The speed of deployment has picked up after a relatively slow start in 2009 that lead to 75 million devices equipped with CI Plus by the end of 2010.
Sony’s Mark Londero told DVB World that the technology, which enables pay-TV services to be received on devices such as IDTVs, had benefitted from promotion by pay-TV operators.
“It’s a reasonable claim that 100% of the TVs sold in Europe are now compatible to the service,” Londero said.
Although commercial requirements initially called for the completion of the full technical specification in January 2013, this has now been delayed until June.
Version 1.4 includes support for dual stream operation with a single module, intended for where there is a dual tuner PVR host, and support for DRM protected DRM delivered content.
Other new features include CI Plus browser extensions, additional URIs (Uniform Resource Identifiers), signalling and extensions and clarifications for module applications running on host middleware.
“Part of the principal of needing extensions to CI Plus is that TVs now have much more features inside of them, multiple tuners, and many have Wi-Fi or Ethernet capacity and CI Plus needs to evolve to take advantage of the TV,” Londero said.
The DVB’s CI Plus Commercial Module is now considering a new form factor for CI Plus with USB a strong candidate. Londero pointed out that many TVs are now thinner than the modules required for CI Plus.
The migration from the current PCMCIA form factor is under consideration. Such a move would help CI Plus move into non-EU markets with no legacy.