditional access interface. Downloadable security comports with the rule's ban on the inclusion of conditional access and other functions in a "single integrated device" because, by definition, the conditional access functionality of a device with downloadable security is not activated until it is downloaded to the box by the cable operator. To the extent a downloadable security or other similar solution provides for common reliance, as contemplated herein, we would consider the box to have a severable security component..."


This statement was reiterated in CS Docket No. 97-80.


Accordingly, Widevine’s downloadable conditional access solution is consistent with the FCC’s separable security mandate.


As a downloadable conditional access provider Widevine works closely with all of its customers to support their separable security initiatives. Widevine additionally cooperates with consumer device manufacturers to enable them to build consumer electronic products that are consistent with the above-referenced FCC mandate.


Widevine certifies that information on its downloadable security is available to all consumer electronics vendors that request the information.


Integrations are performed on a non-discriminatory basis and Widevine works with various standards bodies to ensure common reliance is possible.


Widevine maintains active communication with the FCC Media Bureau and Chairman Martin on separable security initiatives. This communication occurs at least monthly to determine the status, involvement and potential future directions of the FCC's separable security initiatives.


For more information on the FCC's ruling, visit: www.fcc.gov/telecom.html or contact Widevine at businessdev@widevine.com.


Common Reliance for DCAS

A Common Reliance Standard for DRM/CAS


In an effort to extend the benefits of the FCC's separable security mandate, Widevine is pleased to propose a common reliance standard that benefits video operators, consumer device manufacturers and consumers. This common reliance standard is intended to lower the hardware requirements for consumer device manufacturers to integrate a separable security system. For more information Widevine proposal, see Widevine Common Reliance Downloadable Security Proposal.


Find out more how Widevine’s solutions are consistent with the FCC’s separable security initiatives. http://www.widevine.com/common_reliance.html


See also

Digital TV set-top box Interactive television describes a number of techniques which allow viewers to interact with television content as they view it. ... Copy prevention, also known as copy protection, is any technical measure designed to prevent duplication of information. ... OpenCable Application Platform, or OCAP, is a technical software standard created by CableLabs for the cable networks of North America. ...

External links

Cable Television Laboratories, Inc. ... Year 2006 (MMVI) was a common year starting on Sunday of the Gregorian calendar. ... is the 156th day of the year (157th in leap years) in the Gregorian calendar. ...

 
 

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