Technology

Uncertainty looms over 30 June deadline for cable TV digitisation

MUMBAI: Uncertainty looms large over India‘s first target of cable TV digitisation in the four metros by 30 June.


The Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (Trai) is yet to come out with its tariff policy and rules for digital addressable systems (DAS). This is unlikely to happen next week as well with the Supreme Court asking Trai to wait for due turn to hear the sector regulator‘s plea on the tariff order for DAS.


Trai had approached the Supreme Court to permit it to fix the tariff rates as it is constrained by an interim order by the apex court that has allowed broadcasters to charge 42 per cent of their cable rates from DTH and other digital addressable service providers (Trai had fixed 35 per cent).


"It looks like the deadline of 30 June for the complete switchover from analogue to digital in the four metros will get delayed by a few months. There is no urgency on the part of Trai to come out with a policy framework for DAS. The industry needs time to get everything in order for the digital switchover to happen smoothly and effectively," said the head of a leading MSO on condition of anonymity.


The various stakeholders of the broadcast industry are awaiting Trai‘s order before they can stitch commercial deals with their partners to roll out digital addressable cable. The multi-system operators (MSOs) and last mile operators have to conclude revenue share arrangements. Broadcasters will also have to get into agreements with the MSOs on pricing of their content. Other contentious issues like basic tier need to guided by a policy framework.


The government, however, has stated clearly that there would be no delay. Information & Broadcasting Secretary Uday Varma has publicly stated that the 30 June deadline for digitisation in the four metros "is sacrosanct".


"Nobody knows whether that 30 June deadline is sacred anymore. The government has stayed firm but the industry needs time to work upon it. This can only happen after the rules are laid down by the sector regulator," said the head of a television channel distribution company.


The digitisation in the four metros would require a deployment of around 10 million set-top boxes (STBs) and huge investments.


"The companies will have to go to their respective boards and draw up a business plan. They will have to know their cash flows as it would require huge investments. Adequate time should be given for a proper rollout," said a senior executive who leads operations of a distribution platform.


The remark by Firhad Hakim ‘Bobby‘, the Urban Development Minister who is said to be close to Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee, has lent uncertainty to the mood for cable TV digitisation in Kolkata. "We were not consulted on this issue. If Trai or other agencies had discussed it with erstwhile CPM government, we are not responsible for that," the minister had said.


"Other political leaders have not opposed the deadline for cable TV digitisation yet. So we don‘t know how the remark by a lone minister would influence the deadline. The more important thing is that the rules have not yet come from Trai. We have to be careful that the digitisation is properly implemented this time. People shouldn‘t lose their confidence on digitisation because of faulty implementation," said the CEO of a MSO who did not want his name to be revealed.

Latest Reads

http://www.indiantelevision.com/sites/drupal7.indiantelevision.co.in/files/styles/340x340/public/images/tv-images/2017/12/06/Navanit-Samaiyar_0.jpg?itok=fQLjKjss
HAL Robotics ropes in Navanit Samaiyar as board member and advisor

MUMBAI: HAL Robotics has roped in Navanit Samaiyar as its board member and advisor. Samaiyar has a record of setting up, scaling and transforming businesses across a very wide cross section of industries spanning from IT/ ITeS to steel, telecom, engineering goods, earthmoving machinery, logistics...

Technology Hardware Components
http://www.indiantelevision.com/sites/drupal7.indiantelevision.co.in/files/styles/340x340/public/images/tv-images/2017/11/07/Arnab-Goswami.jpg?itok=VUCIzU8A
Republic TV launches Android app

MUMBAI: Republic TV is on a roll. From rocking the ratings chart in launch week itself to going international, the channel has added one more accomplishment to its kitty. The Republic TV Android app is now live.

Technology Software Applications
http://www.indiantelevision.com/sites/drupal7.indiantelevision.co.in/files/styles/340x340/public/images/tv-images/2017/10/11/STB.jpg?itok=WsiaUBr8
STB cos in India, China enhancing features, providing customised solutions, Technavio enlists top vendors

MUMBAI: The global STB market is characterised by intense competition as the market is saturated in developed countries. The market share of these players is declining because of the entry of new players. The STB companies are enhancing the features of STBs and providing customised solutions to...

Technology Hardware Set-top Boxes
http://www.indiantelevision.com/sites/drupal7.indiantelevision.co.in/files/styles/340x340/public/images/tv-images/2017/10/09/PFT.jpg?itok=VJugic3c
India's PFT Clear Media ERP suite to help US' PBS content delivery

MUMBAI: Prime Focus Technologies (PFT), the technology arm of Prime Focus, announced that its CLEAR™ Media ERP Suite has been selected by Public Broadcasting Service (PBS) to enhance their Network Operations Center (NOC) ecosystem efficiencies and sustainability, with the objective of reducing...

Technology Software Applications
http://www.indiantelevision.com/sites/drupal7.indiantelevision.co.in/files/styles/340x340/public/images/tv-images/2017/10/09/JosephSiino.jpg?itok=doyka7Tg
Broadcasters, OTTs to gain as Via adds xHE-AAC at special rate

MUMBAI: Via Licensing Corporation, a intellectual property solutions provider, has announced the upcoming availability of Extended High Efficiency AAC (xHE-AAC) as part of the Advanced Audio Coding (AAC) patent pool. The expanded patent pool licence will be available at no additional cost to...

Technology Software Applications
http://www.indiantelevision.com/sites/drupal7.indiantelevision.co.in/files/styles/340x340/public/images/tv-images/2017/10/06/Brian_Morris-Colin_Smith.jpg?itok=xVBB0KbV
Tata Comm to deliver Motorsport videos on global devices

MUMBAI: Tata Communications will now deliver video content for Motorsport.tv viewers' all devices over its global network. The two have partnered to power the growth of the network’s internet television platforms.

Technology Software Applications
http://www.indiantelevision.com/sites/drupal7.indiantelevision.co.in/files/styles/340x340/public/images/tv-images/2017/10/06/ChyronHego_0.jpg?itok=qWRkJ4jh
How to create live video content sans pros, convert radio broadcast into visual show

MUMBAI: ChyronHego will be showcasing its live production, automation solutions at Broadcast India show in Mumbai in mid-October.

Technology Software Applications
http://www.indiantelevision.com/sites/drupal7.indiantelevision.co.in/files/styles/340x340/public/images/tv-images/2017/10/03/Arvin%20patel%20tivo.jpg?itok=Ieo7eXfw
Sony renews IP licence deal with TiVo

MUMBAI: TiVo Corporation, a leader in entertainment technology and audience insights, has announced that Sony Corporation, a leader in consumer electronics, has renewed its multi-year intellectual property (IP) licence agreement. The license to TiVo’s patent portfolios covers all of Sony’s...

Technology Software Applications
http://www.indiantelevision.com/sites/drupal7.indiantelevision.co.in/files/styles/340x340/public/images/tv-images/2017/09/30/cable-wire.jpg?itok=vJM4lI00
Digital TV, growing telecom major drivers of coaxial cable growth in A-Pac: Study

MUMBAI: The global coaxial cables market is mature owing to the use of coaxial cables in industries for a long time and the slow or stagnant product innovation.

Technology Hardware Components

Latest News

Load More

Sign up for our Newsletter

subscribe for latest stories