Cabot Becomes First Middleware Vendor to Complete SmarDTV CI+ Testing

Tuesday, May 19th, 2009
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BRISTOL, England — Cabot Communications, the specialist digital TV software supplier, today announces that it has successfully completed interoperability testing between its CI Plus (CI+) software solution and the SmarDTV (SWX:KUD) CI+ reference module, becoming the first middleware vendor known to do so.

Cabot’s CI+ solution, known as Keystone, provides an enhanced security system that uses key exchange technology to secure an un-hackable data link. The data itself is also encrypted with triple-DES or AES technology. This protects the high value content that broadcasters want to offer viewers and means that at no stage in the stream, from transmission to display, is unencrypted video accessible. Cabot selected the SmarDTV test suite and tools to thoroughly test its CI+ solution. Following a comprehensive testing process, Keystone passed the full range of tests from secure channel negotiation, key exchange, certificate handling, and ultimately successful video decryption. In addition, Cabot wrote several CI+ test applications in MHEG to further test the functionality beyond the SmarDTV scope.

Bob Lamb, Managing Director of Cabot Communications commented “Though the original CI specification was adequate for the market when it was first introduced, CI no longer provides the protection required by today’s content providers. As technology has developed over time, it has become possible for someone with the correct tools to hack the data decrypted by the CAM. Cabot created Keystone to provide the ultimate in security for our customers, while still being compatible with legacy CI systems. Cabot is delighted to have successfully completed SmarDTV CI+ interoperability testing and is now engaging with several manufacturers regarding deploying our CI+ stack to their hardware.”

Conor Ryan, Vice-President Marketing at SmarDTV added “We are delighted that Cabot has successfully confirmed interoperability with our modules, and that this type of collaboration will accelerate host time to market and ecosystem interoperability.”

Keystone also offers manufacturers additional advantages including a rich application environment using MHEG-5, which allows CAM manufacturers to present a more professional, high-end application to the user than was possible with CI MMI Messages alone. In addition, the CI+ Profile in MHEG provides restrictions on what MHEG Application Authors can do in line with the CI+ specification. It also implements downloadable fonts that enables better broadcaster branding in the market.

Cabot has attributed the speed of their CI+ solution development to an emulated CI+ CAM written in the Python programming language which they developed in-house. Cabot found this to be a hugely valuable tool that accelerated their CI+ development, even when there was no hardware available. In addition, it enabled them to test and verify areas of the CI+ specification not normally tested by CI+ test suites.