UBI World TV
|This article does not cite any references or sources. (November 2012)|
|Area served||Australia and New Zealand|
|Products||Direct broadcast satellite, Pay television, Pay-per-view|
|Owners||United Broadcasting International Pty Ltd|
UBI World TV was an Australian digital satellite pay television service that broadcast predominantly ethnic-minority (and mainly non-English-language) channels. It was launched in late 2004 and closed on Friday 8 June 2012. It offered over 80 channels in its lineup with programming from over 20 countries and in more than 12 languages.
The company also provided entertainment and information services to non-English speakers throughout Australia and New Zealand. It specialised in providing Australian nationals with many different ethnic backgrounds, race, culture, ancestry and/or descent with TV channels from their native or respective homeland, showing news, current affairs, sports, drama series, movies and general entertainment in their own language as a multi-cultural service provider.
UBI World TV broadcast TV and radio channels to Australia and New Zealand using the Optus D2 and Intelsat 8 (IS8) satellites.
On Wednesday 13 June at approximately 7.00 PM Sydney time, UBI World TV changed its website to inform its customers that it has ceased to trade. The website announcement read as follows:
On 17 May 2012, BRI Ferrier was appointed Voluntary Administrator of United Broadcasting International Pty Ltd (UBI).
On 1 June 2012, Receivers and Managers from Grant Thornton were appointed to United Broadcasting International Pty Ltd.
With effect from 5:00pm on Friday 8 June 2012, United Broadcasting International Pty Ltd ceased to trade.
The Receivers and managers are engaged in efforts to dispose of UBI assets that may result in the provision of future channel and broadcast services to subscribers.
Subscribers who have paid subscriptions in advance and are no longer receiving transmissions together with unsecured creditors should contact the Voluntary Administrator and lodge a proof of debt.
UBI World TV has been proud to have served the multicultural communities of Australia and New Zealand for the past 7 years and would like to thank each and every loyal subscriber for their support.
Thank you and goodbye. Salamat at paalam. Gracias y adios. Hoscakalin. Shukran we ma3 elsalama. Ви благодарам и збогум. Hvala i prijatno. Obrigado e adeus. Σας ευχαριστώ και αντίο.
Mass piracy of the service
In late 2008, UBI introduced the new Irdeto Epsilon card part of its encryption process. This new card was considered secure at the time, and most importantly could not be used in sharing servers due to its "Surf Lock" countermeasure. By mid-2009, pirates had found a way to bypass this countermeasure and began offering some of the UBI channels on their pirate sharing servers for a cheap yearly fee. Because those sharing servers required the customer to have an internet connection and a satellite dish simultaneously, the pirate service was later reduced to a few channels as there was little interest, owing to UBI's audience being mostly elderly and without access to the internet at home.
In December 2010, a team of worldwide hackers introduced the Dragon Card. The card was available in three flavours, Yellow (for ME and AFRICA), Blue (Europe) and the RED (Australia). The Red Dragon Card or RDC was used to pirate Austar, Mysat, TVB, UBI and all the Globecast clients. However as there was a shortage for the Dragon Cards in Australia, hackers in Australia decided to hack the RDC. They converted it to software that runs in the famous Dreambox Satellite Receiver (dm500). The result was the EMUBOX 500 aka the OFFLINE BOX. This very cheap box (circa A$40), now equipped with the RDC codes, was able to decode most Australian services without an internet connection or a SmartCard: just "plug and watch".
EMUBOX 500 hit the piracy market in late 2011, and was sold in satellite shops for around A$75. By mid-2012 an estimated 50,000 boxes had been sold, mainly in Sydney and Melbourne, leaving satellite shops with no stock.
At the current stage, sales have dropped for the operators and for the pirate servers. One pirate server operator asked a hacker to extract the codes used in emubox and sucssesfully sent the codes to Irdeto, resulting in the death of all codes. Strangely, UBI codes remained active until the collapse of the company. One hacker explained that Irdeto, in order to kill a code, need to roll the keys otherwise known as Group Keys. This normally occurs every fortnight, and it is not a free service.
UBI World TV offered programming that catered to several of the following ethnicities:
- English (Qatar, United Kingdom, France, USA, Canada)
- Arabic (Egypt, Bahrain, Iraq, Lebanon, Saudi Arabia, Syria and UAE)
- Balkan (Bosnia-Herzegovina, Bulgaria, Macedonia and Serbia)
- Greek (Greece)
- Persian (Iran and USA)
- Portuguese (Portugal and Brazil)
- Spanish (Spain, Argentina, Mexico, Venezuela, Chile, Colombia, Ecuador, Uruguay, Paraguay and Cuba)
- Tagalog (Philippines)
- Turkish (Turkey)
- Community & Free-To-Air Channels (Australia, Greece, Italy, Egypt and Serbia)
- Official website (English)