Thursday, 21 December 2006

DTH Services Under The Scanner

The Maharashtra government is determined not to repeat the failure story by foregoing its share of revenues in the form of entertainment duty. The revenue department, after its failure to regularise the cable industry which even today refuses to issue receipts to subscribers have taken steps to make sure it gets its share of profits from the DTH service providers. 

DTH Services Under The Scanner

The Maharashtra government is determined not to repeat the failure story by foregoing its share of revenues in the form of entertainment duty. The revenue department, after its failure to regularise the cable industry which even today refuses to issue receipts to subscribers have taken steps to make sure it gets its share of profits from the DTH service providers. 

Wednesday, 13 December 2006

Digital Delivery The Combination Of HD And IPTV

Early adopters are showing considerable interest in High Definition Television (HDTV), largely because of the dramatic increase in picture quality which supports these consumers’ demand for even larger screen sizes. In order to appeal to the wider consumer audience, many of whom will not be persuaded by screen size arguments, HDTV will need to demonstrate considerable additional value over that of the standard definition incumbent.
Internet Protocol Television (IPTV) offers a foundation for the delivery of such incremental value. IPTV provides the capability to offer truly tailored television services in either a lone viewer or community viewer based environment. The additional resolution afforded by HDTV, enables the compelling visual presentation of the information and controls which will form a vital part in the translation of HDTV demand from the early adopters to the high value mass market.

Digital Delivery The Combination Of HD And IPTV

Early adopters are showing considerable interest in High Definition Television (HDTV), largely because of the dramatic increase in picture quality which supports these consumers’ demand for even larger screen sizes. In order to appeal to the wider consumer audience, many of whom will not be persuaded by screen size arguments, HDTV will need to demonstrate considerable additional value over that of the standard definition incumbent.
Internet Protocol Television (IPTV) offers a foundation for the delivery of such incremental value. IPTV provides the capability to offer truly tailored television services in either a lone viewer or community viewer based environment. The additional resolution afforded by HDTV, enables the compelling visual presentation of the information and controls which will form a vital part in the translation of HDTV demand from the early adopters to the high value mass market.

Friday, 1 December 2006

Focus on Media

We are in the last phase of implementation of CAS. It is the regular players in the CAS notified areas, generally the big MSOs who are emaging as the big players. Surprisingly, the much enthusiastic independent operators are not showing much interest now. I think it is something to do with the heavy investments in Digital Headends and set-top-boxes. Big MSOs, because of their requirement of large quantities are getting a good price from the STB vendors but in smaller networks, it may not be so much feasible unless the vendors themselves introduce financing schemes. This may not happen as almost all the vendors are from other countries and they are still not very confident about the market and the Indian Politics. Ideal solution for the small independent players was to join hands with each other and consolidate their networks using fiberoptic cables leased from the telcos but because of their personal differences, this may not happen. Ultimately they will end up taking feeds from big MSOs. TRAI is closely monitoring the process and trying its best to ensure a smooth implementation. TRAI office in Delhi has been sealed following a High Court order to the Delhi Government not to allow any commercial use of residential properties. I am sure this will disturb their normal functioning for a shortwhile. Many channels like S1 have also faced the sealing drive.

December 2006

Saturday, December 02, 2006 -- Sun TV, a free- to- air channel became a pay channel in all other cities and states except Chennai, where it continues to be part of the FTA bouquet of Rs 77.

Focus on Media

We are in the last phase of implementation of CAS. It is the regular players in the CAS notified areas, generally the big MSOs who are emaging as the big players. Surprisingly, the much enthusiastic independent operators are not showing much interest now. I think it is something to do with the heavy investments in Digital Headends and set-top-boxes. Big MSOs, because of their requirement of large quantities are getting a good price from the STB vendors but in smaller networks, it may not be so much feasible unless the vendors themselves introduce financing schemes. This may not happen as almost all the vendors are from other countries and they are still not very confident about the market and the Indian Politics. Ideal solution for the small independent players was to join hands with each other and consolidate their networks using fiberoptic cables leased from the telcos but because of their personal differences, this may not happen. Ultimately they will end up taking feeds from big MSOs. TRAI is closely monitoring the process and trying its best to ensure a smooth implementation. TRAI office in Delhi has been sealed following a High Court order to the Delhi Government not to allow any commercial use of residential properties. I am sure this will disturb their normal functioning for a shortwhile. Many channels like S1 have also faced the sealing drive.

Tuesday, 21 November 2006

Direct To Home Offers Galore

The two major DTH competitors- Dish TV and Tata-sky are battling to outdo each other with festive offers. A special package from Dish TV allows you to enjoy 125 channels for just Rs 160 per month till 31st December. This bouquet is otherwise worth at Rs 300 per month and, of course, the promise of DVD quality and stereophonic sound is always there. Tata Sky, on the other hand is offering over 100 popular channels, including the leading ones like Star, Sony, Zee, NDTV, Aaj Tak, ESPN, Discovery, Disney, HBO, CNBC TV18 and Cartoon Network for just Rs 200 per month. This also includes many interactive services. The subscribers will also get all the new channels and interactive services launched in the next four months absolutely free. Then there is also the TataSky Multiroom Subscription offer for homes with multiple TVs. For each additional connection, there is a 50 per cent discount on installation and the subscription fee is reduced to Rs 100 per month. Equipment and installation charges, including a one-year warranty, stands at Rs 3,999.

Channels Rush For Registration

In the last few days before 11 May, 2006
MINISTRY OF INFORMATION AND BROADCASTING NOTIFICATION
 G. R. S. 282 (E). — In exercise of the powers conferred by Sub-section (I) of Section 22 of the Cable Television (Regulation) Act, 1995 (7 of 1995), the Central Government hereby Makes the following rules further to amend the Television Networks Rules, 1994, namely: –
1.(1)These rules may be called Cable Television Networks (Amendment) Rules, 2006
(2)They shall come into force on the date of their publication in the Official Gazette.
2.In the Cable Television Networks Rules, 1994, in rule 6, after Sub-rule (5), the following shall be inserted, namely:-

CAS Roll Out-IV Positives Vibes

If everything goes as planned, from next year all metros would migrate to the CAS regime. A con sensus is slowly emerging among the channels regarding revenue and the quality of programmes aired on pay channels. With the price of pay channels fixed at Rs 5 trade pundits predict that there will be increase in the volume of growth post-December. Also, the fact that TRAI will review the scenario three months after implementation has helped them to approve the plan.
With the price of 30 FTA channels fixed at Rs 77 (excluding taxes) the total outflow per family may not exceed Rs 200 which means that the revenue of cable operators is bound to go down. But they are banking on a customer base which is projected to expand and grow. They are also confident that there can be mutual co-existence between CAS and the Direct-to-Home services as both exist on a digital platform.

Direct To Home Offers Galore

The two major DTH competitors- Dish TV and Tata-sky are battling to outdo each other with festive offers. A special package from Dish TV allows you to enjoy 125 channels for just Rs 160 per month till 31st December. This bouquet is otherwise worth at Rs 300 per month and, of course, the promise of DVD quality and stereophonic sound is always there. Tata Sky, on the other hand is offering over 100 popular channels, including the leading ones like Star, Sony, Zee, NDTV, Aaj Tak, ESPN, Discovery, Disney, HBO, CNBC TV18 and Cartoon Network for just Rs 200 per month. This also includes many interactive services. The subscribers will also get all the new channels and interactive services launched in the next four months absolutely free. Then there is also the TataSky Multiroom Subscription offer for homes with multiple TVs. For each additional connection, there is a 50 per cent discount on installation and the subscription fee is reduced to Rs 100 per month. Equipment and installation charges, including a one-year warranty, stands at Rs 3,999.

Channels Rush For Registration

In the last few days before 11 May, 2006
MINISTRY OF INFORMATION AND BROADCASTING NOTIFICATION
 G. R. S. 282 (E). — In exercise of the powers conferred by Sub-section (I) of Section 22 of the Cable Television (Regulation) Act, 1995 (7 of 1995), the Central Government hereby Makes the following rules further to amend the Television Networks Rules, 1994, namely: –

CAS Roll Out-IV Positives Vibes

If everything goes as planned, from next year all metros would migrate to the CAS regime. A con sensus is slowly emerging among the channels regarding revenue and the quality of programmes aired on pay channels. With the price of pay channels fixed at Rs 5 trade pundits predict that there will be increase in the volume of growth post-December. Also, the fact that TRAI will review the scenario three months after implementation has helped them to approve the plan.

Monday, 13 November 2006

All About Set-Top-Box

“Tremendous revenue opportunities exist in driving interactivity between the 60 million digital set-top boxes, 175 million personal computers and 210 million mobile phones in the U.S...” said Michael Rivkin, CEO, Develop-On-Box, parent company of Zodiac Gaming. (April, 2006)
Set-top Box - (STB) - May be known as set top, Set-tops, set-top box, set top box, STB, Receivers, Converters, Decoders, Intelligent Set-top Boxes, Set-top Decoders, Smart Encoder, Digital TV Converter, DTV Converter, Voice-enabled Set-top Boxes, Digital Decoder, DTV Tuner, Descrambler, Digital Set-top Box, Addressable Converter, Demodulator, Smart TV Set-top Box, ITV enabled Set-top Box, Internet-enabled Set-top Box, ITV enabled Set-top cable box, Satellite- enabled Set-top Box, Cable-enabled Set-top Box, Low-end Boxes, Thin Boxes, Thick Boxes, Smart TV Set-top Box, Super Box, All-in-one Set Top Box, Integrated Set Top Box, Hybrid Cable Box, Media Center. - It’s ancestor is often considered the Nintendo game box, as those ancient 8-bit game boxes had data ports. When the functionality of a set-top box is built in to the TV, it’s often known as a “Built-in” like the one launched by LG sometimes back. Do note that just because a TV has set-top box functions built in to it, that doesn’t mean it’s a digital TV. In that case it’s just an analog TV with set-top box functions built into it

National Conference "Broadcasting Services Regulation Bill-2006"

Welcoming the proposed “Broadcasting Services Regulation Bill, 2006”, which the Ministry of Information and Broadcasting, Government of India, is planning to introduce in Parliament in the near future, the members of the Entertainment Industry Leaders’ Council of ASSOCHAM organized a National Conference of all the Broadcasters/ Cable Operators & related stakeholders to have a wider discussion & better understanding on the proposed Bill on 8th September, 2006 at The Oberoi, New Delhi.
The Summit was duly inaugurated by Shri S.K. Arora, Hon’ble Secretary, Ministry of Information and Broadcasting, Government of India. The Conference also graced by Smt. Sharmila Tagore, Chairperson, Central Board of Film Certification, had several others senior officers from Media and Entertainment Sector as distinguished Speakers. The Conference resulted in the following recommendations:–

National Conference "Broadcasting Services Regulation Bill-2006"

Welcoming the proposed “Broadcasting Services Regulation Bill, 2006”, which the Ministry of Information and Broadcasting, Government of India, is planning to introduce in Parliament in the near future, the members of the Entertainment Industry Leaders’ Council of ASSOCHAM organized a National Conference of all the Broadcasters/ Cable Operators & related stakeholders to have a wider discussion & better understanding on the proposed Bill on 8th September, 2006 at The Oberoi, New Delhi.
The Summit was duly inaugurated by Shri S.K. Arora, Hon’ble Secretary, Ministry of Information and Broadcasting, Government of India. The Conference also graced by Smt. Sharmila Tagore, Chairperson, Central Board of Film Certification, had several others senior officers from Media and Entertainment Sector as distinguished Speakers. The Conference resulted in the following recommendations:–

Wednesday, 1 November 2006

Globalisation Of Content

Last month the centre of activity in the Broadcast Industry was at Cannes where the world’s biggest content exhibition and conference MIPCOM was held from 9-13 October. It was technology under focus there.
At MIPCOM, one could have a feel of how the content market was becoming global. With distribution technologies going digital like the digital satellite, Cable Television, Broadband, IPTV and Mobile TV, transporting content from one part of the globe to another is a matter of seconds. Also, due to the concept of the world becoming a global village coming to reality, local markets have also become global. Formats of programmes are becoming universal, outsourcing in animation content production and distribution has become the norm. Digital technology has increased the demand for good content to such an extent that there is always a dearth of it. Events like MIPCOM play a major role in recognising and satisfying this demand.

November 2006

Wednesday, November 01, 2006 -- Regional satellite television major Sun TV Ltd informed the stock exchanges that Sun TV, the flagship channel of the company, will be a pay channel with effect. from December 2, 2006. The rate to the cable operators for Sun TV will be Rs 12 per month, per subscriber.

Globalisation Of Content

Last month the centre of activity in the Broadcast Industry was at Cannes where the world’s biggest content exhibition and conference MIPCOM was held from 9-13 October. It was technology under focus there.

Sunday, 1 October 2006

IPTV-The Net Big Revolution

There is all quiet on the Broadcast Bill front. After many heated discussions over various issues in the corridors of FICCI, ASSOCHAM, CII, various universities, political organizations people have become tired and now it is the turn of the I&B Ministry to move around and get the things cleared. Although, I personally feel nothing is going to happen and all the recommendations will land up in the cold storage of Shastri Bhavan.
Anil Ambani’s Blue Magic DTH has got the government nod. In the mean time Tata Sky and Dish TV rivalry is moving in the right line-Technology. Interactivity in programming, games, multi-angle broadcast of sports, interactive education, all are in the menu within a month or so.

October 2006

Tuesday, October 03, 2006 -- The Haryana Power Ministry, Vinod Sharma sent a legal notice to the Star News channel asking the channel to telecast an “ unconditional” apology within seven days or face civil and criminal legal action for telecasting a programme which claimed that three eyewitnesses resiled fr0m their testimony given before the police “under threat, coercion and inducement” by Sharma and his family in the Jessica Lal murder case.

IPTV-The Net Big Revolution

There is all quiet on the Broadcast Bill front. After many heated discussions over various issues in the corridors of FICCI, ASSOCHAM, CII, various universities, political organizations people have become tired and now it is the turn of the I&B Ministry to move around and get the things cleared. Although, I personally feel nothing is going to happen and all the recommendations will land up in the cold storage of Shastri Bhavan.

IPTV-The Net Big Revolution

There is all quiet on the Broadcast Bill front. After many heated discussions over various issues in the corridors of FICCI, ASSOCHAM, CII, various universities, political organizations people have become tired and now it is the turn of the I&B Ministry to move around and get the things cleared. Although, I personally feel nothing is going to happen and all the recommendations will land up in the cold storage of Shastri Bhavan.

Monday, 21 August 2006

INSAT-4C Failure Proves Breathtaking For DTH Operators

Failure of INSAT-4C has dashed the hopes of various DTH operators. The accident has left a “black mark” on the capability of ISRO’s scientists. This mishap occurred on July 10, when GSLV-F02, the satellite launcher carrying INSAT-4C, had to be destroyed from the control room. The launch vehicle, carrying 2,168 kg satellite, deviated from it chartered path, soon after lift-off from Satish Dhawan Space Centre (SDSC). One of the four strap-on motors, having hypergolic liquid propellants, failed to provide the required thrust during the premiere stage. It is because of this, the satellite drifted to one side.
The satellite was the heaviest in its range and the launch vehicle was 49-metre-tall, with a 414 tonne GSLV three-stage vehicle. The first stage, GS1, comprised a core motor with 138 tonne of solid propellants and four strap-on motors, each with 42 tonnes of hypergolic liquid propellant. If successful, the life-span of this satellite was expected to be 10 years.

Value Added Services A Boon For Cable Operators

Convergence of technologies is shortening the gap between a telco, a cable operator or a DTH operator. These services were distinctly basic and survived on their own for many years, but no more. We have stepped into the age of convergence where every new application is being looked at with interest by every one. What was possible on one kind of service is possible on the other too.
Some times back, cost was a big factor in restricting one technology to a particular platform, but no more. Cost of technology is reducing at logrithmic scale. One chip solutions are being found for multipurpose applications. From the Indian point of view let us examine how these value additions will penetrate and what will facilitate them.

INSAT-4C Failure Proves Breathtaking For DTH Operators

Failure of INSAT-4C has dashed the hopes of various DTH operators. The accident has left a “black mark” on the capability of ISRO’s scientists. This mishap occurred on July 10, when GSLV-F02, the satellite launcher carrying INSAT-4C, had to be destroyed from the control room. The launch vehicle, carrying 2,168 kg satellite, deviated from it chartered path, soon after lift-off from Satish Dhawan Space Centre (SDSC). One of the four strap-on motors, having hypergolic liquid propellants, failed to provide the required thrust during the premiere stage. It is because of this, the satellite drifted to one side.
The satellite was the heaviest in its range and the launch vehicle was 49-metre-tall, with a 414 tonne GSLV three-stage vehicle. The first stage, GS1, comprised a core motor with 138 tonne of solid propellants and four strap-on motors, each with 42 tonnes of hypergolic liquid propellant. If successful, the life-span of this satellite was expected to be 10 years.

Value Added Services A Boon For Cable Operators

Convergence of technologies is shortening the gap between a telco, a cable operator or a DTH operator. These services were distinctly basic and survived on their own for many years, but no more. We have stepped into the age of convergence where every new application is being looked at with interest by every one. What was possible on one kind of service is possible on the other too.
Some times back, cost was a big factor in restricting one technology to a particular platform, but no more. Cost of technology is reducing at logrithmic scale. One chip solutions are being found for multipurpose applications. From the Indian point of view let us examine how these value additions will penetrate and what will facilitate them.

Monday, 14 August 2006

Triple Play

Telcos and service providers in the world over are racing to deploy networks that will support the triple-play service bundle—the delivery of voice, video and data services provided on a common network infrastructure. And although there is no agreement among providers in terms of a single plan for such an infrastructure, providers agree that the triple-play represents a major opportunity to forestall the growth of cable MSOs and other competitors.
The availability of new, carrier-grade IP-based technology is also contributing to a major shift in the way providers are designing their networks to provide new video and enhanced telephony services. Indeed, the reality of a true converged, IP-based network architecture opens the door to an array of enhanced applications and services, including IPTV, video telephony, VolP, and Video on Demand.

Triple Play

Telcos and service providers in the world over are racing to deploy networks that will support the triple-play service bundle—the delivery of voice, video and data services provided on a common network infrastructure. And although there is no agreement among providers in terms of a single plan for such an infrastructure, providers agree that the triple-play represents a major opportunity to forestall the growth of cable MSOs and other competitors.
The availability of new, carrier-grade IP-based technology is also contributing to a major shift in the way providers are designing their networks to provide new video and enhanced telephony services. Indeed, the reality of a true converged, IP-based network architecture opens the door to an array of enhanced applications and services, including IPTV, video telephony, VolP, and Video on Demand.

Sunday, 13 August 2006

Draft Broadcasting Bill Scares Broadcasters

The Draft Broadcasting Bill has put all the broadcasters in a shock. It has made them run to save their lives. According to them the new Draft Bill has given a severe blow to the freedom of broadcasters, who, till now were enjoying at the cost of the cable operators. These cable operators are already pressurised by the rules of stringent laws since 1995 when Cable TV Networks (Regulation) Ordinance was enacted. Cable operators were even made responsible for the content and advertisements on the channels when they neither produced nor broadcast them.
All broadcasters in those days were foreign broadcasters as they uplinked their signals from outside India. Hence, they were outside the reach of Indian Laws. Result was that the broadcasters did what they liked, making their channels ‘Pay’ and charge arbitrary rates for them blaming the cable operators for under-declaration and other issues. The bill that was scheduled to pass in the present monsoon session of the Parliament, may not see the daylight as it has started facing objections in the very first stage. It has created a “cat and dog” fight between the broadcasters and the government.

broadband Wireless Communication Ushers New Era

The country has witnessed a telecom boom in the recent past and is now poised to see growth in broadcasting which is also a high growth industry in India. The revenues of CATV industry have reached the mark of 70 billion rupees. The IT industries are growing by leaps and bounds. New services on the horizon are the broadband services, the future growth vehicles of the converging technologies of telecom, broadband casting and IT.
The broadband access has an important role to play, which means to open a new technology frontier for TV viewers. DTH has arrived in our country. Already, there are two DTH operators in the country, namely Dish TV of Zee group and Direct Plus of DD.

Voice Over Internet Protocol (VoIP)

Voice over Internet Protocol (VoIP) allows you to make telephone calls using an Internet connection instead of a regular telephone line. Some VoIP services may allow you only to call other people using the same service, but others may allow you to call any telephone number - including local, long distance, mobile, and international numbers.
Equipment Required
First you need an Internet connection, and, for many types of VoIP calls, you need a broadband Internet connection.
Depending on the VoIP service you purchase, you may need a computer, a special VoIP telephone, or a regular telephone with an adapter. If you are calling a regular telephone number, the person you are calling does not need any special equipment, just a telephone.

Voice Over Internet Protocol (VoIP)

Voice over Internet Protocol (VoIP) allows you to make telephone calls using an Internet connection instead of a regular telephone line. Some VoIP services may allow you only to call other people using the same service, but others may allow you to call any telephone number - including local, long distance, mobile, and international numbers.

Draft Broadcasting Bill Scares Broadcasters

The Draft Broadcasting Bill has put all the broadcasters in a shock. It has made them run to save their lives. According to them the new Draft Bill has given a severe blow to the freedom of broadcasters, who, till now were enjoying at the cost of the cable operators. These cable operators are already pressurised by the rules of stringent laws since 1995 when Cable TV Networks (Regulation) Ordinance was enacted. Cable operators were even made responsible for the content and advertisements on the channels when they neither produced nor broadcast them.
All broadcasters in those days were foreign broadcasters as they uplinked their signals from outside India. Hence, they were outside the reach of Indian Laws. Result was that the broadcasters did what they liked, making their channels ‘Pay’ and charge arbitrary rates for them blaming the cable operators for under-declaration and other issues. The bill that was scheduled to pass in the present monsoon session of the Parliament, may not see the daylight as it has started facing objections in the very first stage. It has created a “cat and dog” fight between the broadcasters and the government.

broadband Wireless Communication Ushers New Era

The country has witnessed a telecom boom in the recent past and is now poised to see growth in broadcasting which is also a high growth industry in India. The revenues of CATV industry have reached the mark of 70 billion rupees. The IT industries are growing by leaps and bounds. New services on the horizon are the broadband services, the future growth vehicles of the converging technologies of telecom, broadband casting and IT.

Sunday, 6 August 2006

Vas By Cable Operators

Indian Cable TV industry is going through a metamorphosis. And this is quite evident as enough hype is being generated about CAS, DTH, Digitization and to top it all VAS. 
While picking up VAS (Value Added Services) as a subject of business opportunity, attention should hover around two basic elements.

Vas By Cable Operators

Indian Cable TV industry is going through a metamorphosis. And this is quite evident as enough hype is being generated about CAS, DTH, Digitization and to top it all VAS. 
While picking up VAS (Value Added Services) as a subject of business opportunity, attention should hover around two basic elements.

Tuesday, 1 August 2006

CAS Gets The Nod

Like the month of June, July also kept us busy in hectic activities in the Industry. First of all, it was the open house discussions of TRAI on numerous consultation papers issued in June, then there were the two major Court Cases, one between the MSOs and the Ministry of I&B that decided the implementation of CAS with immediate effect and the second between Dish-TV and Star TV where TDSAT gave a landmark ruling of sharing of content between the two DTH platforms, cost of the content package to be 50% of the cost on cable and the third major happening was the release of Draft Broadcast Bill that created a commotion amongst the Broadcasters with its proposals of cross-media restrictions, mandatory time slot for social programming, public service advertising and mandatory percentage of content sourced from India by all foreign channels and restriction on market share of broadcasters as well as MSOs.
After the Delhi High Court’s strict order to implement CAS by 31 Dec 2006, I don’t think there is any way now for the government to avoid this. TRAI is already busy in drafting regulations for the CAS areas. Government has already issued the Notification on CAS with a number of changes in the Cable Television Act. Lets hope this time that CAS gets implemented and the Cable Industry gets a level playing field with DTH.

CAS Gets The Nod

Like the month of June, July also kept us busy in hectic activities in the Industry. First of all, it was the open house discussions of TRAI on numerous consultation papers issued in June, then there were the two major Court Cases, one between the MSOs and the Ministry of I&B that decided the implementation of CAS with immediate effect and the second between Dish-TV and Star TV where TDSAT gave a landmark ruling of sharing of content between the two DTH platforms, cost of the content package to be 50% of the cost on cable and the third major happening was the release of Draft Broadcast Bill that created a commotion amongst the Broadcasters with its proposals of cross-media restrictions, mandatory time slot for social programming, public service advertising and mandatory percentage of content sourced from India by all foreign channels and restriction on market share of broadcasters as well as MSOs.

August 2006

Tuesday, August 01, 2006 -- The Central Government empowered TRAI to fix the prices of pay channels, if they are too high. It also ordered to cut-down the time Span of advertisements to 12 minutes.

Saturday, 1 July 2006

Government Serious About Digital

It’s the time to speculate. TRAI, The regulator is in a mood to regulate and we all wait for what is there in store for each one of us. The regulation they are touching upon, once finalized may change the whole media scene. Consultation papers were issued last month on subjects like “Whether IP TV should be permitted on cable networks”, “MDU to be part of DTH”, “Interconnect Issues”, “Proposed Interconnect Agreement between Broadcaster, MSOs and Franchisees”, “Quality of Services Norms in CAS”, etc. I am sure the stakeholders must be fed up with replying to all these consultation papers but they are all so important that I feel, TRAI should have thought of releasing them with more spacing as it is impossible to do justice to these regulations in a short period of few days. Number of stakeholders I talked to, didn’t even know if there were attempts to regulate them.
In the above context, I will like to blame the cable operators for not adequately responding to such consultation papers when they affect them the most. There are hardly any comments from them except Cable Operators Federation who are very regular in reacting to the regulatory measure affecting the Industry.

Government Serious About Digital

It’s the time to speculate. TRAI, The regulator is in a mood to regulate and we all wait for what is there in store for each one of us. The regulation they are touching upon, once finalized may change the whole media scene. Consultation papers were issued last month on subjects like “Whether IP TV should be permitted on cable networks”, “MDU to be part of DTH”, “Interconnect Issues”, “Proposed Interconnect Agreement between Broadcaster, MSOs and Franchisees”, “Quality of Services Norms in CAS”, etc. I am sure the stakeholders must be fed up with replying to all these consultation papers but they are all so important that I feel, TRAI should have thought of releasing them with more spacing as it is impossible to do justice to these regulations in a short period of few days. Number of stakeholders I talked to, didn’t even know if there were attempts to regulate them.

July 2006

Sunday, July 02, 2006 -- The goverment said, the reports alleging that it planned to muzzle the media through the proposed Broadcasting Bill, were not factually correct. “ UPA government would never do anything to encroach upon the fundamental rights of the media”, said I&B Minister P.R. Dasmunsi.

Wednesday, 21 June 2006

A Shortcut To VIewers Direct To Home Television

This article dicusess, the histroical background in the DBS (DTH), freq. Allocations, channel coding, source coding, modulations suitable for satellite-based digital TV, and finally the standards for a Digital TV for India.
As in terrestrial broadcasting service, transmission in the broadcasting satellie.
Services (BSS) are intended for direct reception by the general public are characterized by high effective isotropic radiated power (E.I.R.P.) to permit the use of simple and inexpensive home receiving system. It is only during the last few years that high transmit powers from the satellites have become possible through the development of high power travelling wave tube amplifiers (TWTA), larger solar panels and the narrow and shaped antenna beams. The size of the receiving earth terminal antennas has been reducing. A complete 4 GHz TV signal cost 4 lakh rupees whereas 4 GHz direct reception system (DRS) for home viewers costs less than Rs 40,00/- today.

Hotel Industry Worries About Commercial Tariffs

TRAI released a Consultation Paper on Issues relating to Commercial Tariff on 21st April, 2006. This Consultation Paper deals with the issue of commercial tariff for broadcasting and cable television services. The Tariff Order dated 1.10.2004 did not distinguish between commercial and other services. While dealing with a batch of petitions filed by the Hotel and Restaurant industry, the TDSAT in its judgment dated January 17, 2006 concluded that the Tariff Order does not cover commercial Services. Accordingly after careful examination TRAI decided as an interim measure to amend the Tariff Order and provide for a ceiling for commercial tariff also. This ceiling was fixed as the tariff as on March 1, 2006. This Tariff Order was issued on March 7, 2006.
Prior to issue of this Paper, consultation with the hotel and restaurant industry as well as with broadcasters had been held. Inputs received during this interaction have been included in the Consultation Paper.

Interconnect Issues Get A Re-look

TRAI Issues Consultation Paper on Interconnect Issues relating to Broadcasting & Cable Services
The TRAI had sent its Recommendations to the Government in October, 2004 on Issues Relating to Broadcasting and Distribution of TV Channels. Meanwhile, TRAI had also issued Regulations covering certain issues relating to Interconnection. The primary objectives of these regulations were:
(i) To provide a framework for access to content by various distributors so as to enhance competition and consumer choice.
(ii) To minimise disconnection and inconvenience to consumers on account of disputes between service providers.
(iii) Registration of details of interconnection agreements in accordance with the provisions of the TRAI Act.,
Drawing upon the response to the Consultation Note issued on 21 March 2006, TRAI has prepared this Consultation Paper. 

A Shortcut To VIewers Direct To Home Television

This article dicusess, the histroical background in the DBS (DTH), freq. Allocations, channel coding, source coding, modulations suitable for satellite-based digital TV, and finally the standards for a Digital TV for India.
As in terrestrial broadcasting service, transmission in the broadcasting satellie.

Hotel Industry Worries About Commercial Tariffs

TRAI released a Consultation Paper on Issues relating to Commercial Tariff on 21st April, 2006. This Consultation Paper deals with the issue of commercial tariff for broadcasting and cable television services. The Tariff Order dated 1.10.2004 did not distinguish between commercial and other services. While dealing with a batch of petitions filed by the Hotel and Restaurant industry, the TDSAT in its judgment dated January 17, 2006 concluded that the Tariff Order does not cover commercial Services. Accordingly after careful examination TRAI decided as an interim measure to amend the Tariff Order and provide for a ceiling for commercial tariff also. This ceiling was fixed as the tariff as on March 1, 2006. This Tariff Order was issued on March 7, 2006.

Interconnect Issues Get A Re-look

TRAI Issues Consultation Paper on Interconnect Issues relating to Broadcasting & Cable Services
The TRAI had sent its Recommendations to the Government in October, 2004 on Issues Relating to Broadcasting and Distribution of TV Channels. Meanwhile, TRAI had also issued Regulations covering certain issues relating to Interconnection. The primary objectives of these regulations were:

Interconnect Issues Get A Re-look

TRAI Issues Consultation Paper on Interconnect Issues relating to Broadcasting & Cable Services
The TRAI had sent its Recommendations to the Government in October, 2004 on Issues Relating to Broadcasting and Distribution of TV Channels. Meanwhile, TRAI had also issued Regulations covering certain issues relating to Interconnection. The primary objectives of these regulations were:

Interconnect Issues Get A Re-look

TRAI Issues Consultation Paper on Interconnect Issues relating to Broadcasting & Cable Services
The TRAI had sent its Recommendations to the Government in October, 2004 on Issues Relating to Broadcasting and Distribution of TV Channels. Meanwhile, TRAI had also issued Regulations covering certain issues relating to Interconnection. The primary objectives of these regulations were:

Thursday, 1 June 2006

DTH - The new Mantra

While going through the news about the drastic fall of BSE Index in the third week of May 2006, I came across a quote by the CEO of a leading domestic private sector financial firm, who said “We are so enamoured by foreigners in this country that no one has still figured out the impact this circular will have on domestic investors”. This is so much right when we talk about the broadcast industry too. We are always ready to spread a red carpet for the foreign broadcasters at the cost of own industry, be it the Indian broadcasters or the cable operators. It is the foreign broadcasters who always wanted to delay CAS as long as possible and they should be happy that the government has asked for a eight months delay from the High Court. However Court has has not accepted the same and wants the implementation completed in 2006 itself which is a positive sign. The ministry has been asked to submit a plan by 05 July 2006.
Before star enters the DTH fray, there in enough hype being created about the service in all types of media. This was also evident in a seminar held at Mumbai about the consumer interest and grievances in the telecom sector including broadcasting where DTH was projected as a messiah of all ills in Cable Television service. I wonder what will happen after the DTH business too gets embroiled in fracas about sharing of content, open system boxes, pricing of bouquets and channels and non affordability of so much hyped services of multi camera sports broadcast, Video-on-Demand, Interactive games and HDTV. Remember, these services have not even picked up strongly in the developed markets. In India we can easily wait for another five years for these services to become off the shelf pick-ups.
I am also eagerly waiting for Star’s DTH to be launched. After all, let us see what Mr Murdoch has to present to India.
The new downlinking guidelines have been put in place and almost all channels have got registered with the government barring a few Pakistani and Middle East channels. I think it has some thing to do with the policy of their own country. These regulations will definitely slow down the fast pace of new channel launches. Now interconnect regulations are further being looked into for amendments by TRAI. Their consultation paper is already on the net. We are introducing regulations in all fields except CAS. Perhaps no one wants to touch the subject because of its high controversial value. Hope this gets sorted out soon.
Broadcast Asia, Asia’s premier trade event is taking place in Singapore from 20th to 23rd June 2006. Hope to see many of you there because you will be able to see the latest in technology and services in the field of Broadcasting, Telecommunication, Cellular, Enterprise Networking etc.

—— Lt. Col. (Retd.) K K Sharma

Editor

Source: http://cablequest.org/articles/editorials/item/1838-dth-the-new-mantra.html
Source: http://cablequest.org/articles/editorials/item/1838-dth-the-new-mantra.html

DTH - The new Mantra

While going through the news about the drastic fall of BSE Index in the third week of May 2006, I came across a quote by the CEO of a leading domestic private sector financial firm, who said “We are so enamoured by foreigners in this country that no one has still figured out the impact this circular will have on domestic investors”. This is so much right when we talk about the broadcast industry too. We are always ready to spread a red carpet for the foreign broadcasters at the cost of own industry, be it the Indian broadcasters or the cable operators. It is the foreign broadcasters who always wanted to delay CAS as long as possible and they should be happy that the government has asked for a eight months delay from the High Court. However Court has has not accepted the same and wants the implementation completed in 2006 itself which is a positive sign. The ministry has been asked to submit a plan by 05 July 2006.

June 2006

Friday, June 02, 2006 -- The Telecom Disputes Settlement and Appellate Tribunal has now decided to charge commission on the petitions, claims and suits for recovery of money or an outstanding amount.

Monday, 1 May 2006

May 2006

Monday, May 08, 2006 -- Cable Operators in the Valley switched off several TV channels after being threatened by a little known militant outfit, Al Madina Regiment, which said they were encouraging “ Immorality” and “Waywardness” among Kashmiris.

Saturday, 1 April 2006

Long Live The Bureaucracy Country be dammed

After the Delhi High Court order dated March 10, 2006 to implement CAS within four weeks, Ministry of Information and Broadcasting is running helter skelter, unable to decide whether to go to the Supreme Court against the order or implement CAS. Going to the Supreme Court does not seem a viable move as the High Court has very strongly condemned the government for being a spoil sport in implementing CAS on some pretext or the other and also for ignoring the earlier orders dated December 04 and December 26, 2003 in cases related to implementation of CAS or its withdrawal altogether. The Government was also rapped for ignoring the orders of two learned Judges of the Madras High Court who refused to defer the CAS implementation. The next obvious action is to implement CAS.

Long Live The Bureaucracy Country be dammed

After the Delhi High Court order dated March 10, 2006 to implement CAS within four weeks, Ministry of Information and Broadcasting is running helter skelter, unable to decide whether to go to the Supreme Court against the order or implement CAS. Going to the Supreme Court does not seem a viable move as the High Court has very strongly condemned the government for being a spoil sport in implementing CAS on some pretext or the other and also for ignoring the earlier orders dated December 04 and December 26, 2003 in cases related to implementation of CAS or its withdrawal altogether. The Government was also rapped for ignoring the orders of two learned Judges of the Madras High Court who refused to defer the CAS implementation. The next obvious action is to implement CAS.

April 2006

Wednesday, April 05, 2006 --  Prasar Bharati CEO K.S. Sarma announced the launching of the SMS news headline service, in collaboration with ACL Wireless Limited, a leading provider of cutting-edges Channels–DD India, DD National and DD News–could be downloaded on third generation mobile phones the world over by April-end.

Wednesday, 1 March 2006

Tuesday, 14 February 2006

Digital Cable Television An Overview

This article describes the technological building blocks of a present day Digital Cable TV System. It also explains how the existing coaxial cable distribution networks can be upgraded to modern bi-directional hybrid fiber coaxial networks. After describing how this new infrastructure could be utillised by cable service providers to offer to their subscribers a variety of new enhanced/ interactive services it concludes with a brief review of TRAIs recommendations on digitalization of Cable TV Networks in India.

Digital Cable Television An Overview

This article describes the technological building blocks of a present day Digital Cable TV System. It also explains how the existing coaxial cable distribution networks can be upgraded to modern bi-directional hybrid fiber coaxial networks. After describing how this new infrastructure could be utillised by cable service providers to offer to their subscribers a variety of new enhanced/ interactive services it concludes with a brief review of TRAIs recommendations on digitalization of Cable TV Networks in India.

Digital Cable Television An Overview

This article describes the technological building blocks of a present day Digital Cable TV System. It also explains how the existing coaxial cable distribution networks can be upgraded to modern bi-directional hybrid fiber coaxial networks. After describing how this new infrastructure could be utillised by cable service providers to offer to their subscribers a variety of new enhanced/ interactive services it concludes with a brief review of TRAIs recommendations on digitalization of Cable TV Networks in India.

Wednesday, 1 February 2006

February 2006

Wednesday, February 01, 2006 -- Enadu Television ETV has turned its two Telugu channels ETV and ETV-2 in pay channels from Feb 1.

Sunday, 1 January 2006

January 2006

Sunday, January 01, 2006 -- A new educational cum entertainment channel for north eastern region namely ‘Skool Television’ launched from January 1.