Super X CAM, Premium X CAM. A new module doesn’t mean to be a better one

Nowadays a great deal of CI modules are offered at the market for sat TV amateurs. It is very difficult for ordinary people to choose what they really need. Not long ago X CAM modules were issued at the market for sale (photo 1). These modules were similar to Matrix modules in Card Services and in their characteristics (photo 2).

X CAM module Matrix module
photo 1 photo 2

"The opinions separated": some people hastily searched for new X CAM modules, the others persuaded everybody that it was to no purpose. But this is the market. The result didn’t keep us waiting long: the new software for X CAM modules started to be released regularly. And what Matrix couldn’t open X CAM managed to open easily.

Not long ago new X CAM clones have appeared at the market. They are Super X CAM modules (photo 3) and Premium X CAM modules (photo 4). There is a bright glossy attractive label on the modules. But in reality they are only a little changed X CAM modules. Even the labels on reverse side remains the same (photo 5). As to the bar code it also remains the same and on the top of everything it can’t be read by bar code scanner because it is printed incorrectly. But it hasn’t any influence on review of coded channels.

Super X CAM module Premium X CAM Module
photo 3 photo 4

Let's look what these modules are inside (photo 6). From left to right there are X CAM Rev 1.02, X CAM Rev 1.04 and Premium X CAM module Rev 1.05. The last module has the same hardware as Super X CAM.

On the whole the modules are similar to each other.

Labels on the reverse side of  Super X CAM and Premium X CAM modules X CAM rev 1.02, X CAM rev 1.04, Premium X CAM
photo 5 photo 6

In the X CAM module version rev. 1.02 (photo 7) one can notice the chip of smart-card interface TDA8002. The same chip is in Matrix modules. The soldered resistor points to the mistakes when separating the chip.

In the X CAM module version rev.1.03 (photo 8) the chip of smart-card interface is already absent. It was replaced by program. The mounting mistakes appears in quite another place.

The chip of smart card interface in the X CAM module rev 1.02. X CAM module rev 1.03. the chip of smart-card interface is absent
photo 7 photo 8

In the X CAM module version rev 1.04 (photo 9) there are no any mounting mistakes.

X CAM module rev. 1.04. X CAM module rev 1.05. Module X CAM rev 1.05. a small chip with 6 pins
photo 9 photo 10 photo 11

In Premium X CAM and Super X CAM modules version rev 1.05 is already used. In version X CAM module rev 1.05 (photo10) a slight modification was made: a small cheap with 6 pins appeared. (photo 11).

This is a Dallas DS2430 EEPROM memory for 256 bits with built in 64 bits unique number that is programmed hard on the factory. Why is it situated in the module if its memory size is very small? According to a widespread advertising of these modules (built in subscription for the channels Xdream, FullX, Free XTV, Back room, the last even is not broadcasted more) the idea of producers and programmers of this module becomes clear.

The first supposition:

EEPROM memory must keep Keys for these channels. It is possible that fixed 8 bytes number gives to module some uniqueness. Hoping that the encryption system is really hacked, during refreshing software support for these modules a new key should be bound by serial number of module.

The second supposition:

It is quite easy to make minimum changes in the module construction in order it will be impossible to put a new software in plain X CAM modules. The changes are small but the profit from sales is great.

But all this seems to be only ideas as the owners of mentioned above channels changed the keys or something else. It doesn’t matter now. As a result newly-made modules were cut out and now they work as their younger brothers. Sellers of such modules are also not happy because they have to advertise them in order to sell them. Besides, such chip costs only 3$ plus minimal hardware changes. But the price difference between X CAM and Super X CAM is much more than 50$. It is necessary to make the following conclusion: you shouldn’t give way to panic, you should consider all thoroughly and only after it make pleasant purchases.

The review was made by: Kirill Sevitskiy

You can also read the following articles in English:

  1. 29/10/2004 The "intellectual" system of cooling Dreambox 7000 S satellite receivers.
  2. 11/11/2004 Thunderstorm - this is very serious!
  3. 16/12/2004 Installation of cooling system in sat receiver Samsung DSR 9500.
  4. 17/12/2004 Dreambox error UC0.
  5. 22/12/2004 Doesn’t work Dreambox remote control unit?


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