Multiple system cams

Genie

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#1
From discussions on this forum, I know it is technically possible to get more than one encryption system running on a single cam. i.e. FreeCAM and AllCam.

So why are there no officially released CAMs which can do multiple systems on one card. Is it a matter or licencing or the hardware makers making more money out of us?

It just seems a waste of CAM to restrict it to one system, especially as they are quite expensive. And why are they going to great lengths to stop people flashing cams? :-}
 
2old4this

2old4this

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#2
Encryption systems and access to pay-tv channels are obviously tightly controlled. Providers do not want their business compromised by having non-paying customers gain access to their pay-tv channels. Encryption system owners do not want details of how their system works to become known, since then they can no longer market it to providers as a secure system.

CAMs are manufactured mainly to order from a particular provider or a particular owner of the encryption technology. A CAM manufacturer such as SCM may decide that these bespoke requirements can be securely satisfied by having a generic hardware design (eg: the "Euro" CAM), with the differences for the actual encryption systems being dealt with in the firmware - but however they do it, it must be acceptable to the party requesting it.

Occasionally, CAMs are produced that are NOT explicitly requested by a provider or owner of the encryption system, but that typically leads to problems. When Mascom had their Alphacrypt CAM produced, it was effectively an Irdeto AllCAM - and Irdeto started legal proceedings to block it (indeed, as far as I'm aware, production still hasn't restarted sine the injunction was granted).
Similarly, SECA have been difficult over the Astoncrypt CAMs. Not a lot of people know this, but Aston CAMs are not actually Mediaguard - they are emulations of Mediaguard. And there is much doubt now as to whether they will continue to work at all with the upcoming new smartcards Canal+ is to introduce for their own Mediagard-encrypted channels. After all, Canal+ is the main partner in the SECA group, and as such part-owns the "real" Mediaguard system - they couldn't care less whether any unathorised emulations out there continue to work on their own real-Mediaguard cards. In fact, Canal+ would much rather there were no CAMs at all (all Canal+ sanctioned and authorised boxes have embedded Mediaguard CAMs - none have CI slots). Similarly, NDS (owners of videoguard) have been slow to authorise the production of Videoguard CI CAMs (largely due to pressure from Sky, which owns most of NDS).

In general, and were it not for increasing pressure from consumer groups and some European legislative bodies, Providers would prefer to haver nothing whatsoever to do with CAMs. Reasons are vague, but relate to (a) security and (:cool: locking in users to their own bespoke boxes in order to protect their markets (Sky's business practise is perhaps the most obvious and isidious example of that).

Now imagine some party were to come forward and requestSCM (say) to produce a CAM that were usable for multiple different encryption systems and available directly to consumers. They'd immediately have all those providers and owners of the individual systems on their back. They'd be threatening to withold licences, for example.

So you'd need to funamentally change the way the satellite industry is run, in order to gain approvals for such an undertaking. And unless forced by legislation, I can't see that happening...

2old
 
Genie

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#3
Thanks 2old, that was a good analysis.
 
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