Interoperability of STBs for DTH still a distant dream

NEW DELHI: None of the six private direct-to-home operators are providing interoperable set top boxes, despite license conditions at Articles 7.1 and 7.2 of the Guidelines are clear that these should be based on open architecture (non-proprietory).

Information and Broadcasting Ministry sources said that the Guidelines wanted inter-operability to ensure technical compatibility and effective interoperability among different DTH service providers and conformity to the specifications as laid down by the Government from time to time.

The STBs were not interoperable because all the DTH operators were using different technologies and standards for signal compression and transmission.

The sources told the Guidelines were also clear that the licensee shall ensure the subscriber‘s interests through a Conditional Access System which is compatible with an open architecture STB.

In its ‘DTH Broadcasting Services (Standard of Quality of Service and Redressal of Grievances) Regulations, the Telecom Regulatory Authority of India also mandated the DTH operators to offer the three options - outright purchase, hire purchase, or rental schemes - for their Customer Premise Equipments (CPE). These Guidelines also provide for exit options in case the subscriber intends to opt for the services of the other DTH operator.

All the six private DTH operators have informed Trai that they are offering all the three options to their subscribers.

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