LG Electronics Inc. has become the second consumer electronics maker to ink a deal with CableLabs to place downloadable conditional-access-system (DCAS) technology in digital TV sets and other video equipment.
Like Samsung Electronics America Inc., which concluded the first DCAS pact with CableLabs in late November, LG Electronics agreed to place the still emerging DCAS technology in an upcoming generation of digital TV-related devices. It’s not clear exactly when that will happen, though, because the engineering spec for the technology hasn’t been released and the technology hasn’t been thoroughly tested yet.
The DCAS system under consideration uses a special security processor and a software loader. It’s expected that the transfer will happen via the DOCSIS Set-top Gateway (DSG), a CableLabs spec that uses standard in-band DOCSIS signaling, rather than proprietary out-of-band methods.
The cable industry is strongly promoting DCAS to the Federal Communications Commission as an alternative removable security method for digital set-top boxes and TV sets. Arguing that DCAS offers a more elegant and cheaper method than today’s hardware-centric CableCARDs, the National Cable & Telecommunications Association (NCTA) has proposed that all U.S. cable operators adopt the technology by July 1, 2008.
CableLabs and LG Electronics announced the agreement in Las Vegas Wed. night as the Consumer Electronics Show (CES) opened. Officials from both companies will likely discuss the deal later today at a press conference scheduled by CableLabs and leaders of numerous top U.S. and Canadian MSOs.