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top box without smart card to see free to air channelEdit

can i use the set top box without smart card to see free to air channel

Yes. But several free channels (such as Channel 4 and Five on Sky Digital) are "free to view" not "free to air" meaning you still need to decrypt them and therefore need a smart card.


I'm glad to have found this article... I was recently trying to get my head around which CAM I need to watch Sky digital programs, and emailed the shop which I would probably be buying from asking which CAM would be suitable.

Their response was that the only CAM which works with Sky is one called the "T-Rex", which also happens to be the most expensive CAM they sell.

Can someone please explain what is the difference between "Dragon / T-Rex with loader", "Dragon 4.1 with programmer" "T-Rex / Dragon CAM" and "T-Rex CAM with programmer"? I can't find anything explaining what a loader/programmer is (presumably for installing software on the CAM, but what's the difference?)

If someone knowledgeable could expand on this wiki entry to explain how CAMs work, and which bits a newbie like me would need just to receive Sky, I'm sure it would be useful to many people.

Thankyou 07:50, 17 May 2006 (UTC)

Theres a far cheaper way to watch Sky Digital, its a Sky Digibox... And you -need- one to use a CAM on a VideoGuard card because you need a box serial number and also need the actual box to do card updates. I'd recommend you ask somewhere like Alsat (google for it) about whats the difference, if any, between those packages; and adding information like that to this article would be unwise as the way a normal, every day CAM works is "put CAM in CI slot, put card in CAM"; only dodgy or actually illegal activities involve loaders, etc. --Kiand 09:15, 17 May 2006 (UTC)
  • Like the previous answer, I suggest you go to the forums at
  • a Dragon is a cam
  • a T-Rex is what they call the Dragon cam now
  • 4.1 is the version that the cam has been upgraded to
  • a loader is a card that goes into the cam to upgrade it
  • a programmer puts the upgrade onto the loader card

PalX 13:33, 30 November 2006 (UTC)

Recording Satellite TVEdit

You can record TV to your computer without the expense of a CAM or a SKY+ subscription. I use a product called Dazzle made by Pinnacle systems. (There may be other hardware manufacturers I am not aware of) If you have a dual or quad LNB you might consider buying a second-hand digibox solely for recording. This is useful for people outside the UK who are unable to subscribe to Sky+.

Merge with Conditional Access article?Edit

I think there is overlap in the information here with the existing conditional access article at: Perhaps this article should be merged with that one? Nick Garnett 16:05, 18 July 2011 (UTC) — Preceding unsigned comment added by Nickgarnett (talkcontribs)

Return to "Conditional-access module" page.