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Conditional Access Helps Digital TV Services

The strong worldwide growth of digital television services is driving demand for conditional access (CA) products and technologies, reports In-Stat.

At the end of 2006, there were over 175 million households watching digital TV services, the high-tech market research firm says.

According to In-Stat, while the growth of digital TV households is certainly good news for pay-TV service providers, it also poses an important challenge -- how to protect valuable video content from piracy or illegal usage.

"The common industry solution to this challenge is through the use of conditional access technologies," says Mike Paxton, In-Stat analyst. "CA technologies can protect video content by specifying that certain criteria be met before a viewer is granted access to that content."

Once again, I believe that as pay-TV service providers embrace the 'follow-me' content subscription model, CA technology will also provide the capability to authenticate subscribers outside of the home, regardless of the viewing device or mobile network the consumer uses to access the public Internet.

In-Stat's research found the following:

- CA product revenues have been increasing steadily and were projected to reach $937 million at year-end 2006.

- NDS Group plc, a subsidiary of News Corporation, is the world's leading CA vendor. NDS currently has 35 percent of the total worldwide CA market.

- The emerging Telco TV and IPTV market segment is becoming a key proving ground for a number of recent CA technology start-ups companies.

- Worldwide pay-TV industry CA revenues are forecast to reach $1.5 billion in 2010.

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