British Digital Broadcasting selects conditional access system

20th February 1998

British Digital Broadcasting (BDB) has chosen SECA to provide its Mediaguard conditional access system. This paves the way for BDB to place orders for digital terrestrial set-top boxes.

Nigel Walmsley, Director of BDB, said:

"SECA is one of the world's leading providers of conditional access. It is used in over one and a half million digital set-top boxes across Europe. In choosing this established system, BDB is on course to launch in the last quarter of this year. We look forward to working with SECA to bring the benefits of Digital Terrestrial Television - more choice, better sound and pictures - to Britain's homes."

Alain Catrevaux, CEO of SECA, said:

"We are very pleased to have the opportunity to work with BDB to launch Digital Terrestrial Television in the United Kingdom. This partnership with BDB offers SECA another chance to build a new successful open market in Europe."

Notes for editors

  1. British Digital Broadcasting is a partnership between Carlton Communications and the Granada Group, who each own 50% of the company. BDB will launch at least 15 channels from the UK’s leading television production and broadcasting companies - Carlton, Granada, BBC/Flextech and BSkyB. Twelve of the channels will be offered as a basic subscription package, with three extra premium channels.
  2. The conditional access system is the electronic turnstile which allows only those viewers who have subscribed to pay-TV services to watch them.
  3. SECA is a partnership between CANAL+, one of Europe’s most successful pay-TV broadcasters, and Bertelsmann, Germany’s largest publishing and TV Group. SECA operates conditional access system in France, Italy, Spain, Belgium and UK.
  4. BDB intends to order set top boxes that are capable of receiving digital terrestrial television. Viewers who wish to receive satellite services with a digital terrestrial set top box will need to buy a satellite dish and a low cost adapter, which plugs into the back of their set top box. It is anticipated that satellite and terrestrial broadcasters will be simulcrypting (the means by which two conditional access systems can be used by any one broadcaster) using both satellite and terrestrial CA systems which will allow this high degree of interoperability to take place. CANAL+, using SECA’s technology, uses Simulcrypt in both France and Italy to support multiple CA systems.