FAQ: Eurovision Services migration to BISS-CA encryption

3 min. read
12/06/2020

Your questions on Eurovision Services migration to BISS-CA encryption

What is BISS-CA?

BISS-CA is a new open, secure and interoperable conditional access standard of the BISS encryption protocol including a dynamic key system.

Reference documentation:

https://tech.ebu.ch/publications/biss-ca-conditional-access-mode-for-biss2

https://www.ateme.com/how-biss-ca-is-allowing-broadcasters-to-fight-back-against-piracy/

What does it change?

Eurovision Services is progressively adding BISS-CA encryption to its high-value live transmissions in 2020. In order to receive these transmissions, broadcasters will need the firmware in their IRDs upgrading and will need to register all BISS-CA compatible equipment with us.

What specific events will BISS-CA be used for? This will help me decide whether to upgrade my units or not.

Eurovision Services will gradually migrate to the use of BISS-CA for all high-value content, so we highly recommend upgrading if you plan to broadcast major international sports events. We cannot confirm at this stage which specific events will use BISS-CA encryption but we will be rolling out BISS-CA encryption for a number of high-value events in the future, subject to agreement with the relevant rights owners. The transmission synopsis will indicate whether an event is using BISS-CA encryption.

When will Eurovision Services start implementing BISS-CA encryption?

We will start implementing BISS-CA encryption gradually from August 2020.

What is the procedure for requesting BISS-CA access?

The procedure differs depending on your decoder model and whether or not it is owned by, or was sold by, the EBU/ES. For Mediakind RX8200 decoders owned or sold by EBU/ES, Eurovision Services is offering an upgrade programme that includes the firmware upgrade, the provision of a BISS-CA licence and technical support. For other decoder models, as well as RX8200 units supplied by other vendors, broadcasters are responsible for upgrading their firmware and installing the BISS-CA licence. All equipment, regardless of type or vendor, must be registered with ES and the decoder's public key has to be uploaded to allow that decoder to handle BISS-CA encryption of ES transmissions. Please refer to the technical guidelines for more detailed information.

Is it free of charge to register all our receivers with Eurovision Services?

Yes, the equipment registration on eurovision.net is free of charge.

What is the test window for this new encryption standard?

A test will be scheduled and announced in the coming months.

How do I get a firmware upgrade for an RX8200 unit owned or sold by EBU/ES?

Eurovision Services is offering an upgrade programme for Mediakind RX8200 IRDs that are owned by, or were sold by, the EBU or Eurovision Services.

Upgrade conditions

Type of decoder Cost Upgrade period Support
RX8200 owned by Eurovision Serivces Free of charge Jun-Dec 2020 Until end of 2021: free support for hardware and software, as well as BISS-CA firmware bug fixes
RX8200 sold by Eurovision Serivces €300 Jun-Dec 2020 Until end of 2021: free support for BISS-CA firmware bug fixes only

Please consult our documentation page for full details on the upgrade procedure for the RX8200, which includes the corresponding technical notice, application notes, a link to download the upgrade tool and complete instructions on how to use the upgrade tool.

I have an RX8200 that was not purchased from EBU/ES, what should I do?

You should contact your vendor about the firmware upgrade. We are not offering upgrades for IRDs purchased from other vendors.

For the RX8200 I understand that we need to upgrade the firmware to 8.25.1. Is the firmware available to download?

Yes, this is correct. You can download the firmware here. Please note that Eurovision Services offers no support and accepts no liability for RX8200 decoders supplied by third parties.

I would like to update an RX8200 unit to BISS-CA, but the firmware is older than 5.12, so I cannot use the update software to update. I see there is a way to batch install in the update-guid. Where can I get the batch files updateallrx8000.bat and main.bin?

The upgrade method using the upgrade utility tool can only be used by RX8200 units running firmware version 5.12 or more recent. Decoders on previous firmware versions must be manually upgraded to an intermediate version (in this case version 7.1.5). This is explained in section 4 of the Application Notice for RX8200, which can be found on our website.

Is an additional licence required for the RX8200 to enable BISS-CA?

Yes, you will need an additional licence to enable BISS-CA. Our upgrade programme includes the BISS-CA licence for RX8200 decoders owned or sold by EBU/ES. You can find all the relevant information on our documentation page

Does the upgrade programme cover any other IRDs?

No, it only applies to the RX8200.

Which other decoders have been tested and approved by ES for receiving BISS-CA encrypted transmissions? 

ES has currently tested and validated the RX8200 and Nevion MI-FA for BISS-CA use. We expect to complete the validation procedure for the ATEME DR5000 soon. Please refer to our technical guidelines for the latest information on which decoder units are supported by ES for BISS-CA. Eurovision Services does not accept any liability if broadcasters use decoders that have not been tested and approved by us.

Does the RX1290 support BISS-CA?

No.

Does the ATEME DR5000 support BISS-CA?

Yes, the ATEME DR5000 supports BISS-CA. We aim to start the upgrade programme for this unit in the coming weeks.

I purchased my decoder from a different vendor. Can I arrange my upgrade with this vendor?

Yes, please check with your vendor for more information.

What is the recommended firmware version for the ATEME DR5000?

We will provide this information in the coming weeks and update our documentation accordingly.

Is any additional firmware upgrade or licence required for the NS2000 demodulator for BISS-CA encryption?

The NS2000 demodulators are not decoders and therefore are not compatible with BISS-CA. This equipment is not affected by this upgrade campaign.

When I install the BISS-CA licence in a unit, will the unit still be able to receive content encrypted with other BISS modes, like BISS-1 or BISS-E?

For the models that we have tested and approved, adding the BISS-CA licence will not affect reception of any other BISS encryption modes. All other installed BISS licences will remain valid.

How can we use non-EBU receivers after we upgrade them with BISS-CA?

BISS-CA is a new and additional feature. Upgrading the equipment does not affect any existing features, so you can still receive other types of transmission as before.