Conditional access module


Conditional access module

A conditional access module (CAM) is an electronic device, usually incorporating a slot for a smart card, which equips a Integrated Digital Television or set-top box with the appropriate hardware facility to view conditional access content that has been encrypted using a conditional access system. They are normally used with direct broadcast satellite services, although the UK digital terrestrial pay TV supplier Top Up TV also uses CAMs.

Some encryption systems for which CAMs are available are Nagravision, Viaccess, Mediaguard, Irdeto, KeyFly and Conax. NDS Videoguard encryption, the preferred choice of Sky Digital can only be externally emulated by a Dragon brand cam. The NDS CAM which the Sky viewing card ordinarily uses is built into the Sky Digibox thus not visible. Dragon and Matrix, two popular cams with satellite television enthusiasts are multicrypt meaning each is capable of handling more than one encryption system. Matrix can be upgraded via the PC card port in a laptop personal computer whereas a Dragon cam update is done via separate programmer hardware.

The standard format for a CAM is a PC card which takes a smart card to authenticate, although CAMs with the 'smart card' burnt into memory can be found. In addition, CAM emulators exist for many systems, either providing an interface to allow the use of more than one type of card, or a card not designed for that receiver.

Conax ChipSet pairing

This technique restrict pay-TV card to work only with pre-specified equipment. Canal+ used it at least for a while with satellite broadcasts, but due to technical problems, consumer complains and consumer protection laws it was suspended. In Finland cable operators plan to implement it with HDTV broadcastings.

ee also

*Conditional access
*Conditional access system
*CableCARD
*Common Interface


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