You'd think they'd be more on it with collections, especially given the 'gold card' issue
Although the rampant piracy is well documented, what does seem to be less documented is that they had actually beaten a lot of casual piracy by the end. The decryption keys on the cards were changed every couple of months or so, which knocked out gold cards as they wouldn't pick them up over the air, but a major weakness with the hardware design was that the conditional access PIN to limit things like OnRequest purchases and implement channel blocking was stored directly on the viewing card. Thus when you changed the PIN on the box you were effectively reprogramming the viewing card directly from the box's interface.
This was quickly picked up on by the hackers and so on the most common type of gold card new keys could be programmed into the card through the PIN change feature, once they changed the new ones quickly circulated on the internet and the dead card could be reactivated by changing the PIN to specific numbers in sequence. Once the sequence was complete the card reactivated and would be good to go again. No new card needed and no special hardware needed. This is what made the piracy such a problem.
By 2002 however they'd implemented some sort of ECM which permanently knocked most of these cards out. Piracy was of course still a big problem but in order to pirate the system then you'd either need to be a sophisticated hacker who had the hardware to reprogram the cards when they were knocked out, or be a more committed pirate who was willing to buy new cards continually. The days of being able to buy a gold card from a dodgy website for £12 and have it work for years were gone, but I think it was too late by then.
Also, ITV Digital planned to upgrade the encryption system on its pay channels, and the software on its boxes to divert it toward from OnDigital to ITVD. Both of those measures never happened thanks to the company collapsing.
With all of the factors and implications brought onto this thread in regards to ITV Digital, it's safe to say that it was a truly botched disaster. The digital TV landscape would have been far too different if ITV Digital survived.
‘Kept you waiting, huh?’- Solid Snake