To start with then the abbreviation CAM stands for Conditional Access Module.

Since people who do not yet know what a CAM is will still be in the dark, then the most direct explanation for the function of a CAM is that a CAM is a digital version of an analogue decoder. Therefore, CAMs are for use with smartcards (like official subscription cards), where the CAM provides an interface between the smartcard and the digital satellite receiver.

However, unlike the old analogue decoders, it is actually the digital receiver that provides the end picture decryption, where the CAM's function is just tell it how to do this decryption from information obtained from both the card and the CAM.

The other important aspect here are the two letters of C and I that usually proceeds the CAM word, where the abbreviation of CI in this case means Common Interface.

Long ago, and even with some modern digital receivers, CAMs used to come built into the receiver. This was certainly not helpful if you wish to later subscribe to some service using an alternate Conditional Access System, where for this reason some receivers even had CAMs that could be switched over. However, to avoid different receivers having different CAM interfaces, then so was the Common Interface created.

This means that every receiver with one or more Common Interface slots can make use of all available CI CAMs. And as you can see from below CI CAMs look very much like PCMCIA computer cards, where you can even insert CI CAMs into your laptop computer if desired.

Now the last important aspect about CAMs is concerning my above mention of "Conditional Access System", where this is like saying what flavour the CAM comes in.

What I mean is that if you have a Mediaguard II subscription card, then so do you need a CAM that supports Mediaguard II. As going out and buying a CAM that say supports only Viaccess II will not help at all in using your subscription card to decode these paid for encrypted stations using the Mediaguard II Conditional Access System.

Therefore, before buying the following CAMs, then make sure that your digital receiver has the required Common Interface slot, followed by making sure that the CAM you wish to buy matches the same Conditional Access System as used by your card.

Matrix Reborn CI CAM

This Matrix Reborn CI CAM is the latest and most powerful CAM within the Matrix CAM range when it can do all that the Matrix Reloaded and Matrix Revolutions CAM can do and more. And since this Matrix Reborn CAM has additional memory for future expansion then so is this one of the most future-proof CAMs around.

Based on the OmniCrypt chip this is a UCAS CAM with Z-CAS compatibility. This CAM will be supplied with the latest version of the official Matrix Reborn firmware meaning that it will arrive all ready for use. And based on my testing then this is some extremely stable firmware providing the fastest, near instant, switch between different packages that I have ever seen.

Should you desire to upgrade the firmware to a later version, or even to replace it with unofficial firmware like with Neo, then this can be easily done using a Funcard 5, Funcard 6, Funcard 7, or my below MMPI, through the auto-update feature. You can also use a CAS2 or CAS3 interface like I do when flashing these CAMs to begin with.

This CAM supports both official and unofficial cards using the following conditional access systems...

Viaccess I
Viaccess II
TPSCrypt (a version of Viaccess)
Mediaguard I (made by SECA)
Mediaguard II
Irdeto I
Irdeto II
Nagravision (with selectable BoxKey)

Below you will find my excellent price for such a powerful CAM. I should also mention that this is the official steel-cased Matrix Reborn CAM and not one of the low-quality plastic cased clone CAMs that you can find forsale elsewhere.

Please note that the mentioned names of Viaccess, Mediaguard, Irdeto, Betacrypt, Nagravision, Conax and Cryptoworks are trade mark names belonging to their respected owners. And where these conditional access system names are only mentioned to show this CAM's compatibility with these officially supported cards. However, it should be noted that this CAM only provides a recreated emulation of these systems, which means that this is not an item supported in any way by any of the respected owners of these trade mark names.

Ordering Code: REBORN
Includes: Matrix Reborn CI CAM
Gross Weight: 47g

Magic Module Programming Interface

When I first saw this device, then I thought how much this looks like my SEASON2 logger/emulator. However, having an Atmel microcontroller on it clearly means that the function of this device is indeed very different.

That function of course is to flash the above Matrix Reborn CI CAM with new firmware and other older SIDSA based CAMs. This is currently a useful tool seeing that this is the lowest cost method to flash some of these CAM types like with the Magic Module CI CAM.

Now the section that no other supplier on the Internet will tell you is to reflash this CI CAM you will need both a PC and a CI CAM slot (or PCMCIA slot on a Laptop). Where the last of these two items is simply required to power the CAM in the first place.

Therefore, it can be a bit tricky if your CI CAM slot is not anywhere near your PC, but with a Laptop with a PCMCIA slot it should be no problem at all. And for that reason I can either use my old ITV Digital receiver (now used for FreeView) near my PC, or my second purchased Laptop computer has both a serial port and two PCMCIA slots.

When the CAM is correctly powered, where this Programming Interface has been correctly inserted (contacts up), then the green LED on this Programming Interface will light to indicate that all is well.

To link the PC to this Programming Interface you will need a straight through serial cable, where my SERIAL cable on my Cables (Computer) page is ideal for this task if you do not currently have one.

After that things should be easy enough, when you just run the programming software (the instructions provide all required details), press the connect button until "CONNECTED" is displayed, then load-in and flash the required firmware.

During the flashing of the CAM, both the Red and Green LEDs will be lighted. The flashing will take about 6 minutes in total, where the programming software will then report "MODULE LOADED" and the CAM will be all ready for use.

So I am very sure that you need hardly any computer knowledge in order to flash the your own CAM.

Ordering Code: MMPI
Includes: Magic Module Programming Interface and Instructions.
Gross Weight: 42g

Duolab's CAS Interface 2 USB Programmer

This device has a variety of functions that I will now explain.

To begin with this device is aimed to be able to completely reprogram any SIDSA based CAM. Since most CAMs on the market are SIDSA based CAMs, then this CAM list includes the Magic Module, Matrix, AXIS, Universal, Global, Joker, Super Joker, FreeX-TV, IceCrypt, Zeta, Merlin and @Skycrypt CI CAMs. Not to mention many other SIDSA based CAMs.

Within this CAM reprogramming option, then to start with this device can do what my above MMPI can do. This is to simply upgrade the main firmware in the CAM, like with the Pentacrypt firmware for the Magic Module CAM. However, this device can also reprogram and upgrade the CAM's bootloader if desired. Like in the case of the Magic CAM this is the DreamLoad bootloader.

All this is minor compared to the next function of this device, when this CAS2 Interface can also reflash the CAM's main Xilinx chip. Since this Xilinx chip contains the CAM's core firmware, what makes the CAM what it is, then so can this device turn your CAM into what it normally is not.

What I mean is that since all these CAMs are based on the same hardware, then so with the right Xilinx CAS file can you turn your CAM into any of the above mentioned list. So no matter what CAM has the most advanced firmware, or functionality, then so can you turn your CAM into your desired CAM type.

For example; a lot of my customers have been using this device to turn their Magic CAMs into Matrix CAMs, or the other way around. This device is also very useful for those CAM owners who have suffered a bootloader killing accident, due to the use of harmful firmware.

Next up on this list of useful features, then by using the ribbon cable, without the JTAG card attached, then so can you reprogram the UCAS CAM in your receiver. The list of receivers this device currently supports are the DreamBox, NextWave, Xtreme, Manhattan and no doubt more.

The JTAG card is simply used to program some CAM types using a secondary method. The main way to program most CAMs is simply through this device's built-in Common Interface (CI) slot.

No extra power cable is needed, when the CAS2 and CAM will be powered by the USB port. I should mention that both the older USB ports and the new USB 2.x ports are suitable for use. USB 2.x ports are recommended, simply due to being faster.

This device makes use of the CAS Studio PC based software. This software you can download here from Duolab's download area.

From this software you will notice that it also now supports card programming. This is an option only useful should you obtain the add-on card programmer for this device. Since there are better card programmers available, then I would recommed sticking to this device's CAM programming option.

Anyway, here is the CAS Interface 2 Programmer for you.

Also I should mention that this device normally does not come with a USB connection cable, like this model supplied through other suppliers, where since I never like providing items that you cannot plug in and use straight away, then so did I locate a good high speed USB 2.0 cable to give to you for FREE

Ordering Code: CAS2
Includes: CAS Interface 2, Ribbon Cable, JTAG Card and a free High Speed 2 meter long USB 2.0 cable.
Gross Weight: 230g

Conax CI CAM

The second CAM that I have now decided to support is this official Conax CI EuroCAM. This CAM is issued by Conax AS and was made by SCM, where of course SCM happen to make lots of official CAM types.

Should you be interested in this CAM, then I expect that you would also be interested in the Nordic Canal Digital service on Thor (1 degree West), when that is the main and largest service that currently uses this conditional access system. There are of course lots of other services around that uses Conax as well, where I am sure that this CAM also works fine with all those services.

This CAM I am aware will automatically update to the very latest CAM firmware version during your normal conax based service viewing. This means that by simply watching TV your CAM will always be up-to-date with the very latest firmware, thanks to the OTA (over the air) CAM upgrade progress.

One interesting thing that I later discovered after stocking this CAM type is that it supports a multi-system logging function through the Conax system. What this means that this CAM works a not unlike the Irdeto FreeCAM, where data from multiple Conditional Access Systems can be accessed through the Conax system instead of the usual Irdeto system.

There is not much else to say about this CAM, except that I have fully tested it myself and it works great with both official and unofficial Conax cards. Not to forget my SEASON3 logger / emulator of course, when a lot of people are using these two items together these days. So all you have to do is to insert this CAM into your Common Interface slot, insert the Conax smart card, then if all is well the picture will then soon clear.

Since that is all that I can think to say about this CAM, then if you want to find out more about Conax (the company), then you should take a look here.

Ordering Code: CONAX
Includes: Conax CI CAM.
Gross Weight: 47g

Cryptoworks CI CAM

Should you be looking for an official Cryptoworks CI CAM then here is the very CAM that you seek.

The Cryptoworks system is fairly popular in Europe with examples like the Dutch and French satellite services on Astra 19.2e alone, but there are other European examples, not to forget many other Cryptoworks services available worldwide. And you can rest assured that with the right smart card this CAM will happily decode any service using Cryptoworks.

Using this CAM is easy enough when you just insert it into your receiver or TV's Common Interface slot, followed by inserting the card, where if all is well then the picture will soon clear.

One of the most interesting things to say about this CAM is that while the Cryptoworks system was developed by Philips CryptoTec this same system is now owned by Irdeto Access. So now you know who to contact about this CAM if you desire to go beyond your local supplier.

Since this is a very easy CAM to use then there is not much else to say about it, but the one aspect that I have yet to mention is that since this is an officially supported CAM, then so will your CAM receive automatic firmware updates during your normal Cryptoworks viewing. So you can rest assured that this CAM will support future Cryptoworks features.

The last thing I have to mention is my price...

Ordering Code: CRYPTO
Includes: Cryptoworks CI CAM.
Gross Weight: 32g

Irdeto CI CAM

This Irdeto CAM happens to be the sixth CAM type that my company decided to provide, but beyond my quick CAM count the most important thing to say about this Irdeto CAM is that it support the two current Irdeto 1 and 2 conditional access systems and no doubt will work just fine with whatever they do next.

The most interesting other thing to say about this Irdeto CAM is that if you click on the photo to bring up the big version you will be able to read the text "Any and all modifications prohibited and prosecutable". Now while not all these CAM will arrive with this text, when I already have a second version without it, but since other CAMs on this page do not come with such a dire warning then you have to wonder why this CAM does?

The answer to that question is that during the early days of digital TV people wanted to get their Irdeto CAMs to do more than what they did by default. So certain traders went about modifying the early verions of these Irdeto CAMs to create CAMs like the Irdeto AllCAM and the Irdeto FreeCAM. That if you know your CAM history was the first baby steps that led on to the creation of the multi-system CAMs like the Magic CAMs and the following Matrix CAMs.

The Irdeto Access company certainly did not approve of these unofficial CAM modifications, when shock horror these modified CAMs could even be used for that dreaded P-word application. So they fought back and made their CAMs a lot harder to modify and where they printed this message on these CAMs to make clear their position.

These days Irdeto Access is free to remove this warning label, when people wanting multi-system CAMs now have their own CAM types, which means that they now leave these CAMs alone. No doubt that already explains my other Irdeto CAMs without this warning, but then I would not miss out on a CAM history lesson by scanning the other type now would I?

In any case these Irdeto supporting CAMs I now supply are as official as you can get. So you can get direct Irdeto Access support if required and where this Irdeto CAM will update its own firware using the Automatic Update feature during your normal Irdeto service viewing.

These CAMs should prove quite popular when more than a few services make use if the Irdeto conditional access system. So if you are looking for a CI CAM with Irdeto 1 and 2 support then here is the CAM that Irdeto Access want you to have.

Ordering Code: IRDETO
Includes: Irdeto CI CAM.
Gross Weight: 47g

Nagravision CI CAM

Now this Nagravision CAM is a very rare CAM to find being sold in the UK where I cannot even recall one of my rival suppliers providing these CAMs at this current time. The Nagravision CAM being displayed here is one supplied for non-service specific use meaning that it will work fine with whatever Nagravision service you desire. The UK's Virgin Cable TV (ex-NTL) service is one example where this CAM will work fine but there are many other services where it will work perfectly as well.

As you can see from the photo this Nagravision CI CAM was built by Gemplus Technology. The most interesting aspect of this CAM, for me at least, are those numbers just below the barcode. Any service provider would commonly call this number the CAM's serial number but to the rest of us it is more well known as the BoxKey.

Nagravision CAMs are famous for their BoxKey, in the multi-satellite world, when Nagravision is one of the few systems around where the smart card is mated to the CAM. This means that the CAM will expect to see a matching BoxKey value when the card is inserted or else the card may not work and will generate an error message instead.

So before you can use card and CAM together then they will need to be mated. Subscribers can often do this by telling their service provider their CAM's serial number. Another possibility is that the brand new subscription card will lock on to the first BoxKey that it sees. And for other people then you will need to convert this serial BoxKey value into the Hex version (just use a calculator) and then make sure that your card contains this Hex value BoxKey.

So once the card and CAM are mated then your system should work not unlike any other with the exception that you cannot then use this card in a different CAM. Well that is if your service provider is making full use of the Nagravision card mating system when they may also ignore it instead.

Now I have no idea how this wholesaler got a hold of these CAMs but what counts is either they are brand new or like-new where I really cannot say. What counts is if you want one of the only official Nagravision CAMs being sold in the UK, at a very nice price as well, then here you go.

Ordering Code: NAGRA
Includes: Nagravision CI CAM.
Gross Weight: 51g

Ultimate Dual CA CI CAM

This Ultimate CAM, or Ulti-mate CAM as it reads off the label, is better known on the market as the Dual CA CAM instead. One reason for this name is because it is a lot more descriptive and a second reason would be that finding an Ultimate CAM via a search engine would make this CAM a lot harder to find.

As the new name says then this is a CAM supporting two conditional access systems, namely Irdeto and Conax.

Now if you was not aware of the nature of this CAM then you may falsely come to believe that this was yet another unoffical CAM using recreated firmware that was trying add support for more systems than what a single CA CAM normally allowed. Nothing could be further from the truth when as the logos on the back of this CAM clearly highlight then this is a CAM both made and supported by both Irdeto Access and Conax the company. A good follow-up question then must be why would two rival conditional access system manufacturers team up and actually "share" a CAM?

The answer to that question is to simply profit from the multi-system CAM market.

Now I would like to say that the existance of this CAM highlights that they have learned the lesson that you cannot stop people doing what they want when you can only figure out how to profit from it. This I am quite sure is not the reason that explains this CAMs existance when the lesson that they would have learned is that not meeting the public needs hurts your profit.

As the real truth is that the popularity of the more unofficial multi-system CAMs, like the Magic and Matrix CAMs, meant that these two companies were selling less of their official CAMs. So this CAM is all about if you cannot beat them then join them, when this CAM would now not exist had the multi-system CAM market not existed either.

In any case, no matter how trade and commerce comes to the this end conclusion, then it is always true to say that in the end you will always get what you want. And if you happen to feel in need of an Irdeto and Conax supporting CAM then right here could well be the perfect CAM for you.

The best feature of this CAM over other rival multi-system CAMs is simply that it is an officially supported product. And although you are unlikely to ever feel the need to bang on Irdeto Access or Conax's door, then what most people buying this CAM will desire are the automatic firmware updates from your normal satellite, terrestrial, or cable viewing. So without having to lift a finger this official multi-system CAM will always be kept up-to-date with the latest firmware and features.

Also since I will always keep this CAM just more than the higher priced Conax or Irdeto CAM then how can you possibly not pay this tiny extra to get a whole second CA system? I mean add together the prices for my Irdeto and Conax CAMs and see how much you can save by buying this Dual CA CAM instead.

Buy this CAM and sure enough they will soon be back with other official multi-system CAMs. That in the end must be a good thing

Ordering Code: DUALCA
Includes: Ultimate "Dual CA" CI CAM.
Gross Weight: 29g

Viaccess CI CAM

This next CAM is the red version (better than the black) of the official Viaccess CI CAM that happens to be yet another CAM made by SCM in Singapore.

The Viaccess conditional access system happens to be one of the most popular conditional access systems around. This may be partly due to Viaccess being the digital version of the old analogue Eurocrypt system, where this long used international standard could well have resulted in lower production costs and therefore lower cost hardware allowing more services to pick Viaccess as their service choice.

In any case this CAM certainly supports the two current Viaccess 1 and Viaccess 2 service options. This means that it will work with any Viaccess card currently available. Also since this CAM supports automatic fireware updates, during your normal Viaccess service viewing, then I am sure that this CAM will support any future Viaccess versions as well.

From my item photo you can see that the CAM looks great. Like all my CAMs it is very well built and suitable for hot digital use. And so if you happen to need a Viaccess CAM then you do not need to look any further.

Ordering Code: VIACC
Includes: Viaccess CI CAM.
Gross Weight: 47g

Zeta Blue CI CAM

Now this new Zeta Blue CI CAM presents me with an unusual problem when based upon all other items on this site you can see that when I come to review an item I like to provide a complete and detailed description involving everything that you can possibly want to know.

My exact problem here is that this CAM involves Adult Entertainment, better known as Pornography. So to avoid an item description beyond the taste of anyone who could be reading this, including children, then I hope that you can understand when I say that in this one case I will have to highly censor my details concerning this CAM.

As I have indeed fully reviewed this item then I can say that this CAM allows access to the Sex View XXX station which happens to display hard pornography, or in other words Adult Entertainment with nothing much censored. And you can take it from me that those seeking the mentioned Adult Entertainment won't be disappointed, when the larger Sex View service is well known for pushing the bounds of censorship and giving the people what they really want to see. The Sex View XXX station is also one of the Sex View's more advanced offerings, which from what I have seen runs 24/7.

More interestingly is that access to this Sex View XXX station is guaranteed until 2010, which means a whole lot of naughty programming with no subscription fees to pay. Once you own this CAM then all you have to do is to insert it into your CI slot and tune into the Neotion SHL encrypted Sex View XXX station. This channel you can find here...

Satellite: Hotbird, 13 degrees East
Frequency: 12,360 MHz - Horizontal
Symbol Rate: 27,500
FEC: 3/4

Moving on then the function of the card reader on this CAM I can now confirm supports Viaccess 1 and 2 cards. So beyond Sex View XXX you can have a Viaccess subscription running at the same time, like with ART.

The final thing about this CAM is that by using one of the CAS interfaces you can actually fully reprogram this CAM to do other things, where firmware is available to add Viaccess, Irdeto, Mediaguard, Conax and Cryptoworks card support. So you can rest assured that even beyond 2010 this blue labeled CAM can prove very useful.

In the end if you are seeking Adult Entertainment from Europe then this is a good CAM for you.

NOTE: I am currently stopping sale of this CAM type for now when Sex View appear to have ceased broadcast of this Sex View XXX station two years early. Why they have chosen to do this I cannot yet say but the fate of this Zeta Blue CAM rests with their reply.

Ordering Code: ZETAB
Includes: Zeta Blue CI CAM.
Gross Weight: 47g

Click here for how to place an order