Optus Selects Irdeto's Conditional Access System to Secure Its Viewer Access Satellite Television System (VAST)

Monday, January 31st, 2011 
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The VAST service is part of Australia’s analogue switch-off strategy to securely provide high-quality digital TV services to Australians outside the reach of digital terrestrial transmitters

AMSTERDAM, the Netherlands — Irdeto, a global software security and media technology company, today announced that Optus, a leader and innovator in satellite-based communications services across Australia and New Zealand, has selected Irdeto’s conditional access (CA) technology to provide viewers with superior sound and picture quality and greater program choice with access extended to new digital-only channels including high-definition television (HDTV) channels.

Optus, owner of the largest fleet of domestic satellites in the region, delivers satellite-based pay TV, free-to-air, radio, Internet, voice and data services areas across Australia. Optus selected Irdeto as a key partner for the company’s Viewer Access Satellite Television (VAST) effort, recently implemented by the Australian Government to allow all Australians to enjoy digital TV including HDTV.

“Optus is proud to be working with Irdeto to ensure no Australian misses out on receiving next generation digital free-to-air television services,” said Paul Sheridan, Director of Optus Satellite.

“Delivery of services via Satellite continues to make sense for the size and scale of the Australian landscape and with 25 years of experience Optus’ satellite solutions are a proven technology for the delivery of television services,” said Mr Sheridan.

Optus has deployed the Irdeto CAS 3 solution, which uses unique ‘Elliptic Curve’ asymmetric encryption. This encryption technology, combined with secure silicon set-top boxes (STB) provided by STB suppliers, is optimised to protect content from unauthorised viewing. Irdeto will also include a security strategy in its solution, which includes the ability to renew the software of smart cards already in the field – effectively swapping the code instead of the card. This radically reduces the total cost of ownership of a CA system and enables Optus to respond to the changing demands of this marketplace quickly and dynamically.

Bengt Jonsson, vice president, China/Asia Pacific, Irdeto said: “As the Australian market prepares for the digital switchover by the end of 2013, the appetite for digital media consumption will only increase, particularly with HDTV. We have been delighted to support Optus over the past decade as it catered to the ever-changing needs of domestic and international markets by using our latest technologies. Optus’ decision to use our conditional access technology will usher in its continued success in creating greater access to new digital services in Australia and the APAC region.”