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Profile: Dov Rubin

Mar 11, 2002  •  Post A Comment

Title: VP and general manager of NDS Americas. He is based in Newport Beach, Calif., and New York.
Background: Mr. Rubin is one of the founders of NDS and has been with the company since its inception in 1988. Before joining, he was involved in several business ventures in biomedical engineering and mainframe communications. He holds a doctorate from the University of Southern California in medicine and computer engineering.
The mission: NDS is a provider of both conditional-access systems and interactive TV applications for satellite and cable providers. The company handles conditional access for more than 27 million viewers around the world, including DirecTV, Mr. Rubin said. Mr. Rubin’s job is to make inroads into the U.S. cable market. The company currently has one U.S. cable deployment of its conditional-access system with Cablevision as it rolls out digital service in its New York market. Penetrating the U.S. market further won’t be easy because of the duopoly that Motorola and Scientific-Atlanta have on the market for conditional-access systems here.
But Mr. Rubin believes the industry is poised for change. “There is a groundswell literally in the last couple of months where cable operators are looking for digital freedom, and there is more and more dialogue to say, `We want competition. We want open systems.’ I think it’s a question of cable operators realizing they have a collective say, that they can go to Motorola and S-A and request new features or come to us,” he said.
Benefits: NDS’s conditional-access system has been integrated with more than 44 manufacturers in over 240 models of set-tops, except for boxes by Motorola and S-A. NDS uses less bandwidth than the incumbents to deliver its conditional-access system, he said. The NDS system also allows for “session-based encryption” in which a movie, for instance, is decrypted at the set-top rather than the server, which causes less load on the server and makes the content more secure.
Interactive TV: NDS’s interactive TV applications include a sports application that it introduced with BSkyB in the United Kingdom in October 2000. In the first eight months the sports service was available, the rate of new subscriptions to the satellite service doubled, Mr. Rubin said. “[American cable operators] can watch Europe and England and see what’s successful over there,” he said.