I&B Ministry to study why MSOs are not taking indigenous STBs

NEW DELHI: The Information and Broadcasting Ministry (I&B) will facilitate a meeting of manufacturers of indigenous set top boxes (STBs) and multi-system operators (MSOs) next week in view of complaints by the manufacturers that no orders were being placed for their STBs.

This was decided at a meeting of the Task Force which will oversee the next two phases of digital addressable system (DAS) and which met under the chairmanship of Ministry Additional Secretary J S Mathur here today.

Earlier this week, the manufacturers had met Ministry secretary Bimal Julka and made the same complaint.

The participants were apprised that around 3.5 households had to be covered in the third phase of digitisation.

A Ministry source told that the meeting discussed various roadblocks on the road to full digitisation and ways to overcome these hurdles.

Star India legal & regulatory senior vice president Pulak Bagchi, who is also the representative of the broadcasters said emphatically that broadcasters would support voluntary transition to DAS as long as there were some ground rules.

He also said that broadcasters were prepared to give concessions to operators switching over to DAS provided the operators totally stopped analogue transmission.

Bagchi also said that it should be made mandatory that any MSO or local cable operator who switches over to DAS should switch off analogue and not run both systems.

The meeting was attended by around 20 people and included representatives of trade bodies like FICCI and CII, apart from MSOs, LCOs and DAS advisor Yogendra Pal.

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