Cable TV
Report on Shemaroo

Is IPTV DASH mechanism the way forward for cable operators in India?

Transition to IPTV network requires huge investment from last mile operators too.

https://www.indiantelevision.com/sites/default/files/styles/smartcrop_800x800/public/images/tv-images/2021/03/11/an.jpg?itok=5N3izIqm

KOLKATA: Cable television service, the biggest video service provider in India, now needs to look at new technologies for cutting down cost of operations as well as simpler content delivery. At a time when multi-system operators (MSOs) are extending their offerings to broadband services, IPTV network can be the way forward, experts opined at a session at the Video and Broadband Summit (VBS) 2021.

The panel discussion, ‘Future proofing DPOs on video delivery solutions’ included NXTDigital group CTO Ru Ediriwira, Asianet Satellite Communications Ltd vice president & technology head Salil Thomas, Broadpeak Business Development vice president Xavier Leclercq, and Planetcast Media Services founder director MN Vyas and was moderated by Indiantelevision.com founder and CEO , editor-in-chief Anil Wanvari.

Although 100 per cent future-proofing is hard to achieve, any organisation should be future-ready in terms of technology, Ediriwira said. “You don’t know what new technology will come around the corner and completely disrupt your industry, way of working. Look at social media, more kids watch YouTube than TV. You have to keep abreast of what is going on and how future generations are changing their content habits, viewing habits,” she added.

Vyas agreed to the view that futureproof is something that is never possible. But the companies have to look at what is really needed at least in the next five years. According to him, a sea change is needed in the current distribution system. Broadcasters and DPOs have to realise that their role has to be minimal now and TV has to be more intelligent, he stated. The operators need to take an approach where they can take and leverage the existing resources along with adding new things.

While looking at the future is important, working on the right technology at the right time is also crucial. Thomas explained that they launched a 4K Android TV set-top box three years ago but the boxes are still sitting in their inventory as consumers are not ready for that. Hence, catching up is important rather than jumping ahead of time, he explained.

“There is a transition happening which is trying to focus more on new users, young audiences and having the ability to reach more screens. We are sort of moving away from the traditional broadcaster domain. This is an interesting turning point,” Leclercq noted.

According to Ediriwira, the cable industry is seeing logical progression. However, while the industry is nine years into DAS, MPEG-2 slots are still around. While operators are making a push for MPEG-4 and HD boxes, they are a long way off from adopting 4K boxes. MSOs have the advantage, unlimited bandwidth to push 4K and 8K, but there is no content, she said. Moreover, if the industry is not able to sell a huge amount of HD boxes, take off of 8K or 4K boxes will not be possible either.

“We are seeing people are moving to different devices like fire stick, Chromecast, plug it into TV and install an app and deliver to content. This is a relatively cheaper and cost-effective way of adding new devices and adding streaming applications. On top of it, the difficulty with this is some of the HD, 4K channels have trouble growing in ninjas. This is basically heavy for the networks, for each individual session coming from one of those set top boxes back to the network. You will basically load the network with unicast traffic,” Leclercq mentioned.

Broadpeak has introduced a technology called MABR that can be used to push multi-screen ABR content (DASH, HLS) over an ISP network. That can be a cable MSO network for example, he added. This content can be pushed all the way to set top box and then it can be consumed by the end device. Operators are starting to build this multicast ABR proposition, he said.

According to Thomas, IPTV DASH and multicast broadcast is a way forward. IPTV DASH replaces the traditional MPEG-2 TS video structure with a more flexible and adaptive technology. It essentially offers the best of both worlds - the greater flexibility offered by OTT combined with the scalability and low latency at stake with IPTV. It can reduce the huge cost of maintenance for cable networks.

He added that the aging of cable networks is a big factor that should be considered. Rather than incurring high maintenance cost, it is better to go for fibre-based IP network which will cater to both cable and broadband services. It is better to move TV on the same platform, he stated. Vyas also agreed that someday the industry has to really get into IP deliveries.

“It is a possibility and we most MSOs have now converted our network to fibre on which we are running both broadband as well as cable. The move to run a full IPTV network that is something any of us have not considered yet. It is very easy for us to drive everything as a broadcast mechanism on Radio Frequency box. But it is definitely worth considering as a potential future capability but at the moment most of us are focusing on trying to upgrade our networks to IP . We have to think about the last mile level also. That requires huge investment from each of the cable operators. We have to help them,” Ediriwira mentioned.

She added that until that does not happen, the MSOs have to use current technologies. The operators are anyway upgrading their networks and moving to fibre. While she believes that operators should look at transitioning from cable broadcast mechanism to IP network mechanism, she is not certain how helpful it will be for rural areas.  

Latest Reads

https://www.indiantelevision.com/sites/default/files/styles/340x340/public/images/tv-images/2021/04/20/den.jpg?itok=w4oFCss2
Den Networks’ Q4 subscription revenue down 15% to Rs 190 crore

Multi-system operator Den Networks has reported consolidated net profit at Rs 33.89 crore for the fourth quarter of financial year 2021 (FY21), a 50.56 per cent rise year-on-year basis. 

Cable TV Local Cable Operators
https://www.indiantelevision.com/sites/default/files/styles/340x340/public/images/tv-images/2021/04/19/cb.jpg?itok=IY3n5zV6
Emergency plan in place, cable operators are prepared to counter Covid

During the Covid2019 outbreak last year, cable operators in India served the country’s entertainment and infotainment needs as an essential service. It was not easy to operate in a lockdown for an industry that involves huge on-ground operation as well as close contact with consumers.

Cable TV Local Cable Operators
https://www.indiantelevision.com/sites/default/files/styles/340x340/public/images/tv-images/2021/04/17/gtpl.jpg?itok=5fqsBLxG
GTPL Hathway posts Rs 599.1 crore revenue for Q4

On the back of strong performance in the fourth quarter of FY21, GTPL Hathway has posted Rs 599.1 crore revenue, up 29 per cent year-on-year. The pan-India multi system operator (MSO)’s revenue from operations for the last fiscal has gone up 22 per cent year-on-year to reach Rs 2148.4 crore.

Cable TV Local Cable Operators
https://www.indiantelevision.com/sites/default/files/styles/340x340/public/images/tv-images/2021/04/15/siti-magic.jpg?itok=0q3tR0mj
In hybrid push, Siti Networks launches Siti PlayTop Android TV set top box

New DELHI: In a bid to cement its place in the hybrid set-top box space, multi-system operator (MSO) Siti Networks has launched Siti PlayTop Magic, a 4K HDR STB which offers Android TV features along with linear TV. For a superior next-generation entertainment experience, the STB uses NAGRA’s card-...

Cable TV Multi System Operators
https://www.indiantelevision.com/sites/default/files/styles/340x340/public/images/tv-images/2021/04/06/img_06042021_133917_800_x_800_pixel.jpg?itok=boL8SuIM
AIDCF elects Anirudhsinh Jadeja as new president

KOLKATA: All India Digital Cable Federation (AIDCF) has appointed GTPL Hathway MD Anirudhsinh Jadeja as the new president of the apex body of digital cable television players. The change has been made as the tenure of DEN Networks CEO SN Sharma as AIDCF president ended on 31 March 2021. Jadeja is a...

Cable TV People
https://www.indiantelevision.com/sites/default/files/styles/340x340/public/images/tv-images/2021/03/30/siti_networks.jpg?itok=0bbmDja5
Siti Networks to acquire 76% stake in Meghbela Infitel

KOLKATA: Multi-system operator (MSO) Siti Networks will pick up 76 per cent stake in Meghbela Infitel Cable & Broadband through its subsidiary Indian Cable Net Company. The board constituted investment committee of the company has approved the acquisition in a meeting held on 25 March 2021....

Cable TV Local Cable Operators
https://www.indiantelevision.com/sites/default/files/styles/340x340/public/images/tv-images/2021/03/26/reliance.jpg?itok=ncvJEGVK
RIL to sell stakes in Den, Hathway for Rs 1,122 crore

NEW DELHI: Reliance Industries Ltd (RIL) is getting ready to divest its shares in Den Networks and Hathway Cable through offers for sale (OFS) in compliance with the minimum public holding norms laid down by the Securities and Exchanges Board of India (SEBI). RIL will sell its stakes in Den and...

Cable TV Local Cable Operators
https://www.indiantelevision.com/sites/default/files/styles/340x340/public/images/tv-images/2021/03/10/vbs.jpg?itok=xvOBLA1F
VBS 2021: Customer remains king for cable & broadband industry

In the aftermath of Covid2019, businesses and organisations across the world tried to make sense of what hit them as they weighed their futures against the new lessons that the pandemic taught them, unlearning some of the established tenets in the process.

Cable TV Local Cable Operators
https://www.indiantelevision.com/sites/default/files/styles/340x340/public/images/tv-images/2021/03/08/vbs.jpg?itok=mehXTaWm
Indian pay TV ecosystem yet to optimise HD viewing opportunity

Industry leaders have emphasised over and over again that despite recent developments and change in consumer preferences, pay TV will continue to coexist with over-the-top (OTT) platforms. On the other hand, the need for a sustainable business model is also undeniable amid the rapid flux in the...

Cable TV Local Cable Operators

Sign up for our Newsletter

subscribe for latest stories

* indicates required