Farncombe Consulting Proposes Replacing the DVB Common Scrambling Algorithm

Monday, October 26th, 2009

BASINGSTOKE — Farncombe Consulting Group, the privately-held European TV services consultancy, has published a second White Paper on TV Conditional Access (CA), which proposes a possible replacement for the DVB Common Scrambling Algorithm (CSA).

This new White Paper is, as before, authored by Farncombe’s own highly-experienced group of in-house video security experts. It offers a detailed account of how the CSA – a hardware-based technology introduced for the best possible motives in the early 1990s – now raises serious commercial, regulatory and technical concerns for the digital pay-TV industry.

The White Paper argues that the CSA was designed for an era when operators were keen to avoid their content being distributed to PCs, and where broadband did not exist as a distribution medium. Neither of these factors apply today, the authors point out, concluding that the DVB sector is saddled with a technology which makes content distribution more difficult, and is not only already vulnerable to piracy but poised to become increasingly so.

The White Paper accordingly proposes a next-generation replacement for the CSA, based on a ‘toolkit’ approach which mixes both hardware and software elements.

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