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Digital cable descrambler software

Patent US6742182

Digital TV Receiver

1. The Field of the Invention

The present invention relates to descrambling television signals. More specifically, the present invention relates to descrambling scrambled television signals at an electronics device in an entertainment system using a cable box to verify that the viewer has been granted access to the descrambled signals.

2. The Prior State of the Art

In today's society, people are spending more time watching television. The demand for more television has led to the creation and development of television channels dedicated to news, sports, movies and special events. A few of these channels, including those affiliated with the major networks, are free and viewers can receive these channels by simply erecting and connecting an antenna to their television. The downside of using an antenna is that only a few channels can be received and the reception is not always clear. In order to receive a larger selection of television channels, the viewer must subscribe to services offered by a cable or satellite television provider.

When a viewer subscribes to television services from a cable or satellite operator, the viewer typically selects a television channel package. The least expensive package usually contains a basic set of television channels, while the more expensive packages contain premium television channels, examples of which include movie channels and pay-per-view programming. Premium channels are typically scrambled and consumers pay an additional amount in order to be able to descramble and view those channels. Those consumers that do not choose the more expensive television channel packages receive the premium channels in the scrambled and unviewable format. In some cities, some or all of the basic television channels are scrambled in addition to premium channels.

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