Regulators

TRAI releases consultation paper on Interoperable Set Top Box

Stakeholders can share comments by December 9 and counter comments by December 23

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MUMBAI: - The Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (TRAI) has released a consultation paper on interoperable Set Top Box (STB) for digital TV broadcasting services. A consultation paper is now issued with a view to elicit response from all the stakeholders for suggesting the best solution to implement the interoperability of STB.

The consultation paper provides brief overview of various available options and technical solutions for achieving interoperability of STB. The paper seeks response with detailed justifications for suggesting most optimal and cost-effective solution.TRAI has requested stakeholders to provide their written comments on the proposed solution architecture for technical interoperable STB by Monday, December 9, 2019. Counter-comments can be submitted upto Monday, December 23, 2019

The digital TV broadcasting services are received by subscriber using a Set Top Box (STB), connected with the TV set. The STB receives TV signals from distribution network and decodes them into viewable form for TV set. STB enables the subscriber to view only those TV channels which he has subscribed.

Presently the STBs deployed in the network are non-interoperable, i.e. the same STB cannot be used interchangeably across the different service providers. As far as STBs deployed by Direct to Home (DTH) players are concerned, STBs comply with the license conditions to support Common Interface (CI) module based interoperability.

The lack of interoperability of STBs between different service providers has not only compromised the competition in the Pay-TV market but also a major hindrance to technological innovation, improvement in service quality, and sector growth.

TRAI had issued a pre-consultation paper on set top box interoperability during April 2016. Thereafter, a consultation note on solution architecture developed by C-DoT for technical interoperable set top box was issued during August 2017. The smart card-based solution has been successfully tested in lab conditions using separate instances of CAS developed by C-DoT. However, the field testing with third party CAS solution is still to be conducted with different industry stakeholders. 5. TRAI has been taking vanous measures to achieve the set top box interoperability including the stakeholders' meetings/ discussions.

The Authority also engaged with various technology companies in the broadcasting technology space for information exchange. A consultation paper is now issued with a view to elicit response from all the stakeholders for suggesting the best solution to implement the interoperability of STB.

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