The news that the just published CI Plus Version 1.3 specification comprises PVR support will be a welcome announcement for people who want to buy a digital TV set with an integrated PVR and CI Plus interface.
At the moment, a number of CE manufactures are selling combined TV sets with a built-in PVR and a CI Plus module. But consumers who have bought such sets have found that while they are able to watch digital channels, they can’t watch programmes they recorded at the same time. The new CI Plus 1.3 version, reported exclusively by Broadband TV News, should solve the problem with sets that will incorporate this new edition.
During the Dutch consumer TV programme TROS Radar, a number of Ziggo cable subscribers who own a Loewe TV with PVR said they could no longer watch programmes recorded on their PVR. This was caused by the fact that the encryption code is changed every two hours and as a result the CI Plus module is no longer able to decrypt a recorded programme at a later time.
Under the CI Plus standard, all programmes that are recorded on the PVR are stored encoded on the hard disc and need to be decoded when played back. With the constant change of the encryption code, this is not possible with current models. Viewers on other networks that deploy CI Plus might experience similar problems.
There is no way the current CI Plus models on sale can be upgraded to make this possible, neither with a hardware nor software update. On the Ziggo network, the only solution for the viewers is to buy a separate PVR.