Friday, 21 August 2009

Reliability and QoS in CATV Industry

With the digital technology becoming cheaper and fast developments in the telecom and broadcast field, the cable television industry in India is undergoing a vital change, from a disorganised mom and pop service to a much organised affair on a large scale. Surprisingly it is not the new comers who are initiating the changes, instead it is the same unorganised units who started this industry, who are fast upgrading their networks keeping in mind the future requirements. 
CAS or conditional access regulation has been the biggest prime mover for this second revolution in the cable TV industry. All the big MSOs are transforming their analog networks to digital with the result that their franchisees have to maintain the same standards to provide better services to their subscribers. Even the independent cable operators are installing digital headends and consolidating the neighbourhood networks with HFC networking. Fiber is also being used extensively by the rural area operators to cover long distance. 

Waiting for Godot

Roop Sharma enlightens the readers on the continued exploitation of the cable industry. The industry still awaits its due. 
Holy war of cable operators continues, but, on some false promises and never die optimism. The present attitude of TRAI (Telecom Regulatory Authority of India), tilts towards four large broadcasters, who own more than eighty channels. Both the broadcasters and TRAI are taking 60,000 cable operators and 80 Million consumers for a ride. 

Thursday, 20 August 2009

Noises in a CATV Reverse Path

The Signal Level Meter is probably the single most essential piece of instrumentation required for a CATV network monitoring, be it Analogue or Digital. With the introduction on CAS and HITS in the Indian market the demand for Analog-cum-QAM cable meters is growing fast. Such a meter is used for both installation of new head-ends in a network as well as for fault finding and routine maintenance of the already laid wire web. A signal level meter is used to measure and ensure that signal levels are delivered as required and as cost effectively. The distortion performance of an Amplifier is closely related to the output signal level. The amplifier distortion increases roughly by 2 dB for every 1 dB increase in the output level. Hence it becomes very crucial to adjust amplifier levels appropriately down the cable line up to the last mile. This can be achieved using a signal level meter that is accurate and has been calibrated at regular intervals. As a bare minimum requirement, an SLM would measure Video level, Audio level & C/N for an analogue relay: BER and MER for a digital relay and Tilt for gain-slope adjustment. On the higher end, however, an advanced SLM with features such as spectrum and constellation can make the task of identifying types of noise and its cause much simpler and quicker. 

Saturday, 1 August 2009

Are We Serious About Digitalisation?

Our government is a paradox. On one hand it plans to spend crores of Rupees on WiMax technology to enable the rural areas to use broadband and on the other hand it propagates BSNL, the failing public sector giant. Also encouraging alternate technologies like DTH and HITS in the name of digitization of the broadcast and cable industry to achieve faster results. 
This, to me is a myopic way of thinking. The seriousness of the government regarding digitalization seems half hearted. Recent budget came with a thunder but, brought no monsoon. This special issue endeavors to bring forth all the information regarding digitalization, problems faced by the industry and the solutions. We also carry special articles to update the readers with GST, Wireless technologies like WiMax and Satellite for broadband services and their inability to meet future demands of bandwidth. The world is thinking of providing gigabits to each home and we are just stuck on 256 kbps. Fiber and co-ax can get the job done and we have enough in the cable TV networks. Telco get tax sops and subsidies to provide IPTV and broadband services. But what is the outcome? Do we actually want to digitalise Cable TV? We have witnessed countries like Korea, Japan and US using broadband to empower the people with information and knowledge. Its Economic benefits can not be undermined. But we need to channelise our efforts in the right direction. 

August 2009

Saturday, August 1, 2009 -- Ghaziabad Commissioner served notice to 159 Cable Operators to deposit licence fee.