Bahrain to impose new Dreambox clamp
Manama, September 11, 2011
Thousands of Dreambox users in Bahrain only have about a month left before they will be permanently cut off from all premium Asian entertainment channels, said a top official.
'Pehla had earlier switched to new Viaccess platform during the Cricket World Cup in February, but had to also keep offering the older Irdeto platform feed to cater to the needs of legal cable operators in Dubai and Qatar,' said Pehla's Bahrain distributor Satlink general manager Om Ramchandani.
Officials at satellite television provider Pehla yesterday confirmed they had almost finalised a switch to new technology, which they hope will be the final nail in the coffin for pirate operators.
'These cable operators are now being handed new Irdeto-secured cams, a process that will take up to four weeks. Once that happens, the standard Irdeto beam will stop," Ramchandani said.
He added the new technology had been tried and tested during the Cricket World Cup when thousands of sports fans were forced to buy legal subscription to watch the matches.
'Once the Viaccess technology is implemented throughout the network, Pehla channels will no longer be available on Dreambox,' he said.
Orbit Showtime Network earlier switched to new technology last December, after which it reported a 300 per cent increase in subscribers.
At the time the company said the increased income from new customers meant the company could invest more in its content and services - with 3D channels on the way.
Meanwhile, providers of illegal Dreambox services in Bahrain said demand has plummeted following the introduction of hi-tech encryption technology.
Pirate broadcasters had built up a large subscriber base by linking digital receivers to the Internet, downloading codes and unscrambling satellite signals to provide customers with a range of satellite packages at a fraction of the normal cost.
However, they are now being forced to drive down their prices after admitting they were unable to hack into the secure signals.
While an all-inclusive connection, including installation, used to cost anywhere between BD90 and BD120 with one-year subscription, these are now being offered at between BD50 and BD70.
The first crackdown on Dreambox operators was launched in Bahrain in October 2009, when the Telecommunications Regulatory Authority in collaboration with the then Culture and Information Ministry instructed the country's 17 Internet Service Providers to block IP (Internet Protocol) addresses of illegal operators.
However, pirate broadcasters were able to bypass those measures within two months. – TradeArabia News Service
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