Analogue systems no less secure than digital, asserts DALVI

MUMBAI: In the ongoing debate on the efficacy of set top box systems that will finally enable implementation of CAS, DALVI, a six-year-old encryption systems company that's looking to be a major player in the CAS market in India, has refuted the charge that all analogue systems are less secure than digital systems.

Pointing that no single solution will be the best for all in the Indian scenario, DALVI's business development manager Lewis Zimbler says that security methodology is the same in all systems whether analogue or digital. "The video signal is 'scrambled' and a control data stream is simultaneously transmitted to authorise the set top box. It is not true that all analogue systems are less secure than digital systems. Analogue encryption systems have been in the market for many years and range from the older and less secure sync manipulation versions through to state of the art video processing offering excellent security," says Zimbler. 

While DALVI currently operates only for analogue systems, digital systems are also being simultaneously developed, he says. The company has tied up with Catvision Products for distribution and is already in discussions with partners for setting up its own STB manufacturing facility in India, he adds. 

The proposed CAS legislation leaves the system implementation choice to the MSOs but offers a variety of choices including digital, analogue, wireless, a hybrid DTH/cable proposal and many others. While security of the system is important as it stops unlawful viewing of the channels, Zimbler says the security methodology is the same in all systems whether or not they are analogue or digital. Digital systems are based on MPEG video encoding and will hence offer a wide range of security, he says. 

"The Indian market is not unique in its requirements. It needs secure, reliable and easy to operate set top boxes at an affordable price. Almost every other market in the world asks for these attributes. What makes India special is the unique operating conditions, the potential volume and the expertise of the Indian nation," points out Zimbler.

While the implementation of CAS will start the Indian cable TV business on the road to legitimacy and profit, Zimbler avers that while the government should introduce the necessary legislation it should not mandate the technology to be used to implement it. 

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