Cable TV

Casbaa initiates digital copyright controls for Pay TV industry

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MUMBAI: The Cable & Satellite Broadcasting Association of Asia (CASBAA) has announced a new initiative to encourage practical, high-end solutions to the challenges of the new digital environment for the Asia Pacific pay-TV industry. As the pay-TV and media industries move towards digitisation it is critical for content to be protected from illegitimate copying.

This consensus initiative, which encompasses support by the Casbaa technical committee for a series of technical solutions to digital copyright controls - especially digital outputs - follows a six-month consultation process involving the entire Casbaa membership, including pay-TV channels, platform operators and hardware suppliers.

"Although Casbaa is not a standards-setting organisation, the objective is to provide guidance for the likes of the chipset and set-top box manufacturers, as well as the consumer electronics industry within Asia," said the organisation's chairman Marcel Fenez.

Fenez emphasised that the technical specifications referred to in the documentation are voluntary. "This is an open-ended process which we hope will encourage further input from our members and the rest of the industry. The strength of Casbaa is its wide and diverse membership."

Casbaa Technical Committee chairman Karl Rossiter said: "The Casbaa technical recommendations cover localized interconnection of consumer devices and secure digital home networking. We also advocate the use of open and proven international standards and will take into account copy protection technologies that are yet to emerge within Asia."

According to Casbaa, digital transmission of content is becoming the norm in the pay-TV industry in the Asia-Pacific region and will soon become the dominant means of handling TV signals in the home. Manufacturers of set-top boxes and the chipsets that fill them need guidance now as to the technological measures for content protection that platform operators and program suppliers wish to see incorporated in the next generation of digital equipment.

"This is an issue that unites the industry. Content providers, programme distributors and cable, satellite and broadband platform operators all need to protect their revenue streams from erosion due to widespread unauthorized distribution on the Internet and elsewhere," said Fenez.

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