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The Common Interface (CI)is the slot on a digital television receiver into which a conditional access module (CAM) may be inserted for satellite television. Receivers normally have two common interfaces. A receiver with a common interface allows the user to access encrypted television broadcasts as opposed to free-to-air (FTA) channels.
CI also allows you to type the keys in through the Viaccess option, so without buying a subscription card, you can receive the encrypted channels by registering the keys in your receiver.