SmarDTV launches universal CAM technology for Italy

Friday, November 30th, 2007
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  • SmarCAM Italia grants access to premium pay-per-view TV services without requiring a set-top box
  • The combination of a digital-ready TV set with the SmarCAM Italia consumes significantly less electricity then a similar combination of a TV set with a set-top box
  • The product is being demonstrated at the National Digital Terrestrial TV Conference in Torino and is available for sales to TV manufacturers

CHESEAUX, Switzerland — SmarDTV, a Kudelski Group (SWX:KUD) company, today announced the availability of a new Conditional Access Module (CAM) for Italy, and is currently demonstrating the product at the National Digital Terrestrial TV Conference in Torino. The SmarCAM Italia offers TV viewers who have purchased credit on Mediaset Premium, La7 Cartapiù, and Pangea the ability to watch their programs directly on their digital-ready TV sets without the use of an external set-top box.

The SmarCAM Italia supports up to two smart cards simultaneously – one of standard size and one of SIM size. The end-user can view content from multiple services as conveniently as changing channels, without having to exchange smart cards or CAMs.

As SmarCAM Italia is plugged directly in the digital TV using the industry standard DVB-CI interface, the signal is always in digital format. No analog conversion or interface is necessary. This provides an important improvement over traditional set-top box connectivity that often uses SCART connectivity.

The combination of a digital-ready TV set with the SmarCAM Italia reduces significantly the electrical power consumption compared to the combination of a TV set with a set-top box. Furthermore, the SmarCAM Italia slides into the TV with a perfect fit, which may be advantageous to the living room’s visual style and offers the consumer added convenience as no additional remote control is needed.

For TV manufacturers, the combination of a digital-ready TV set with the SmarCAM Italia requires only the industry standard DVB-CI interface. Thus, the TV becomes fully pay-TV capable without any effort spent to embed the conditional access security code directly into the TV.

Over the past two years SmarDTV has worked closely with the major TV set manufacturers, the Italian broadcasters Mediaset, Telecom Italia Media, and Pangea, and with the DGTVi committee representing all TV broadcasters in Italy. The result of these efforts is not only the SmarCAM Italia product, but also a set of implementation guidelines, an interoperability partner program, and a broadcaster certification process – the sum of which offers the TV manufacturers a fair way to sell pay-TV capable products in Italy, and which offers end-users the assurance that their new purchases are easy to use and run smoothly.

“We appreciate working so closely with SmarDTV during the past couple of years,” said Alberto Sigismondi of Mediaset. “The launch of certified CAMs and TV sets in Italy in cooperation with DGTVi and its labeling program is sure to grow our viewer numbers and further accelerate the momentum of Mediaset premium services.”

“La7 Cartapiù believed it to be important to have its own purchasing platform in the cams from the beginning.” Said Alessandro Badii of Telecom Italia Media “For this reason it worked with SmarDTV, giving them the use of its laboratories, to create an integrated service that is both simple and effective for customers”

Maurizio Giunco, President of the association of TV Locali FRT and member of the administration board of DGTVi stated “The entry of Certified CAM and TV set on Italian market represents an important and decisive step for the development of digital terrestrial platform and offers new prospects also to local television”

Eric Chaubert, CEO of SmarDTV, commented “We believe the introduction of a universal CAM module for Italy is an important step in providing consumers with the friendliest means to access premium services, directly on their chosen TV set. I’m delighted by the initial reaction of consumers that have experienced the product so far. Italian operators, the DGTVi and iDTV manufacturers have been instrumental in making this possible”

The SmarCAM Italia is available immediately, offered to consumers as a “bundle” with digital-ready TV sets from all major manufacturers that have been certified by Mediaset and La7.