Gulf pay-TV gets tough on pirates
December 1, 2010
Orbit Showtime Network (OSN), the Dubai-based pay-TV satellite operator, is getting tough on pirates stealing its satellite signals. First attack is on so-called Dreambox users in the region, reckoned to measure in the tens of thousands. Updated “silicon secure” encryption software is now included in new set-top boxes being supplied by OSN, and a switch-over will kick-in on Dec 19.
“From December 19, no-one watching OSN programmes illegally will be able to receive the signals because the new technology in these boxes cannot be cracked,” said a spokeswoman for OSN.
The Dreambox system relies on the user linking the receiver to an Internet connection, which it uses to download codes to unscramble satellite signals.
Pay-TV broadcasters in the Middle East have long suffered serious piracy problems, from widespread illegal distribution of signals by informal cable operators in the Lebanon and Egypt, to problems such as illegal use of Dreamboxes and similar card-sharing devices.