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  • irishtimes.com - Posted: April 10, 2009 @ 7:38 pm

    The demise of the ‘dodgy box’?

    Ciara O'Brien

    The days of free digital TV may be over for some viewers as UPC steps up moves to boot the boxes off its network for good. Owners of the boxes, which decode UPC’s digital TV signal without users having to fork out for the privilege, have noticed some of the channels have been scrambled, and no amount of software updates will unscramble them, for the time being at least.

    More in today’s paper here

    I spoke to UPC earlier this week to ask them about the developments. They are (understandably) cagey about what encryption method they are actually using, although there is some speculation online.

    The new encryption comes in conjunction with a card swap programme, which UPC says will be completed this year (again, not so keen on handing over the details as to exactly when).

    The attitude of some box owners is philopsophical – it was good while it lasted. Others seem to think, however, that it will only be a matter of time before the latest encryption is cracked.

    Time will tell. But in the meantime, UPC seem to have done a pretty good job of putting off buying any more of the boxes for use on its network. Which I suppose is the point of the exercise.