Only one month is left for the Commonwealth Games to start and we are still wondering if we can do it. Rains in August had demoralized everyone including the government, host broadcaster Doordarshan, Delhi Government and the UPA Government at the centre. Many emergency measures have been taken and the PM himself has intervened to ensure all goes well. Venues and their surrounding areas are still not ready and the host broadcaster as well as the international production team from SIS of UK is yet to take possession of their stands and do practice for the live HD broadcasts which is being done for the first time in the country. Also, this will be the first time the CW Games will be live broadcast in HD (High Definition). We give our readers a detailed preview of the Games in this issue.
Although many announcements are being made by the I&B Ministry about the HD broadcast of the Games and the rights being sold to many countries, it is shame that not even one percent of the TV households will enjoy the games in HD in our own country. Government has neither made the HD TV sets affordable by exempting them from duties nor have they ensured that the delivery platforms like the DTH, IPTV or Cable TV carry the broadcasts to maximum number of population. All HD TVs as well as STBs are imported and no FTA HD sets are available in the market for the use of DD Direct subscribers. DTH operators are finding the HD sets unaffordable by their subscribers and they have no incentive to subsidise them to such a large extent. Not even a million people would watch the HD broadcasts out of 140 million C&S Households.
TRAI has issued the Tariff order for the non CAS areas and the DTH service. Their findings are under attack by all the stake holders. Experts feel it is an impractical solution to a long pending problem. It does not even encourage new investments in digital networks by the MSOs and cable operators which TRAI in their separate recommendations are suggesting to be completed by 2013. Even the developed countries have taken from 7-10 years for the migration from analog to digital. There is no step by step planning offered by TRAI to make the process smooth and viable. This is plain and simple throwing the industry to the big sharks who have tons of money to invest and monopolize the industry as is being encouraged till date. The outcome of these half hearted efforts by TRAI is that TDSAT is busy in registering many more petitions every day.
Last month cable operators of Karnataka celebrated the Cable Day which they do every year for the last seven years. This marks their consolidation and strengthens them to fight the competition in a positive manner. Even the operators in Guwahati had a massive meeting to announce digitizing their consolidated network. Operators in Punjab are also in a unified state fighting the menace of politicians taking over their networks. We have reports on all the events in the issue.
IBC will be held in this month from 10-14 at Amsterdam. Many of you will visit this grand show. Don’t forget to share your experiences with us for the sake of many who can’t go for some reasons.
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—— Lt. Col. (Retd.) K K Sharma