Motorola and S-A have created interim downloadable security solutions that could help the industry comply with a ban on deploying set-top boxes with integrated security after July 1 of this year. One caveat—those solutions won’t be ready until 2008. They are a temporary fix until the cable industry’s OpenCable-based downloadable security spec, known as DCAS or Downloadable Conditional Access System, is ready—which is not expected until 2009. Motorola told the FCC last week that it accelerated work on the low-cost "Downloadable MediaCipher" to help with integration ban compliance after the FCC said in Jan that downloadable security is an acceptable way to comply with the rules. Under those FCC rules, cable operators can only deploy set-tops with separable or downloadable security after July 1, which has many scrambling for waivers that will let them continue to deploy low-cost boxes such as the Motorola DCT-700. S-A said its downloadable "PowerKEY" solution will be available to cable operators by early 2008. It will be deployed with DCAS compatible hardware and will be forward compatible with DCAS. Motorola says that its Downloadable MediaCipher is fully compatible with existing MediaCipher networks and systems, including CableCARDs, and requires no replacement of headend equipment for systems using MediaCipher. It will also be made available to CE makers. Another company formed by 3 cable vets, Beyond Broadband Technology, announced in Dec that it had developed an open standards downloadable solution for conditional access that’s ready to go (Cfax, 12/22). R.L. Drake signed on as the 1st manufacturer, with some manufactured product expected to be ready by year-end. Beta test boxes is expected to begin testing next Q.

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FCC Seeks Comment on NAB NextGen Petition

The FCC Media Bureau is seeking comment on NAB’s petition regarding the treatment of multicast streams under the NexGen TV local simulcasting rules.

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