Security, Content Protection High Priorities For NextGen TV

Early in the ATSC 3.0 development process it became readily apparent that for prevention of content piracy or unsanctioned signal retransmission, and to enable the capability to run auxiliary subscription services, the broadcast signal would need to be encrypted.

Within today’s completed set of ATSC 3.0 standards, encryption is indeed a fundamental part of the overall system. This includes cryptographic signing of signaling and applications, secure protocols in the Studio-to-Transmitter (STL) link and protection of broadcast content through encryption. All three of these areas need to be protected in order to thwart security attacks on ATSC 3.0 broadcast transmissions.

THE BACKSTORY

As a brief aside, here’s a little history: While it’s theoretically possible to achieve the above goals of content protection without encryption, the practical challenges make it quite difficult. Arguably, this mistake was made with the original ATSC digital TV service (now retrospectively referred to as “ATSC-1”), which was standardized in the mid-1990s, then launched as a totally in-the-clear service in the late 1990s (and remains so today). The idea of encryption really wasn’t investigated rigorously or pursued intently during ATSC-1’s development and deployment, because back then, free over-the-air television was considered synonymous with unencrypted, in-the-clear transmission.

By the time the advantages of encryption (even for the free broadcasting service) became appreciated, ATSC-1 service had already been in place for awhile, and it was too late to add encryption at that point. Too many TV sets had already been sold and the thought of disenfranchising them was essentially unthinkable.

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Dear Fellow LPTV Broadcaster and Industry Leaders,

The auction has ended and most of us are still here.  While it was not only our hope but the hope of many others that the auction would not take place . . . it did, but it did not have the devastating effect that it might have had. 

The world after the auction looks different and amazingly so has a very bright future!

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That’s why it’s more important than ever that you join the Advanced Television Broadcast Alliance.  Our board of directors have a combined 500+ years of experience which beginning with your membership we are going to start making more available to our members on an increasing basis.

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We’re making it affordable because it’s a win – win!  When you join, you’re going to receive more than just the benefits listed above but also you’ll be aligning with hundreds of others who, like yourself, have a vested interest in the continued forward movement of free, over-the-air broadcasting.  It’s a win for your ATBA because we will increase our strength through numbers as we grow together.

So what’s the next step?  If you’re ready follow this link https://www.broadcastingalliance.org/join-us/ to sign up.  If you have more questions please don’t hesitate to call a member of the ATBA board of directors by calling this number (877) 214-4277.   You’ll get a rapid response!

Thanks for taking the time to read this note and for your ongoing passion for the future of communication in this great country.

Respectfully,

The Board of Directors – The Advanced Television Broadcast Alliance