Final Presentation on Conditional Access Systems

On 8 January 2004, a presentation will be given on the results of the study mandated by ESA Telecom and carried out by Octalis on 'Next Generation Conditional Access Systems for Satellite Broadcasting'.


The study was launched as a result of a sharp increase in the level of piracy among satellite-TV viewers, and the resulting announcements of legal actions in the Conditional Access Systems industry. The purpose of the study was to review the situation and assess which features of current CAS (Conditional Access Systems) could be best improved.

To carry out the study the team first had to analyse the market situation for CAS, including the status of regulations. An analysis of how hackers have taken advantage of weaknesses in the current generation of systems was also done.

Then, the team interviewed broadcasters, Conditional Access providers and experts in order to determine the requirements for improvements. The results of these interviews have been incorporated into the recommendations for possible technical developments.

The perspective for future improvements is to propose an open standard that would enable microbroadcasters to afford conditional access systems. The presence of a return channel in the system could permit alternative architectures that might provide higher security.

The study concluded with Octalis determining where a standardisation could be beneficial to CAS users and a proposal for a roadmap for future activities in this area.

To read the project page of 'Next Generation Conditional Access Systems for Satellite Broadcasting' by the Belgium company Octalis, just click on the link on the right side of this page.

The presentation will be given at ESTEC in Noordwijk the Netherlands on 8 January 2004. It will begin at 14:00 and end at 17:00 in the Newton 1 conference room. Anyone wishing to attend should contact Pascale Tshilumba by clicking on the link on the right of this page.

The preliminary agenda for the presentation is:

1. Welcome and introductory speech

2. Presentation of Octalis findings

  • Market overview and regulatory issues

  • Threats and weaknesses of current conditional access systems

  • Requirements for future systems

  • Technology developments

  • Feasibility and appropriateness of an open standard approach

  • Conclusions

3. Questions and answers

Event Date

08 December 2003
Published 12 December 2003
Last updated at 12 December 2003 - 00:00