Friday, 21 December 2007

Will HITS be a Hit?

One after the other, what we are being bombarded by is – ‘Technology’. And, one after the other, the Government is encouraging these technologies. Latest hype in the broadcasting world is about Headend-in-the-Sky (HITS) - a technology of broadcasting numerous channels from a single satellite system after aggregating them on ground from different satellites. On 17th October, 2007 Telecom Regulatory Authority of India recommended the Information and Broadcasting Ministry to implement HITS in India and also make an increase in the Foreign Direct Investment (FDI) limit for HITS from 49% to 74%. HITS would bring in digitalisation. Though, digitalization is advantageous to the subscribers in terms of quality, number of channels, more features etc., but the need of such technology by the masses at this moment is questionable. 

When Will IPTV Market Establish?

Years back, television delivery scenario was entirely different from what it is today. Cable TV entered in our country in the early nineties and also enjoyed monopoly for over a decade. But now its time for the emergence of various other TV delivery platforms to give competition to Cable TV. 
After Direct-to-Home (DTH), it’s Internet Protocol Television (IPTV) that is striving hard to gain momentum in the market. IPTV can also be termed as triple play, lets consumer have access the internet, phone and television via just one wire. “Interactivity and Time Shift Television” are the two unique features of IPTV that allow viewers to watch TV any time at their convenience. 

Friday, 14 December 2007

Generation Xt TV

The Innomedia Technologies a Bangalore based company has launched a new set top box “Duo CHOISpad” with super bandwidth at "Digital Life" Exhibition of Computer Society of India, held in Bangalore from 29th Nov to 1st Dec 2007. It is a plug & play device with auto configuration and Multi Interactive Remotes called CHOIser. It also functions as a personal video recorder, and a device that can store up to a terabyte of data and a communication hub comes at the cost of about Rs 4000. A unique "Ethernet Everywhere" network, Netway, was developed for providing upto 100 Mbit bandwidth to each CHOISpad. Netway, network is an example of a disruptive technology, designed completely inhouse, which is ahead of any other network in the world. Duo CHOISpad Dual Mic can also be used with mono-mixing and together as stereo mic .The Duo CHOISpad caters simultaneously to a High Definition TV (HDTV) and a Standard Definition TV (SDTV), at a price point which no home can resist. 

Thursday, 13 December 2007

NDTV imagine A Channel for 6 to 60

On, November 14, 2007 NDTV Imagine Ltd. announced the launch of its Hindi general entertainment channel. With an engrossing line-up of fresh and distinctive programming, the channel, also christened NDTV Imagine will go on air in January 2008 and is targeted at the entire television viewing audiences, from 6 to 60 across all demographics. The channel will offer programming across genres, ranging from light-hearted family soaps to period dramas and from high voltage music and dance entertainers to the most glamorous events in the entertainment business.
NDTV Imagine is spearheaded by Sameer Nair, a seasoned media professional with over 20 years of experience in the media and entertainment industry. The management team is further strengthened by experienced professionals from the media business, which include Shailja Kejriwal, EVP- Content; Harsh Rohatgi, EVP- Revenue Management and New Ventures; Manoj Vidwans, EVP- Marketing, Research and Communication; Gaurav Gandhi, EVP- Business Operations and Ancillary Revenues and Kuljeet Singh, EVP- Broadcast Services and Facilities. The multi-faceted film director Karan Johar is a creative consultant and brand ambassador to this initiative. 

Broadband Recommendations

Slow growth of broadband is a serious concern. In spite of good growth potential for broadband, the slow growth requires in depth analysis of all impediments and discussions on various options to boost broadband.
After doing an indepth study TRAI has submitted the broadband recommendations to the Ministry of Information Technology and Communication. A summary of these recommendation is given below:- 

Saturday, 1 December 2007

December 2007

Saturday, December 01, 2007 -- 53 foreign TV channels including BBC, CNN, Discovery and National Geographic asked to get mandatory clearance from the ministry of Home Affairs by 31 December.

Lagging The Target

Year end has come and the "Year of Broadband" has not proved to be so. The broadband penetration has only reached 2.7million from 2 million last year, an increase of 35 %. But we have a target of 20 million to be accomplished by 2010.1 feel it is our policies that are to be blamed. Unless it is a concerted effort on the part of our government to sincerely follow the recommendations of the regulator and also make such policies that may unleash all our resources, it will not be enough. Our land lines(ADSL) are not adequate for broadband .We are banking too much on wireless which is still far away as the spectrum issue has not been resolved yet. Mobile has not gone beyond 144kbps in providing broadband. This way TRAI's recommendations to the government will not have any meaning.
We are still failing to understand the potential of cable networks in carrying broadband. So far they have the highest bandwidth carrying capacity. We only have to harness this resource and find ways and means to consolidate it through proper guidelines and policies. 
IPTV is another non starter. Since last eighteen months our telcos are tying to create a hype to sell the product but it is still much short of consumer expectations .Only announcements do not create a market. Content and delivery, both are lacking in the implementation.
On the broadcasting front the TRAI order for fixing tariff in non-CAS areas from 1st December 2007 has met with its first hurdle as broadcasters have challenged it in TDSAT. None of the pay channel broadcasters have announced their a-la-carte rates as directed by TRAI. Even the Broadcast Bill which the I&B Minister had assured to be presented in the winter session has once again been deferred due to lack of response from the broadcasters Inspite of a slow progress in digitalization of cable networks, there is no end in the launching of new channels .Not only this, the channels are being launched in bunches (bouquets).There are already about 300 Channels allowed to down link in India. INX, BAG Television, TV18, UTV are some big names but there are many smaller ones waiting for registration. 
I wonder how will our analog cable systems carry it all. Sure, this is going to bring a hike in carriage fee but what about survival? 
We have introduced two new columns in this issue; Gadgets for Executives and programmes on the channels hope our viewers like it. Feedbacks are appreciated. 
With this we wish all readers a very happy and prosperous new year and hope many of us can fulfill their dreams and hopes in the coming year. 

—— Lt. Col. (Retd.) K K Sharma



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