Television

Many issues covered, little by way of solutions at CETMA seminar on CAS

http://www.indiantelevision.com/sites/drupal7.indiantelevision.co.in/files/styles/smartcrop_800x800/public/images/tv-images/2016/05/02/Untitled-1_0.jpg?itok=6QAQ5Bkg

Do the amendments being sought in the Cable TV (Networks) regulation Act, 1995 address the issue of subscriber management system? Will there be a penalty for under-declaration of subscriber base by cable operators? Who will invest in the upgradation of head-ends when conditional access is implemented? What should be the business model in a post-CAS era? What should be the ideal technical specifications - open architecture or proprietary technology?

There were more questions and concerns than answers and solutions. That, in a nutshell, was the outcome of a seminar on conditional access systems (CAS) and pay TV channels that had been organised by the Consumer Electronics & TV Manufacturers' Association (CETMA) in Delhi today.

After the seminar, a chief executive of a joint venture cable distribution company admitted in private that "too may issues and concerns were voiced with almost no solutions offered."

If Shantanu Aditya, head of Sony Entertainment TV Discovery Pvt Ltd, a cable distribution company, felt that the amendments which have been proposed in the Cable TV (Networks) regulation Act, 1995, would not help India leapfrog where technology is concerned and also does not address the issue of under-reporting by cable operators, Vikki Choudhry, an independent cable operator in Delhi was of the opinion that the broadcasters, most of the time, do not take into account the problems of cable operators which include financial ones too. "In such a scenario, CAS is a good thing for the whole industry as it will bring about some transparency," he added.

However, the three major concerns, which CETMA will apprise the government of after collating facts from the seminar, amongst others, are the following:

1. The cost factor: higher duties on set top boxes (STBs) which at present total up to about 58.6 per cent, must be reduced drastically. According to Rajeev Karwal, senior vice-president (consumer electronics) of Philips India Ltd, "If the government really wishes to popularise CAS through STBs, then the various duties on STBs need to be reduced."

2. Safeguard against unauthorised re-distribution of pay channels after CAS is implemented. Explained Sanjiv Kainth, general manager, digital products, Thomson Multimedia India Pvt. Ltd: "The government has to ensure that after CAS is implemented, nobody illegally redistributes pay channels. This is very important as it will defeat the whole purpose of CAS."

3. The analog vs digital STB issue: With confusion prevailing in the Indian market whether India should go in for anlaog or digital STBs, Thomson's Kainth said that various lobbies be damned as market forces, based on economic factors of the region serviced by cable operators will decide whether it will be analog or digital STBs. "As I see it, in all probability, it will be a mix of both with cable operators servicing more affluent areas having the option to go in for digital STBs," he added. But differing with Kainth on this issue was Aditya who felt that analog STBs would be a "step backward."

K. Jayaraman, managing director of Hathaway & Datacom Cable, felt that CAS may address the issue of piracy which results in loss of revenue for everybody, but added that some pilot projects undertaken by his company has shown that digital STBs don't seem to work very well in India.

But it was Thomson's Kainth, airing CETMA's overall view, who came out with a splendid presentation on CAS and pay channels which covered the whole gamut of issues from investments to the business models to the technical specifications. 

According to Kainth, investment between Rs 25 million to Rs 100 million would be needed in a headend that is distributing 40-odd digital channels and "ultimately it would be the cable operator who owns the subscriber and the subscribers themselves who will have to bear a major share of the investment pie." A point of view also voiced by Dayanidhi Maran, chief executive of the Sun-owned Sumangali Cable Vision cable distribution company.

Sunil Khanna, chief executive of Zee Turner Pvt. Ltd, referred to the idea of "headend in the sky" which will drastically reduce the cost of physical implementation of CAS throughout the country in various phases. 

Head in the sky concept involves forming a platform of broadcasters who uplink from a common place where all the signals are encrypted after the various channel signals are passed through a box and then uplinked again in that format. The cable operator then downlinks the encrypted bunch of signals, mixes the free to air channels and re-distributes to consumers according to their needs. 

But, countered, a senior executive from a hardware manufacturing firm, headend-in-the-sky concept sounds very good theoretically, but will remain a fantasy as in this case the broadcasters have to decide first to come together which looks a remote possibility.

Then, of course, consumer activist and columnist Pushpa Girimaji, presenting the consumers' viewpoint said that CAS is fine but the way everything has been framed it seems to limit the consumer's options rather make it flexible.

"The Bill on CAS takes away the people's right of choice and gives the power to the government to decide what they should see. It curtails consumers choice and nobody should decide how many channels people should see (or not see)," Girimaji said while referring to the CAS and the basic tier of free to air channels being proposed by the government. 

Latest Reads

http://www.indiantelevision.com/sites/drupal7.indiantelevision.co.in/files/styles/340x340/public/images/tv-images/2017/05/29/dhoni.jpg?itok=rI3xfkSP
Star launches Tamil sports channel, localisation features Ashwin, Dhoni, TNPL & Chennaiyin stars

Star Sports has added another channel in its sports cluster and entered the Tamil market with Star Sports - Tamil. The channel went live on 28 May.

Television TV Channels Sports
http://www.indiantelevision.com/sites/drupal7.indiantelevision.co.in/files/styles/340x340/public/images/tv-images/2017/05/29/rrrrrr.jpg?itok=sOh8JJax
Star India reimagines sports business

Star India reimagines sports business

Television TV Channels Sports
http://www.indiantelevision.com/sites/drupal7.indiantelevision.co.in/files/styles/340x340/public/images/tv-images/2017/05/29/arnab.jpg?itok=a5H8ZYOV
Times Now gives its POV on Republic TV IPR case

Now, it’s the turn of Bennet Coleman & Co to give its perspective on the civil case it has filed in the Delhi High Court against ARG Outlier Media, the company that runs Republic TV.

Television TV Channels News Broadcasting
http://www.indiantelevision.com/sites/drupal7.indiantelevision.co.in/files/styles/340x340/public/images/tv-images/2017/05/29/bhaubali.jpg?itok=JdvMWerO
Colors to air animated series 'Baahubali: The Lost Legends'

Colors has announced the acquisition of the broadcast satellite rights to the animated series spin-off called, Baahubali: The Lost Legends.

Television TV Channels GECs
http://www.indiantelevision.com/sites/drupal7.indiantelevision.co.in/files/styles/340x340/public/images/tv-images/2017/05/29/Sun-Tv.jpg?itok=tl1b2slc
Sun TV regains top spot across genres as IPL 10 comes to a close

BENGALURU: As IPL 10 came to a close, the Sun TV Networks' Tamil flagship GEC Sun TV regained its top spot in Broadcast Audience Research Council of India (BARC) weekly list of top 10 channels across genre: All India (U+R): 2+ Individuals in week 20 Saturday, 13 May 2017 to Friday, 19 May 2017.

Television TV Channels GECs
http://www.indiantelevision.com/sites/drupal7.indiantelevision.co.in/files/styles/340x340/public/images/tv-images/2017/05/27/nadiu.jpg?itok=RyA5CSpc
DD committed to truthful information & wholesome entertainment: Naidu

Information and Broadcasting Minister M Venkaiah Naidu today said yjr Government planned to enhance the reach of Doordarshan FreeDish by distributing Free DD direct-to-home boxes in remote and interior areas of the country through State Governments, especially in the LWE impacted areas.

Television TV Channels Terrestrial
http://www.indiantelevision.com/sites/drupal7.indiantelevision.co.in/files/styles/340x340/public/images/tv-images/2017/05/27/V-naidu.jpg?itok=ETtaGQq9
National sports meet to see participation of government and sports persons

NEW DELHI: A day-long Conclave is to inaugurated by Information and Broadcasting Minister M Venkaiah Naidu tomorrow (28 May 2017) to discuss ways in which India can become a sports superpower. Organised by Doordarshan Sports, the meet being held at the Central Production Centre of Doordarshan in...

Television TV Channels Sports
http://www.indiantelevision.com/sites/drupal7.indiantelevision.co.in/files/styles/340x340/public/images/tv-images/2017/05/27/Sun%20Tv-Story.jpg?itok=vogrMKBD
Sun TV fiscal 2017 numbers grow

BENGALURU: Sun TV Network Limited (Sun TV) reported improved numbers across all important parameters for the year ended 31 March 2017 (FY-17, current year, fiscal) as compared to the previous year (FY-16). Sun TV reported 8.1 percent higher consolidated total income in the current year at Rs 27,...

Television TV Channels News Broadcasting
http://www.indiantelevision.com/sites/drupal7.indiantelevision.co.in/files/styles/340x340/public/images/tv-images/2017/05/27/Untitled-1.jpg?itok=8pFkg8Sb
Shashi Tharoor files defamation case against Arnab Goswami's Republic

NEW DELHI:On Friday, the Delhi High Court gave some relief to Republic TV’s Arnab Goswami in a case of IPR theft filed by Times of India group, but was petitioned by Congress leader and Thiruvanthapuram MP Shashi Tharoor who filed a defamation case against Goswami and his Republic. Tharoor in the...

Television TV Channels News Broadcasting

Latest News

Load More

Sign up for our Newsletter

subscribe for latest stories