Starview Box - The BoxIf people were to believe what Adrian Weckler wrote in an article in the Sunday Business Post yesterday, you would believe that the writing is on the wall for the Starview box.

He talks about how UPC (new owners of NTL and Chorus) and Sky are growing increasingly concerned at the number of free digital boxes accessing their subscription based content. He goes on to say that UPC have been working hard recently on finding an alternative protection system to fend off the use of these boxes, but agrees it will be sometime before a workable solution will be released.

I’m sure the owners of UPC are very concerned at the minute at how easy people are finding it to access the channels, however they also know that they will never prevent everyone from doing it.

Apparently they aren’t after the odd enthusiast who trys to gain free TV as a hobby. No, it’s the ordinary joe soap they are targetting now. Those users that wouldn’t know where to turn if their boxes stopped working all of a sudden.

In fairness to NTL, the last few updates they made, had a big affect on joe soaps perception of the boxes. People I have spoke with, are now of the opinion that the starview boxes no longer work. So that obviously was a successful campagin for NTL in my opinion.

Adrian also goes on to state that there is a misconception by people selling these boxes, they believe that it is not illegal to do sell Starview boxes. In one way he is right and in another he is completely wrong.

What he doesn’t know (or mention) is that when you buy the starview boxes from a manufacturer, they aren’t automatically able to  pick up the scrambled channels. It’s not even possible to access a hidden menu to turn on the ability within the Starview to do so. The Starview owner needs to “hack” the Starview box with special software downloaded from the Internet in order to access the scrambled channels.

If UPC attempt at bringing in a solution that will render the boxes useless, I’m unsure how successful this will be. Most of encryptions availble and used by TV companies have already been hacked at this stage. And in reality, it won’t take that long for the hackers to break any new encryption they create.

I think Adrian should have done a bit more research into the starview and other digital boxes before making his assumptions surrounding it’s use. Even a few hours spent researching how they function would have made it a more informative article.

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