Specifications for Indian STBs elaborated upon at SCaT

MUMBAI: One of the sessions at the ScaT workshop in Mumbai dealt with Bureau of Indian Standards (BIS) Specifications for Set Top boxes. Col V C Khare, a member of the BIS Committee for Set Top boxes dealt with the issue.


" In the context of the CAS amendment Act, a set top box is required to decrypt content from the pay channels while also delivering the FTA content which is to be bypassed through its circuits." 

The committee, Khare said, had to set standards for set top boxes. "We faced many challenges. One was that no country has formulated any standard for the set top box. CATV service delivery networks in India are apathetic towards hardware selection, deployment, conformity and service quality. Also, encryption is neither standardised nor uniform. The device had to be user friendly as well as responsive to SMS. We also had to ensure that the standards did not favour a particular manufacturer or technique. Also, the input level threshold had to be determined to decide on output levels to drive the television receiver of the viewer."

The requirements for an Indian STB include:

1. Input signal levels to correspond to accepted levels for TV receivers i.e. 60dBpV for analogue and 47dBuv.

2. Carrier to noise 44 dB is minimum

3. Rception by STB to conform to IS 13420 for downstream and IS 14231 for upstream.

4. Manufacturer/ service provider has to specify CAS

5. In view of uni-directionality of CATV networks there must be a provision for SMART cards.

6. There must be total flexibility of any SMS which could communicate encryption logic to decryption circuit of STB

7. Connectors have to match networks and viewers TV receivers in India.

8. It must be able to operate in areas suffering from low voltage like Bihar and the North East.

9. A built in device must exist which can detect a pirated pay TV signal

He concluded by saying, "Indian standards for set top boxes are neutral, interface specific between cable drop and TV, futuristic since advanced versions would also comply. The standards are also user and manufacturer friendly. For me, the acronym of standards is statutory, tangible, accuracy, non-controversial, discreet, authenticated, recognised, documented and symbolic."

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