As the business of pay television has developed over the last several decades, content protection systems like conditional access (CAS) and digital rights management (DRM) have emerged and evolved to protect it.
Because the first digital pay-TV services launched were on satellite, the CAS technology created to secure these services was built to be robust to the most hostile of environments possible: one-way broadcast networks. For this reason, hardware technologies were chosen that were capable of receiving and storing unique secrets that are the basis of most CAS vendors’ technologies today.
Though there were compromises in these first-generation technologies, the industry quickly learned from them and as a result has produced increasingly sophisticated, hardware-based systems that have successfully withstood the test of time and have protected billions of dollars worth of service provider revenues.
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