Advanced Television

Farncombe previews “Cardless Broadcast Security”

September 6, 2012

Farncombe, a provider of Digital TV technology consultancy, has released early results of its Security and Piracy Survey conducted in August 2012. Among a wealth of industry input, the survey found that the pay-TV industry’s main piracy concern over the next five years is shifting from control word sharing, which is viewed as the largest threat today, to actual redistribution of content over the Internet. Forty-four per cent of operators cite redistribution of content – broadcast or downloaded – as the number one threat to the industry revenue today; 65 per cent think it will be the main threat in five years’ time.

The survey, which examined the changing security environment of pay-TV and the role of smartcard-based and cardless conditional access (CA) systems within it, was conducted as part of a white paper commissioned by Verimatrix, the specialist in securing and enhancing revenue for multi-screen digital TV services around the globe. The full white paper, which will be published by Farncombe later this month, will look at how technology and piracy developments in the industry are changing the perception and importance of cardless security systems and suitability of their use within one-way broadcast networks.

Farncombe’s Total Cost of Ownership (TCO) model for security systems shows there are scenarios where cardless systems in one-way networks are more cost-effective than card-based systems, due to their operational advantages. The white paper also takes into consideration the changing dynamics of the industry over the coming years. For example, the survey has shown that while operators currently perceive cardless CA as less secure than smartcard-based CA up to this point, they realize that the threats to their revenues are rapidly changing. As the industry shifts towards hybrid deployments, the technology behind cardless systems is evolving to address these threats; this evolution might make cardless not only cheaper, but also as secure as card-based systems.

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