Why did DishTV India choose an embedded root-of-trust?

This entry was posted on Thursday, September 8th, 2016.

Earlier this summer, DishTV India selected Rambus’ CryptoMedia Security Platform for use in its Pay TV satellite system. Essentially, CryptoMedia ensures secure distribution of premium content for cable and satellite operators with a hardware root-of-trust embedded in the set-top-box (STB) chipset that is resistant to side-channel attacks.

With 14.9 million subscribers and a growing user base, DishTV India required a simple, yet effective method of protecting premium content from unauthorized access. Ultimately, DishTV India chose Rambus’ CryptoMedia technology over competing solutions to facilitate the design of a secure, cardless set-top box.


“[With Rambus’] embedded CryptoMedia core, we no longer need a smart card to provide secure access to premium content. [This] significantly reduces cost and improves the security of the set-top box,” Jawahar Goel, Managing Director of DishTV India told Rambus Press. “Alongside the standard security blocks inside chipsets and a flexible software CAS, we are using the CryptoMedia core to augment our STB security. This allows us to combine the security of hardware with the flexibility of software solutions within our cardless set top box.”

Sunil Kumar, Vice President-Broadcast RF & Content Protection for DishTV India, expressed similar sentiments.

“By [using] the embedded CryptoMedia core, we were able to deploy multiple security chains within a set top box without needing a smart card. Not only was it easy to integrate into our platform, it also allowed us to eliminate the expense and logistics involved with smart cards,” Kumar explained. “Another benefit of using the CryptoMedia CPC was that it is broadly available. All we had to do was ask our chipset vendor to enable it and our CAS supplier to include the functionality in their solution. By taking these simple steps, we are making huge strides towards revolutionizing our operations for years to come.”

Rambus’ CryptoMedia Content Protection Core can perhaps best be described as an independent key and rights management engine that protects content and services by guarding control words, services keys and other critical security assets. Simply put, the Core is somewhat analogous to a non-removable smart card embedded in the actual chipset silicon of a set-top box. Since the Core is tightly integrated with additional security elements such as a descrambler, it is capable of providing a more robust security foundation that a standard, discrete smart card. It should also be noted that the Core – already embedded in over 70 chipsets from 6 different manufacturers – is available for use with any CAS, OTT or DRM system. Meaning, operators are not locked into a single vendor for the entire lifetime of a set-top box.

Beyond the Core itself, Rambus’ CryptoMedia Content Protection Services (CPS) provides pay TV operators and OTT media providers with robust security infrastructure integration for cryptographic data delivery, while offering engineering services and technical support before, during and after installation to ensure rapid system deployment.

Interested in learning more? You can check out our PayTV page here and our CryptoMedia product page here.