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Cardsharing is a worldwide popular method of sharing subscription of pay TV channels to reduce the cost of subscription. It is also known as control word sharing.  The technology of sharing the channel subscription is through devices known as cardsharing server or host and cardsharing clients which are connected through internet. This allows multiple users (clients) to simultaneously access the authorized subscription card inserted in the cardsharing server or host to watch the pay TV channels.

The pay TV channels are usually locked by the service providers to make it unavailable for viewers who have not subscribed for it. Cardsharing is not supported by the standard satellite receivers. These receivers are also not capable of unlocking the encrypted channels. Hence, for multiple users to watch the pay channels with a single authorized subscription card, a Linux based satellite receiver designed to support cardsharing is required.

Some of the Linux based satellite receivers are Dreambox, Azbox, Technomate etc. These receivers are designed to support digital satellite viewing through an internet connection. Ethernet connection in these receivers helps in the use of special software to transmit codes and connect between multiple users. The receiver requires sharing protocol software like Mgcamd, CCcam, Newcs, Newcamd that helps in decrypting the encrypted pay channels. Among these softwares, CCcam is the most popular.

Proper configuration of the network devices of the users is a prerequisite for effective implementation of cardsharing. The cardsharing host determines the exact location of the cardsharing clients through its direct IP number. Hence, it is important all the multiple devices have a common IP address for knowing the exact location of each devices and proper communication between them.

Firstly, the legitimate subscription card is inserted in the Cardsharing host which is connected to the internet. Then the CCcam software is downloaded and installed to configure the receiver for establishment of connection with the cardsharing clients. The main function of the cardsharing host is to transfer the unlocked channel codes to the cardsharing clients. The pay channel pictures which are encrypted by the service providers every 2-5 seconds requires to be decrypted for the viewers to be able to watch the channels with interruption. The CCCam software facilitates the communication between the service provider and the host for the transmission of decrypted codes. The password is then delivered to the receivers on receipt of communication from them to obtain the password. The whole process of decrypting and sharing happens in fraction of seconds making the viewing pleasure uninterrupted.

Cardsharing is the most cost effective way of subscribing to the pay TV channels which divides the subscription cost among multiple users who basically pay for sharing the subscription. However, the technology is also widely used for plagiarizing the decryption of pay channels which is not in favour of the service providers. These illegal users attach multiple legitimate cards to their server for a small subscription fee from the receivers, thus, making Cardsharing an illegal practice.