Hundreds of illegal set-top boxes seized by StarHub

Hundreds of illegal set-top boxes seized by StarHub

Hundreds of illegal cable TV set-top boxes were seized by StarHub in a raid earlier this week, two weeks after SingTel complained about unauthorised access to its English Premier League (EPL) broadcasts.

On Friday, StarHub announced that it uncovered the bootleg set-top boxes at a storage facility in an unnamed location here. It also said the raid was not in response to SingTel's complaints.

These boxes can decode StarHub's signals sent to homes through a round, angled cable TV point, allowing users to view all its 100-plus channels without paying for them.

Bootleg cable TV set-top boxes became an issue for SingTel as its EPL content, available since Aug 17, is also carried on StarHub's platform as required under the Media Development Authority's cross-carriage rule.

Earlier this month, SingTel urged StarHub to upgrade to a more secure system of signal transmission to prevent the unauthorised access to the EPL content.

In a statement on Friday, StarHub said that its raid came about after it had tracked a syndicate that was distributing fliers for the sale of illegal set-top boxes for months this year.

"StarHub takes a very serious view of content piracy and the sale of illegal boxes," said Ms Jeannie Ong, StarHub's chief marketing officer. "Consumers who purchase these decoders are doing so at their own risk," she added.

Under the Broadcasting Act, buyers and sellers of these bootleg boxes can be fined up to $40,000 and jailed for up to three years. To combat illegal access, StarHub started upgrading the encryption standards for its content at the end of last year.

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