[mythtv-users] DVB - W5 (4DTV) & KU/C-Band Question

Mike Perkins mikep at randomtraveller.org.uk
Mon Oct 18 17:03:05 UTC 2010

mike at grounded.net wrote:
> Then there is a mention of smart cards and softcams... what the heck is a
> softcam? I know of video conf cams, but I'm sure this isn't what is meant.
Softcam... Software CAM, where CAM stands for Conditional Access Module, ie a 

In reasonable countries where standards are followed, your CAM (smartcard which 
does the decrypting) fits into a CI module - Common Interface Module. The CI 
module is very similar to a PCMCIA card and fits into a slot in the side of 
nearly all TVs sold in the UK plus satellite receivers, etc (+ other countries). 
The idea of using a CI module is that the broadcaster can do what they like with 
their smartcard and it will all fit a standard interface.

I don't think the Sky boxes use these, they have their own proprietary 
interface. The Virgin Media cable box in my living room also has a proprietary 

A softcam is where the whole thing is abstracted into software by persons at or 
beyond the edge of legality. Since this means a card had to have been hacked, 
this is generally considered illegal depending on your jurisdiction. 
Consequently, this mailing list, which is hosted in the US, is not an 
appropriate place to discuss these matters.

I'm sorry you got hit with a load of stuff that meant nothing to you, but we get 
regular mentions here and the reading of the rules was to be expected. We 
obviously have no idea what you do or don't know about such subjects until you 
tell us.


Mike Perkins

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