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Product Spotlight: Irdeto’s CypherCast

Mar 3, 2003  •  Post A Comment

What it is: A conditional access content protection system for broadband IP networks.
Background: CypherCast was designed three years ago for content encryption over satellite systems and has been updated to enable encryption over broadband IP networks, which are growing in use. At the upcoming National Association of Broadcasters convention in April Irdeto plans to introduce this latest version, which is geared toward telephone companies, utilities, alternative service providers and cable operators looking to deploy video over IP networks.
How it works: CypherCast is a combination of products that work together. A smart card resides in the set-top box at customer premises, and a board resides at the headend or central office. Together they encrypt and secure content. “Ours works on a smart-card-based system, so if you need to change or upgrade conditional access, you just take out [the] smart card and put in a new one,” said Pieter van der Honing.
Features and benefits: The capacity of CypherCast has increased and it can now encrypt up to 2,000 streams of content simultaneously, which means that one board could serve a system with about 20,000 customers. The system is plug-and-play.
Closing the loop: “The bottom line of encrypting content is twofold,” said Mr. van der Honing. “One, as an operator or distribution rights holder you are making sure no one who doesn’t have rights to see the content gets it. The consumer side, especially on VOD, is to make sure the loop is closed so you don’t get charged for something you don’t watch. Content encryption makes sure revenue and content flow are closed loops.”
Market expectations: Telephone companies are growing increasingly interested in deploying video over their IP networks. “Our expectations for the U.S. are high because we believe there is a significant volume of companies small or large that are going to deploy TV over IP,” Mr. van der Honing said. Cost: The cost per stream is well below $50, said Mr. van der Honing