Samsung Electronics made a bit of history earlier today, becoming the first consumer electronics maker to license CableLabs' new downloadable conditional access technology for digital TV and set-top boxes. The license will allow Samsung to use the cable industry's new security software in an upcoming generation of two-way, cable-ready sets and other devices.
CableLabs and Samsung unveiled the agreement just a few hours before CableLabs filed a proposed timetable for rolling out the new downloadable security technology with the FCC. The suggested timetable, which must be approved by the Commission, calls for all cable operators to upgrade their networks for the DCAS technology by July 2008. CableLabs also proposed a July 2009 deadline for all MSOs to support the OpenCable Application Platform (OCAP) software interface for OpenCable TV sets and set-top boxes.
If approved by the FCC, the new DCAS system would let cable operators download conditional access software directly to digital cable set-tops and TV sets. Thus, the software approach would mimic, and ultimately replace, the hated CableCARD removable security modules, which MSOs criticize as too clunky and costly.