Regulators

MIB proposes installation of chip in DTH boxes: Report

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MUMBAI: In order to make the measurement process of viewership better, the Ministry of Information and Broadcasting (MIB) has proposed of an in-built chip in set-top boxes (STBs). According to a report by The Asian Age, the ministry has sought that all direct-to-home (DTH) operators should install a chip in all new set-top boxes to record data about channels watched and their duration.

The MIB has made this recommendation to the regulatory body Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (TRAI). The proposal was squeezed into the voluminious DTH sector recommendations and the TRAI has asked for a separate and detailed proposal in regard to the matter.

“Regarding asking DTH operators to instal a chip in new STBs, it is stated that this is a new issue and cannot be part of the reference. If the MIB desires the TRAI’s recommendation on this issue, it may send a separate reference to TRAI as per the provisions of TRAI Act 1997,” TRAI said in a communication to the ministry.

If the step is taken, it would ensure a wider and better measurement system of viewership preferences across the country. Other than that, the move may also lead to the end of the Broadcast Audience Research Council’s (BARC) monopoly in the measurement system.

The proposal of allowing the renewal of licences to only DTH operators that have no dues pending to government has been approved by the TRAI.

Also read:

TRAI bats for issuing DTH licences for 20 years

BARC begins new subscription service PreView

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