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09 Descrambler


This article is from the Satellite TV FAQ, by Gary Bourgois flash@lopez.marquette.mi.us with numerous contributions by others.

09 Descrambler

The DE-FACTO consumer descrambler is the VIDEOCIPHER system which
is manufactured by General Instruments (G.I) in the USA. There
are stand-alone decoders still available. However a major consider-
ation is that at the present time, Descrambler technology is changing
and older descramblers will not work under the new standards. Beware
unit can be upgraded to the new VC-II+
and forthcoming VC-II+ RS (Renewable Security) if you plan on watching
scrambled (Mostly Cable) services or Pay Per View movies and sports

In Canada, the OAK-ORION system was another popular scrambling system,
which was used by TELESAT CANADA on the ANIK (Canadian) satellites.
CANCOM dumped OAK, in preparation for EXPRESSVU DBS. There ARE
some USA programs transmitted with the OAK-ORION system, primarily
Horse Racing and Hospital programming. While it is LEGAL to own a
OAK-ORION decoder, there are not enough services available in this
format to warrant doing so. Unless a person is a REAL horse racing
nut, and even then, getting the decoder AUTHORIZED to descramble
the horse races is questionable.

There are other scrambling systems in use in Europe.

In the USA, there had been a serious market for "pirate" or "chipped"
decoders, which receive scrambled services without the payment of
subscription fees. This situation has lead to the change to the
revised VC-II+ and forthcoming VC-II+ RS systems, which hope to
thwart this piracy through the use of a renewable "credit card" type
of chip system. Of course, this technology costs the consumer
additional money, on top of subscription fees that for the most part
are higher than comparable cable prices. Since the majority of the
scrambled channels are owned by the cable TV conglomerates, who
would prefer people subscribe to cable rather than view by satellite,
the reasoning here is obvious. For this reason, satellite TV
popularity in the USA has declined.

More about scrambling later in this FAQ list.


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