Originally Posted by davehancock
I've been digging into this some more and what I have found (Wikipedia aside) has NOT indicated that DCAS REQUIRES a specialized chip. However, Broadcom has announced a multi-function chip (BCM7118
) that is essentially a STB on a chip and "supports requirements for emerging Polycipher Downloadable Conditional Access Security (DCAS)". Ultimately a specialized chip, such as this, may be the BEST way to implement DCAS, but it does not seem to be a "requirement". (Of course, sufficient processing power, as pointed out by rdgs, is an issue).
The primary "requirement" is that "Hollywood", et. al. approve a particular
DCAS implementation approach for dissemination of their products.
[And not to forget who gets the royalty payments.....]
With the mandate for USER owned equipment, this means that any
"software only" solution would need to provide protection that isn't as
easy to break as AACS was recently found to be in HD-DVD/Blu-Ray
playback software running under Windows.....
For example, although the decryption is contained in the CableCARD/MCARD,
MS VISTA implementations still require "approved" processor chips
and a certification process....
If it were easy, DCAS should have already been widely deployed...
After all, most of us already have 128-bit encryption running on our PCs....
Despite all this, some (small) cable companies are already using
separable (SmartCARD) systems or have been approved to use the BBT DCAS
security system-- but only in their OWN cable boxes....http://www.lightreading.com/document.asp?doc_id=113640
These only obtained temporary approval by the FCC...cuz they aren't
compatible with industry/cable/Hollywood agreements for USER owned equipment....
Which apparently includes a CEA/NCTA "requirement" that cable systems
must employ the same software, et. al. as industry to ensure they
"share the pain" when things don't work right...
This will ALSO help to ensure that the cable systems don't discriminate
against USER owned equipment as new features are added to the
mutually downloaded software packages....
So the "requirements" are industry, rather than FCC imposed.....