& cplSiteName &

Nagra, Evolution Seek DTA Waivers

Jeff Baumgartner
LR Cable News Analysis
Jeff Baumgartner
7/31/2009
50%
50%

Nagravision SA and Evolution Broadband LLC are the latest to toss in set-top waiver requests for Digital Terminal Adapter (DTA)s. These special channel zappers help cable MSOs reuse valuable analog spectrum for more high-definition television content and speedier Docsis 3.0 cable modem services. Nagravision and Evolution are joining the mix (or rejoining it, in the case of Evolution) in the wake of a streamlined process the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) established after awarding a three-year waiver to two standard-definition DTA models developed by Evolution. (See FCC Believes in Evolution-ary DTAs.) Some U.S. MSOs -- mostly Comcast Corp. (Nasdaq: CMCSA, CMCSK), at this point -- are using DTAs as a low-cost option for their digital migration strategies. However, an FCC ban on set-tops with integrated security prevents MSOs from using DTAs with on-board security unless they obtain a waiver -- or opt to deploy a box that's been awarded an FCC hall pass. (See Comcast's $1B Bandwidth Plan and Countdown to 'Seven-Oh-Seven'.) Motorola Inc. (NYSE: MOT), Cisco Systems Inc. (Nasdaq: CSCO), Pace Micro Technology , and Thomson S.A. (NYSE: TMS; Euronext Paris: 18453) are also pursuing DTA waivers, but the FCC has yet to act on them, likely because the original waiver awarded to Evolution is being contested by a group comprising Free Press , Public Knowledge, and others. The Consumer Electronics Association (CEA) has also thrown a few rocks. (See Cisco, Moto Go for DTA Waivers , DTA Waiver Mania, and CEA Presses for CableCard Successor.) Evolution gets def
Evolution, as expected, is officially seeking a three-year waiver on the DMS-1004 HD-CA, a hi-def-capable, one-way, digital-to-analog converter box that integrates the Conax AS conditional access system using a small SIM card. Evolution is the first to pursue a waiver for an HD-capable DTA. (See Evolution Guns for HD Box Waiver .) Definitely hi-def Evolution says the box can be had for less than $100 per unit, comparing it to the $300 to $325 it costs for CableCARD-complaint HD set-top box. According to the waiver document, the device complies with DVB SimulCrypt, meaning it can accept a conditional access or security system from a vendor other than Conax and give the device a sense of openness. That disclosure is also an indication that Evolution will be pushing for other vendors and operators to adopt SimulCrypt for the U.S. market. Evolution is going after the waiver a few weeks after Cable One Inc. obtained one to deploy an HD-DTA in one small system in Tennessee. The FCC agreed with the operator's argument that HD services can no longer be classified as an "advanced" service because hi-def has become commonplace. (See Cable ONE Snares HD Set-Top Waiver and HD No Longer an 'Advanced' Service?) Nagra joins the party
Nagravision, in documents filed on July 13, also wants a three-year waiver, but for two one-way, SD devices -- the AC-N060PD2A-SC and AC-N060PD2A-SIM. A company official confirms that the first of the two is for a device outfitted with a SmartCard interface; the second is for a SIM card, which is functionally identical to a SmartCard but uses a smaller form factor. Nagra, a conditional access technology supplier, isn't a box maker, but would likely pursue an outside vendor to make the devices based on Nagra's specs and designs. But it did offer this as an example of what it has in mind: Nagra DTA Nagravision says the DTAs referenced in its filings are "no more advanced" than the devices Evolution won waivers for. — Jeff Baumgartner, Site Editor, Cable Digital News

(0)  | 
Comment  | 
Print  | 
Newest First  |  Oldest First  |  Threaded View        ADD A COMMENT
Featured Video
From The Founder
The world of virtualization is struggling to wrench itself away from the claws of vendor lock-in, which runs counter to everything that NFV stands for.
Flash Poll
Upcoming Live Events
March 20-22, 2018, Denver Marriott Tech Center
March 22, 2018, Denver, Colorado | Denver Marriott Tech Center
March 28, 2018, Kansas City Convention Center
April 4, 2018, The Westin Dallas Downtown, Dallas
April 9, 2018, Las Vegas Convention Center
May 14-16, 2018, Austin Convention Center
May 14, 2018, Brazos Hall, Austin, Texas
September 24-26, 2018, Westin Westminster, Denver
October 9, 2018, The Westin Times Square, New York
October 23, 2018, Georgia World Congress Centre, Atlanta, GA
November 8, 2018, The Montcalm by Marble Arch, London
November 15, 2018, The Westin Times Square, New York
December 4-6, 2018, Lisbon, Portugal
All Upcoming Live Events
Hot Topics
21st Century Networking? Welcome to the Lock-In
Steve Saunders, Founder, Light Reading, 2/20/2018
How Long Before We Hit Peak MWC?
Iain Morris, News Editor, 2/23/2018
Stakes Run High for Tivo in Comcast Suit
Mari Silbey, Senior Editor, Cable/Video, 2/20/2018
Liberty Global: Not So Fast on D3.1
Alan Breznick, Cable/Video Practice Leader, Light Reading, 2/20/2018
AT&T Reveals Initial 5G Cities
Dan Jones, Mobile Editor, 2/21/2018
Animals with Phones
Live Digital Audio

A CSP's digital transformation involves so much more than technology. Crucial – and often most challenging – is the cultural transformation that goes along with it. As Sigma's Chief Technology Officer, Catherine Michel has extensive experience with technology as she leads the company's entire product portfolio and strategy. But she's also no stranger to merging technology and culture, having taken a company — Tribold — from inception to acquisition (by Sigma in 2013), and she continues to advise service providers on how to drive their own transformations. This impressive female leader and vocal advocate for other women in the industry will join Women in Comms for a live radio show to discuss all things digital transformation, including the cultural transformation that goes along with it.

Like Us on Facebook
Twitter Feed