Latens says smart-card CA is finished
Chris Forrester

Software conditional access specialist Latens’ CEO says that the market is increasingly receptive to software-based (and card-less) conditional access. “We’ve been pushing software conditional access for six years saying that this is the way the market’s going to go and I think we’ve gradually seen that tipping over as we’ve demonstrated that we can do it successfully,” argues Latens CEO Jeremy Thorp.

Thorp was participating in Rapid TV News’ latest Round Table which focused on the cable industry. Thorp says Latens has demonstrated that the technology works. “We can do it successfully and we can provide the cost savings that we talk about, [with] the flexibility, and the capability to offer new services very quickly.”

Thorp says that software-only CA is winning approval from larger cable systems, as well as the IPTV sector. “I think the large operators will shift over the next two or three years. The traditional security model with a smart card is fundamentally broken with what’s going on from a technology point of view.”

He stated that far too many card-based systems were now hacked, and the cost of swapping cards was “immense”. “The hackers now completely have the dominant hand there. But also, as the operators want to offer services to more devices, not just to a traditional set top box, and I think this is one of the big trends that we have to allow for, the consumer living in a multi device environment and wanting the content to run across all of them seamlessly from their point of view. So the card base model breaks down, and obviously the card base model is broken from a cost point of view because the cost of replacing a card base solution is so massive for operators, usually they just settle with being hacked for a very long time, but that’s incredibly expensive.”