Xtraview is a trademark of Top Up TV. The Xtraview Video Encryption System refers to the patented "encryption" system used on the now-defunct Xtraview channel and a number of other Top Up TV services including Setanta Sports, Television X and Red Hot TV. Unlike the other encryption system used by Top Up TV, Mediaguard, Xtraview is not a true encryption system. Instead a MHEG Application directs the user's STB to a hidden videostream broadcast in the clear when a correct pin is entered. Unlike traditional channel encryption methods, Xtraview does not require a viewing card. This is an advantage on DTT in the UK, where the vast majority of set top boxes have no ability to decrypt pay channels.
Access to a channel protected using the Xtraview technology is granted by calling a premium rate telephone number. During the call users are asked to give a number displayed on screen. In response they are given another PIN to unlock the service.
The PIN system has been subject to widespread hacking. Without encryption the system is easily circumvented by Set top boxes that can access individual videostreams by entering the stream PID. More recently the PIN algorithm itself was cracked allowing others to access the service. Another downfall is that because the application is MHEG generated, if the digital terrestrial receiver is switched off, access to these channels is lost. It is also stated on-screen before purchase of these events that not all boxes are compatible. Another factor is that a few cheaper boxes do not have MHEG support at all, and therefore cannot access the service.