Smart Card Readers in FTA: Why?

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Original poster
Oct 9, 2005
West Coast...of Florida
I've been a "card carrying" member of SatelliteGuys for a while, but this is my first real post. I searched the forums, but I didn't see this addressed specifically. I'm not that good at guessing games, so please spell it out for me. Thanks.

I've been reading about the Coolsat products (5000 & 6000). As far as I'm concerned, I could toss a coin and be happy with either one, although I prefer the "retro" styling of the 6000.

I see that they can both have optional Smart Card Readers. Why? My understanding of Smart Card Readers is that they are used to validate your right to subscription services. Where does one purchase programming for these units in addition to their FTA functionality? If you can't purchase programming, then is there any legitimate reason to get the optional Smart Card Reader? Thanks.
I'm pretty sure they can possibly be retrofitted for certain subscription encryptions. Doesn't matter to me. I don't even know why it has one in the 1st place. I know the Mercury Fortecs (one of em) has an Irdeto subscription slot. Otherwise, it's a non-issue to me personally.
have read about it somewhere and maybe it was here . its something to do with europe being able to use it. not in the US though , i think thats it
I'll be damn, that's what it is. Most of Europe knows FTA as common everyday television viewing. To the USA, it's a hobby.

Most likely the card slot is for things like Globecast subscriptions and stuff like that.
Now THAT is a hot idea. Pre-paid subs on your FTA receiver. So many "minutes" or "units" of viewing time for specific channels.

::calling the patent office now::

Call it Pre-Pay Subs
You can put in a sub card, but it won't do much. I have an expired dishnetwork card and stuck it in there just to see what would happen. It tries to read the cam and does nothing else.... On the real dishnework receiver that that cam goes to there's this big honking message that comes up that says that the card is expired. On the fta receiver, nothing happens except some message about the cam being read. As far as I can tell, the card slot is totally pointless to have in North America, unless you wanna stick a big piece plastic in it that sticks out about 6 inches to use it as a remote control holder or as a soda can holder.
OK, now I understand: In the USA, a Smart Card Reader on an FTA unit is as useful as its Electronic Program Guide.

Thanks to each of you for your rapid replies.
I have a friend with a GlobeCast sub for his wife, and there is a reader in their stb. She is northern European, and misses home. It's not common, but it's not useless either. The odd thing is that mostly she watches DunaTV, which is typically FTA anyway, but they pay the sub.

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