Cable TV

ABS Seven Star to launch MPEG 4 headend; targets phase III, IV cities

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MUMBAI: ABS Seven Star is all set to make its next big move. The Mumbai based multi system operator (MSO), which so far had been operating MPEG 2 headend, will now launch its MPEG 4 headend with as many as 500 channels.

While it is currently in the testing phase, the official launch is slated for 25 July.

The new headend will be placed at Andheri West in Mumbai. “We have taken a new premise for setting up the MPEG 4 headend,” ABS Seven Star CMD Atul Saraf tells Indiantelevision.com.

The MPEG 4 headend will have 75 high definition (HD) channels. “We will be swapping the MPEG 2 set top boxes (STBs) with the MPEG 4 HD boxes in the next four months,” added Saraf.

Priced at Rs 2500, the STBs are hybrid with both cable and Ethernet. The boxes have been manufactured under ABS Productions Pvt Ltd, which has contracted Videocon Group’s Trend Electronics to manufacture them at its Aurangabad plant. “The box is on Broadcom chipset,” informed Saraf.

The company has already tested 2000 boxes on its network. “We will continue our old MPEG 2 headend till all the boxes are swapped,” he said.

With this launch, the MSO is now targeting phase III and IV cities of digitisation. “At the time of launch, we will be present in at least three-four states,” he informed.

ABS Seven Star is aiming at reaching 10 million households in the next two years. “India is huge, and another 17 million STBs are needed to digitize the whole country. We will have our own pipe in that,” he informed.

In order to expand, the MSO is also taking the acquisition route in phase I. “We will acquire lots of networks in phase I, talks for which are already on,” concluded Saraf. 

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