“CAM” stands for “Conditional Access Module”. The CAM module is inserted into the CI slot. A decoding smart card from a content provider (cable or satellite TV provider) is placed in the CAM module. Without it, the CAM module will not work, since all the information necessary for decryption is located on the card and is read from it during operation. In fact, the CAM module is an adapter for an access card to the provider’s licensed/paid content. The smart card contains a microchip. It provides identification of a specific subscriber in the operator’s network and unlocking content in accordance with the tariff plan.
The CAM module is usually included with the TV. If for some reason it is not there, but there is a CI slot, then the module will have to be purchased separately. Alternatively, content providers provide CAM modules with the service. Usually, it is offered for rent for little money.
What is CI?
CI (Common Interface) is a slot located on the back of the TV. Also referred to as a PCMCIA connector. Common Interface is a system that provides device owners access to encrypted content. Basically, TV channels act as content, but access can be given, for example, to a database of films and animations.
Why CI and CAM Modules are More Convenient?
The main advantage of using CI and CAM modules built into the TV is that it reduces the amount of equipment used. You don’t need a digital cable box or a separate satellite tuner. Let’s list the positives:
- The amount of equipment is reduced, it does not take up space.
- There is no need for an extra outlet to connect a tuner or set-top box.
- Only one control panel is used, and not two, as is the case with the console.
- There is no need for additional cables to connect the tuner/set-top box to your TV. There are no additional nodes and blocks that can affect the quality of the image and sound.
- You don’t need to spend extra money on the purchase of equipment.
- Easy to set up and connect.
Types of CAM Module
There are two types of CAM modules
Single-system modules can only work with one specific type of encoding. Usually, content providers supply them together with a smart card at the conclusion of the contract. Therefore, when changing the provider, you will need another module that provides signal decoding in a different network.
Universal modules support several encoding algorithms. In this case, cards of different providers-operators can be installed in the CAM module. The device will automatically determine which decoding algorithm to use in a particular case. If you have a universal module, it is enough to get only a smart card from the provider.