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Pay TV

Enabling Secure & Simple Cardless Set Top Box Design

Pay TV operators are increasingly fighting the dual challenge of providing ever cheaper set-top boxes (STBs) in order to increase market share, while still securing their high-value content against sophisticated exploits, such as side-channel attacks. The need for reduced-price STBs has led to cardless CAS designs, as smart cards are a major cost driver in the design and maintenance of the STB. However, many cardless designs do not provide the robust, hardware-based security that is needed to protect against piracy and meet the requirements recommended by industry security groups for content providers. The Rambus CryptoMedia Content Protection Core and Content Protection Services are designed to meet both of these challenges while quickly and easily integrating with a variety of security system configurations.

Smarter than a Smart Card cover

Smarter than a Smart Card

Set-top boxes (STBs) were initially secured by Conditional Access System (CAS) smart cards. However, this approach is no longer effective. Smart cards cannot prevent unauthorized access to premium 4K and UHD content, as they are not designed to protect the interface between the card and box, or the STB SoC itself. This is one of the reasons why cardless CAS set-top boxes, equipped with a hardware-based root-of-trust, are increasing in popularity amongst major operators. A hardware root-of-trust, provided by platforms such as Rambus’ CryptoMedia, offers operators robust security protection with an integrated security core that acts to effectively decrease potential attack vectors.
Reduced Cost Cardless STB Design icon

Reduced Cost Cardless STB Design

In order to meet the needs of emerging markets, content providers need to offer lower-cost STB options to their customers. The Content Protection Core helps to reduce cost by enabling cardless STB box designs with the same, or even higher level of security provided by smart cards. The cost savings are provided through the elimination of the smart card hardware, simpler design, and the operation expenses around maintaining card based security systems.

Robust Security Against Side Channel Attacks icon

Robust Security Against Side Channel Attacks

The security core is embedded in the STB multimedia chipset, and provides robust hardware-based security to complement CAS and DRM software. The core features integrated resistance to side-channel attacks, such as simple power analysis (SPA) and differential power analysis (DPA), further enhancing the protection of high-value content. The CryptoMedia Content Protection Core is an added layer of security that works with existing chipset security features, such as:

  • Key ladders (including the shareable ETSI key ladder)
  • Dedicated multi-tasking security CPUs or Trusted Execution Environments (TEEs)
  • Specific hardware security blocks
  • Secure video paths.

By enabling all of the security options available in a CryptoMedia-enabled STB multimedia chipset, content providers can expand beyond a single chain of security to several parallel security chains, providing the highest level of protection at a lower price than smart cards.

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Flexible Content Delivery Security Ecosystem

Our Content Protection Core is designed to integrate with a wide variety of CAS and DRM providers, making your security ecosystem selection simpler. In addition to the core, we offer the Content Protection Services, which are professional services and infrastructure products designed to provide flexibility in the design and implementation of security ecosystems. The CryptoMedia platform also enables our customers to update the Content Protection Core with an in-field update that can be used to extend the life of the STB.

DishTV India and Ecosystem Partners

DishTV India, one of the largest DTH providers in Asia with nearly 13 million subscribers, recently implemented the CryptoMedia platform in their new low-cost HD STB, enabling dramatic savings in both capital and operational expenses.

Embedded in over seventy different set-top box chipset products from six vendors covering over 80% of the set-top box chipset market, the Content Protection Core is a broadly available hardware security. To view a list of our SoC partners, please click here.

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