Premiere card swap enters final phase

Premiere has given details of the upgrade to its conditional access system, which the German pay-TV operator is confident will deal a fatal blow to the piracy problem that has dogged it in recent years. Premiere is to use a combination of Nagravision and NDS conditional access, but in a statement the broadcaster confirmed that any receiver capable of running the Videoguard CA would receive an over the air download of the NDS software.

“We are right on schedule, the conversion is going ahead at full steam. The security gap will be closed this fall reliably and sustainably, Premiere will then only be available to Premiere subscribers,” said Hans Seger, Chief Program and Technology Officer at Premiere. He said that anyone using a hacked receiver would soon realise it could no longer be used to view the pay-TV package.

Seger also issued a warning to sellers of the so-called patchable receivers that they would soon find customers complaining that they had been deprived of the Premiere channels.

The card swap began on Monday with the first software download being made to users of the Humax PDR-9700 today. It follows a period of tests on receivers in its inventory to see whether they would accept the new CA. Once the software has downloaded customers will be invited to call a freephone number to request a new smart card. The old card will continue to work for a short while to ensure there is no disruption to viewing.