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Rupert Murdoch's NDS to set up R&D facility in Bangalore

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Rupert Murdoch's News Corp group is making a further thrust into India. The group's digital pay TV solutions and conditional access systems company NDS (www.nds.com) is setting up research and development centre in India's software capital Bangalore.

The NDS Bangalore based R&D center will focus on developing interactive TV applications and broadband technologies, and will be an additional resource for the NDS R&D centers worldwide. The group will initially consist of around 30 highly qualified engineers, who will report to Dr Jasjit Saini, vice president consumer devices, NDS Group.

Says Saini: "These new research facilities will expand our intellectual capital with the aim of increasing innovations in digital broadcasting and growing our portfolio of offerings for the large Indian marketplace."

NDS is currently recruiting on a local and national basis. Although it will be operational by the end of the year, the official inauguration of the center is expected to take place during the first quarter of 2001 when it will be co-located with News Corporation's New Media Group offices. A press release from NDS points out that all NDS research centers work together on projects and share competencies. Thus the Bangalore R&D center has the potential to reach the 20 million pay TV subscribers worldwide, dependent on NDS technology for their TV viewing.

NDS recently pocketed a contract to become the exclusive supplier of digital conditional access to Doordarshan, the Indian national television network. This will create a platform for DD's next generation of digital entertainment and interactive TV services.

Encrypted at DD's broadcast center in New Delhi, the signal is sent to set top boxes in over 6,000 cable headends. The first digital encryption of a DD broadcast signal was its sports channel which went live on 14 September 2000.

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