Eutelsat's Vivanco advocates push for DTH

MUMBAI: "The window of opportunity is getting smaller as new technologies offer alternatives." That was the warning sounded by Eutelsat's regional director for Middle East and Asia Jan Grondrup Vivanco regarding the legislative hurdles in the way of DTH broadcast in India.

When DTH comes in channel reach will increase in rural areas which would result in increase in advertising revenue for broadcasters. The cable operator would be able to offer the consumer freedom of choice instead of being tied to a Star or Zee, Vivanco said.

Speaking yesterday at the opening day of the Broadcasting India 2002 symposium, at south Mumbai's Chavan Centre, Vivanco pointed out that Ku Band was a mature technology in Europe. It makes the industry transparent, he said. And citing the European example, Vivanco said that initial doubts that included interference in the transmission have proved unfounded.

As far as the implementation of Conditional Access System in India was concerned Vivanco was of the view that the open architecture on the set top box was good.

Vivanco spoke of the possibility of DTH coming in through the backdoor if impediments to its rollout continued. Again citing the European experience, he said Open Sky, a broadband delivery solution allowed for one Megabyte downloads by satellite onto the dish antenna. Consumer DVB IP cards and DVB USB Boxes are all that were needed.

Open Sky has a multicast facility which he referred to as 'push package delivery'. Video files can be updated for select end users. It also facilitates video streaming smoothly. CNN is one of 20 channels streamed by the satellite operator. A content distribution network can be created. The Open Sky platform has a Digital Rights Management System as well as a billing system. This makes the broadcasters' task that much simpler. He said that the opportunity in India existed as consumers have shown interest, the local content is excellent and technology is available. But it is important for the government and media parties get their act together so that activity could be initiated through the front door.

Eutelsat to launch W5 Eastern Bird satellite next month Vivanco also said that Eutelsat was planning to launch the W5 Eastern Bird satellite next month on Ku band. It will offer a widebeam footprint for Asia, the Middle East and Europe, a Steerable Spotbeam North for Far East Coverage and Steerable Spotbeam South for South East Asia, he said. This will greatly facilitate communication between Europe and Asia. The satellite will be operational by January, 2003.

The company has applied for landing rights permission from the government, the Financial Express reported.

"We are in the process of getting landing rights for W5. We envisage a large market in India and are targeting channels in the news, regional languages and entertainment genres," Vivanco, was quoted as saying in the report.

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