Report on Shemaroo

Domestic STB manufactures felt the pinch of Covid since January: Amit Kharbanda

Shortage of components imported from China was a major challenge.

KOLKATA: The Covid2019 pandemic has hurt most businesses in India since the beginning of March. But the set top box (STB) manufacturers felt the pinch of crisis even before that, from January itself, MyBox Technologies managing director Amit Kharbanda said. Although the company ended up having six months of zero sales, it continued R&D in the interim for new products.

Kharbanda explained that there are a decent amount of components that come from China, even for normal electronics products. As China went into shutdown from January, MyBox faced a shortage in components for manufacturing. He added that it has impacted all domestic STB companies.

Furthermore, domestic STB companies have been struggling since ASEAN came into effect a couple of years ago. Big cable and DTH operators that used to buy products from domestic companies, switched to importing from ASEAN. Kharbanda emphasised that the competition in this space is not between Indian STB manufacturers but with the international players. In these challenging circumstances, MyBox has been able to survive as it tends to do R&D all the time whether it is with Google or Amazon, he stated.

While the business environment was already tough for the players, the cash flow went for a toss post-Covid, Kharbanda added. The company had to cut down on its expenses. “Bankers started questioning the business model. It took time to get that issue streamlined and convince them, finding the right way of optimising the funding and everything. Now as all of that has been settled, we are hoping from this month onwards or next month we should start shipping. At the end of this year, we should at least come back closer to our quantities which we were shipping last year,” he said. MyBox sold 40 crore boxes in FY20.

However, he mentioned that they kept up R&D during the lockdown. Some product launches including the android box, Alexa Solution have been delayed but the company has added new features during the period. Now as the business is opening up, it will release those products one by one.

“We have been working on some very interesting solutions. One of these was the Android OTT box which we have tried to make valuable for ISPs. There are a lot of small ISPs in India. They can actually utilise the OTT box and give it as a package to their consumers. There is good ARPU source they can make on,” Kharbanda added.

Talking about overall opportunities for STB manufacturers, Kharbanda said that India still has millions of TV unpenetrated households. Moreover, there is scope for old box replacements and new hybrid boxes. Even post-Covid, there has been a major demand for TV sets. But it does not translate into a huge benefit for domestic STB manufacturers as the large operators buy from international players, he rued. 

Although the large DTH operators recently undertook ‘Make in India’ route for STB production, the move is more directed at getting foreign vendors here to assemble and sell rather than buying products from homegrown manufactures. However, he shared that MyBox is working closely with the government of India to push STB manufacturing here. Moreover, the ministry of commerce is also working on the issue and the ministry of information and broadcasting (MIB) is in talks with operators for boosting domestic manufacturing. Kharbanda is optimistic that these endeavours will give a much-needed nudge to the growth of STB manufacturers in India.  

Latest Reads
CES 2021: Sony creates buzz with Airpeak drone

NEW DELHI: At the ongoing CES 2021 event, Sony has unveiled an array of products that include Airpeak drone, Bravia XR smart TV lineup and wireless speakers with 360 Reality Audio.  Sony's presence at CES 2021 is structured around 12 topics showcasing how its 3R technologies — reality, real-time,...

Technology ces
LG showcases next gen products at CES 2021

SEOUL: LG Electronics is showcasing its products and technologies under the theme of ‘Display, now the real world comes to you’ at CES 2021. The company is emphasising on the redefined role of displays in the contactless era as well as presenting various display solutions optimised for the...

Technology ces
Synamedia partners with Akamai to speed up pirate takedowns

KOLKATA: Independent video software provider Synamedia has integrated its security and watermarking solutions with Akamai to protect customers’ streaming OTT content. Synamedia’s solutions now detect and disrupt pirate streams in real time over the Akamai Intelligent Edge Platform and redirect...

Technology ces
Samsung introduces latest innovations at Consumer Electronics Show 2021

NEW DELHI: Samsung opened the Consumer Electronics Show 2021 with a crisp, 30-minute keynote, sharing its vision for the future and introducing a slew of new products at the virtual press conference. Among fresh launches is its new range of bespoke refrigerators that you can mix, match and combine...

Technology ces
LiveU & Grass Valley to offer cloud solutions for remote live productions

NEW DELHI: LiveU and Grass Valley have joined forces to offer a pre-integrated cloud-based solution for remote live productions, enabling customers to simplify their processes and automate live and non-live news and sports productions in an efficient, agile and customisable workflow.

Technology Software Applications
Guest Column: Combatting sophisticated streaming piracy, from the dark web to Lazada

GURUGRAM: Synamedia’s piracy investigators have verified a disturbing trend in India and South East Asia. Research both on the dark web and open internet by the company’s anti-piracy experts shows that illegal streaming of over-the-top (OTT) services using stolen subscriber credentials is now well...

Technology Hardware Components
DVB to showcase future of media delivery at DEMOS 2020

GENEVA: DVB, a consortium of the world’s leading media and technology companies working together to design open technical specifications for digital media delivery, will host DVB DEMOS 2020, an all-day online event on Thursday, 26 November. The event will bring the industry together to witness the...

Technology Hardware Components
Need tougher penalties to deliver knockout blow to piracy: Synamedia EVP

For over 30 years, Synamedia has helped service and content providers around the world to deliver, protect and monetise video content. More than 200 top satellite DTH, cable, telco and OTT operators, broadcasters and media companies arm themselves with Synamedia's secure and advanced solutions. The...

Technology Hardware Components
Skyworth and 3SS partner to create Netflix-ready platform

3 Screen Solutions (3SS), a leading provider of software solutions for set top boxes (STB) and multiscreen entertainment, and Skyworth Digital, leading manufacturer of connected home products and solutions

Technology Software Applications

Sign up for our Newsletter

subscribe for latest stories

* indicates required