Subscriber Centric Conditional Access System for Pay-TV Systems

Mehari Msgna, Konstantinos Markantonakis, Keith Mayes, Raja Naeem Akram

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contribution


A pay-TV system is a digital broadcasting system, where content providers charge subscribers a subscription fee. Such a system is a combination of a Conditional Access System (CAS), a smart card and a Set-Top-Box (STB). The current Pay-TV system business model follows a circle of dependency, wherein the service provider, the CAS vendor and the STB manufacturer have to work in a restricted vertical market. Furthermore, the unilateral communication channel between the transmitting and receiving ends makes distinguishing compromised cards (keys) and identifying the corresponding subscribers difficult. Additionally, the subscribers are compelled to be bound into using one specific STB pre-determined by the service provider, as such they can not access their entitlements via arbitrary STBs or receive content from other service providers. In this paper, we briefly analyse the existing CAS, the advantages and drawbacks associated with it. In addition, we discuss a new CAS architecture, briefly analyse its operational and security requirements of such a CAS. Our proposal delegates the ownership of the CAS to the subscribers.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationIEEE 10th International Conference on e-Business Engineering (ICEBE)
Subtitle of host publicationIEEE Computer Society
Number of pages5
Publication statusPublished - 11 Sept 2013


  • Pay-TV Systems
  • Subscriber Centric Tamper Resistant Devices
  • Digital Video Broadcasting
  • Conditional Access System

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