Over the past half dozen years a new genre of secure audio/video transmission equipment based on the application of encryption technology has developed. The use of encryption has been made possible by advances in technology in several areas. Developments in semiconductors and microprocessors and the evolution of low cost digital communications and processing techniques has been married to newer industry trends such as addressability, satellite television broadcasting, and pay-per-view, which demand enhanced security. This paper will discuss some of the fundamental aspects of how encryption technology can be used to secure program delivery, why cryptographic methods are different from traditional scrambling techniques, and how their proper application offers long term solutions where other approaches fail. We will then test these arguments by looking at how products featuring encryption-based approaches to security are doing in the marketplace.