Thursday, 12 December 2013

Ad Cap Arguments or Delay Tactics

Last month TDSAT heard the arguments on all ad-cap related petitions by the broadcasters and News Broadcasters Association (NBA) against the Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (TRAI). Several arguments went back and forth between all the parties and, finally, it came to an end on 30 November.
Most of the petitions have questioned the authority of TRAI to issue such a regulation. Some broadcasters do not even think ad-cap is an issue of Quality of Service Regulations. They have emphasized this issue as a part of content regulation which is not under the purview of TRAI. If one hears all these arguments, it becomes very clear that aim of all these petitioners is only to delay the implementation of the regulation. Already broadcasters have violated the law for so many years and they want government to allow them to do it indefinitely till they start making enough profits fr0m digitization.  

State-wide Monopolies curbed

TRAI has given its recommendations on monopoly/ market dominance in cable TV Services considering a state as a relevant market.
On the request of I & B Ministry, the sector regulator TRAI has given its recommendations on monopolies and market dominance after going through its process of consultation with all stake holders.

MPEG-DASH: Adaptive streaming for multiple platforms

The need to reach multiple platforms and consumer electronics devices has long presented a technical and business headache, not to mention a cost for service providers looking to deliver online video. Creating a common file format had become very essential.
MPEG-DASH, a technology with the scope to significantly improve the way content is delivered to any device by cutting complexity and providing a common ecosystem of content and services was created for this purpose. The MPEG-DASH standard was ratified in December 2011 and tested in 2012, with deployments across the world now underway. MPEG-DASH is poised to become a universal point for interoperable OTT delivery. However, slower-than-expected initial uptake may dampen wider adoption.

International News with French flavor

France 24 launches on DD Direct+ and Dish TV to 31 million additional households in India.
France 24, an international news channel from France has entered India with a bang riding an two large platforms  DD Direct+, a free to air DTH service and Dish TV, India's largest pay TV DTH service reaching out to 31 million households.

DTH Guidelines under Revision

DTH services started operating in the country in 2003 when CAS implementation had just been deferred. This gave an extra boost to DTH because of its digital quality more channels and value additions. However, the industry  could not flourish due to internal fights among the DTH platforms on account of content sharing  since three major operators who entered the industry first, belonged to three major broadcasting groups who also owned many popular pay channels of all genres as well as MSO networks to distribute these channels. Due to fierce competition already prevalent on the ground they refused to abide by the law of the land ie.' Must provide ' and 'Must Carry' regulations for content engaging each other in court battles. 

TV Content under the Scanner

Once again television broadcasters are in the eye of the storm for violating content regulations. The Supreme Court on 29 November 2013 issued notices to the government and media regulatory bodies on a petition seeking regulation of television channels.
A bench headed by chief justice P. Sathasivam issued notices to the ministries of information and broadcasting, law and justice, and information technology in response to an item of public interest litigation (PIL) that sought the court’s intervention to bring TV channels under a regulatory framework.

DAS Progress under Review

Cable Television Networks (Regulation) Amendment Act 2011, the Notification dated 11 November 2011, Rules framed under Notification dated 28 Feb 2012 and also regulations framed consequently by TRAI to implement mandatory digitization have adversely effected millions of subscribers making them pay more than double giving no benefits of triple play, broadband, VoD etc. as promised.
The Act was brought in the interest of Consumers but MANDATORY DIGITALIZATION has proved detrimental to consumer interest and also jeopardized the livelihood of more than 60 thousand cable operators and their families. It is also creating unemployment for Lakhs of people engaged in small scale manufacturing and support services for the industry. 

An Experience in System Integration

Mandatory digitisation going on in the country since January 2012 has encouraged many new initiatives in the industry. Knowing that it will be a difficult task to complete the process within the notified deadlines, many system integration companies have emerged in India who are ready to take care of everything an MSO needs to migrate to a Digital Cable Network. 

Sunday, 1 December 2013

December 2013

30/12/13 -- A meeting between state power minister Pradyut Bordoloi and representatives of the Greater Guwahati Cable TV Operators’ Association over a charge imposed for using electric poles to string up cable wires remained inconclusive.

Government worried on Digitalisation results

Phase I&II of digitisation were hurriedly executed by the Ministry to keep up with its own set deadlines. However, the results have not been very encouraging. Subscriber choice forms are still not fed into the SMS systems of MSOs and itemised bills are not being provided. TRAI's ultimatum to MSOs for this process to be completed was 15 November which was extended to 29 November and on 29 November it has further been extended to 15 December. Broadcasters have been asked to switch off their channels where MSOs are not providing gross bills and MSOs have been asked to switch off signals to consumers who have not submitted their CAFs. Only 40% subscribers have submitted their forms in the Phase II cities making both the government and the regulator worried.  

Monday, 11 November 2013

LMOs-Masters of Monetisation

Frost & Sullivan, a multinational research and consulting company hosted an event, the Digital Media India Summit --"The New Digital Broadcast Era- Who can make money & how,"on Oct 18 at Hotel Hyatt Regency, Mumbai. The event addressed issues related to current and future trends such as high definition, leveraging content management, deploying TV-everywhere, using digital analytics, and monetizing digital Pay-TV services successfully. The objective of the forum was to provide key takeaways that could be adapted, deployed and optimized for long term top-line and bottom-line growth.

Friday, 1 November 2013

November 2013

02/11/13 --
ASCI's Consumer Complaints Council (CCC) upheld complaints against 215 ads. Education and Health & personal care category continue to lead with the highest number of complaints received.

Parliamentary committee to review Digitisation

Last month was very hectic for the broadcast industry with number of events taking place in different parts of the country. First TRAI issued a consultation on renewal of DTH licenses as Dish TV license needed to be renewed after it completed 10 years in October. A disturbing news from the Ministry of Home Affairs has complicated the renewal of licenses and registration of DTH, MSO and TV channels by mandating that these companies must get a security clearance from the Ministry every three years.
New Media is gaining fresh grounds in the video distribution market. There are encouraging news from developed countries where online viewership has surpassed the TV viewership in some cases. Netflix has seen more viewers than world's premium original  programming channel HBO. In this issue we carry some interesting articles on New Media including security aspects for video content on multi screen. 

Consumers object to Dilution of Ad Regulations

TDSAT issues notice to TRAI on 'MediaWatch-India's appeal against TRAI's amended ad regulations dropping provisions relating to 'part-screen' & loud commercials in TV channels
The Telecom Disputes Settlement and Appellate Tribunal (TDSAT) on 31 October 2013 adjourned till 11 November the case on ad cap regulation. The issue of 10+2 minute ad cap on TV channels is becoming murkier. Only yesterday ie 30 October. Mediawatch India, a consumer organisation has appealed against TRAI for diluting the quality of service regulations in TV Advertisement by removing clauses concern sudden increase in sound volume during ads, ‘part screen’ drop down ads and crowing ads on TV screen interfering the main programme. 

Operational transparency a must for OTT and multiscreen success

With operational transparency, service providers can work proactively and solve problems instantly  before customers start losing faith in the service, says Johan Görsjö, director of product management at Agama Technologies.

A Synergy of Tech Solutions Delivered At Broadcast India 2013

The 23rd chapter of the Broadcast India 2013 was held with grand success on October 9-11, 2013 at the Bombay Exhibition Centre, Goregaon (East), Mumbai. The event organised by Saicom Trade Fairs & Exhibitions also witnessed a two day conference, held on the first two days, which saw a massive turnout of technicians, professionals, DOPs and various other visitors who attended in rapt attention.

Digitisation is a Challenge for MSOs & LCOs

The sheer scale and roll-out of this initiative needs large-scale planning and coordination among all stakeholders, training and orientation. Awareness among LCOs and MSOs are equally important.

Protecting premium content on digital networks

Forensic watermarking can be applied at the receiver, headend or network level, and it can be applied to all digital content. 

Protect our Fundamental Rights – LMOs

Next phases of digitization of the whole nation by 2014 seems to be under hold as the Minister of Information and Broadcasting. Sh. Manish Tewari has asked his Ministry to conduct an external audit of the process as it has unfold in Phase-I and Phase-II . Although he hasmentioned that Phase III should not be put on hold, there appears to be a slowdown in the Ministry in implementing the same. Take for example there is no new MSO registered for Phase III & IV after the list of 140 registered MSOs update till 28 April 2013 there is no additions. It is believed that many applications are lying in the Ministry, some waiting for Home Ministry clearance and some are held up due to some reason or the other. MSOs who have applied for licenses say that their applications are being held held up at the behest of some National MSOs and DTH companies who are trying to monopolise the Phase III & IV market too, like they did in Phase I and II.

Dynamic broadcast: new content delivery strategies enabling efficient spectrum usage

Dynamic broadcast bridges the gap on the spectrum level, dynamically attracting spectrum to TV stations and cellular WiFi.

Is India Ready for New Media?

The Election Commission on 25 October brought the social media and Internet use for elections under its purview, issuing a detailed order for regulating them. It decreed that the legal provisions and orders issued by the Commission regarding the election campaigning shall equally apply to the social media alike any other media, so far as the candidates and political parties are concerned.
Pointing out that the social media websites are also electronic media by definition and hence the instructions for pre-certification of political advertisements on TV and other electronic media by the state and district media certification and monitoring committees will also apply to the social media websites. 

Where is the Consumer Interest?

When the Digital Addressable Bill was being discussed in the Parliament in November 2011, Ms Ambika Soni, then I&B Minister was again and again assuring the Parliamentarians that it was being done in consumer interest and that they would get their choice content at affordable price with the government benefitting from additional taxes. Exactly after two years we find that none of it has become a reality. Were the parliament and the people cheated to benefit a few stake holders? 

Shift to IP will bring interesting options

In this exclusive interview Cable Quest asked Shyam Ananthnarayan ofTata Elxsi what holds in future for the LCOs in the cable ecosystem.

Thursday, 10 October 2013

The Changing Face of Television in the Indian Home

Television has been a major source of entertainment for Indian households since the technology first became available: From the early days of black-and-white ‘community’ TV sets to high definition screens at home today. In this respect, India’s national interest in television mirrors many other regions of the world, where subscribers turn to broadcasts for entertainment, news and drama, from cricket games to evening news and Bollywood to daily soap operas. 

Ad cap issue becomes a hornet's nest

After the IBF announcement of its decision that all its members would shift to 10+2 ad cap as stipulated by TRAI in its quality of service regulations for addressable systems the Indian Society of Advertisers (ISA) has sent a formal notice to the Indian Broadcasting Foundation (IBF) on the ad cap issue. A notice sent by ISA Chairman Hemant Bakshi states: “Members of ISA have brought to the notice of ISA that they have received letters from some members of IBF about their proposal to impose an ad cap self-regulation and, thereby, ration inventory available to the members of ISA on the channels of these IBF members.”
The notice further states that the ISA has taken a very serious view of this issue, “which is wholly uncalled for and is brought up by some IBF members with ulterior motives to make undue gains”.

DAS Regulations need a Relook

TRAI issued a path-breaking consultation recently to regulate the channel aggregators and distribution agents. A mere perusal of comments given by the Pay Channel Broadcaster / Aggregators  tells us that to continue misusing their dominant position in the market they continue to harp on the problems of analogue cable era. They have made frivolous accusations to a point where they are themselves making contradictory comments, accusing their own people. Definitely this speaks of the topsy turvy regulations that have brought the industry to a stand still. Result is that more and more cases are being filed in the courts and everything is being stayed. Cable TV is a service that depends solely on content that the distribution networks transmit, irrespective of the technology used. There are analogue cable, digital QAM cable, IP, HITS, DTH, mobile TV and streaming video to deliver TV channels. No operator wants to invest unless he is assured of content that would give him revenue and make his business model viable.

Guidelines for Television Rating Agencies

On 11 September Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (TRAI) has released its recommendations of Guideline for Television Rating Agencies.
On the request of the Ministry of Information and Broadcasting TRAI gave its  recommendation on issue related to guidelines/accreditation mechanism for accreditation of TRP rating agencies in India. Ministry's request also stated that in case the accreditation mechanism fails to address the maladies of the current system then there would be a need for entrusting the accreditation mechanism to TRAI under section 11(1) (d).

Small Businesses must be protected

When in 1994, the Ministry of Industries declared Cable TV Operation as a Small Scale Service and Business Enterprise (SSS&BE) no one knew that this will remain on papers only. However, thousands of cable operators who joined the mushrooming industry were hopeful of a bright future. Little did they know that the Big Brothers in the form of MSOs had arrived to usurp their lucrative business. The first shock to them was when they went to register as small scale business in the state departments numerous hurdles were waiting for them like getting clearances from various departments.
Pay channels, entertainment tax, service tax problems made their life more miserable and the Cable TV Act instead of putting ointment on their wounds sprinkled salt over them. MSOs made sure that every type of hurdle was put in their way till they came to them for help.

Wednesday, 9 October 2013

Harris Broadcast Builds New Playout Center for Leading Asian Sports Broadcaster

EN Sports High Definition Facility on air since September

DENVER, Oct. 9, 2013 (Broadcast India, Stand A101) — Harris Broadcast, a global supplier of content management and network infrastructure serving broadcasters, satellite, MSOs, IPTV, mobile TV and OTT providers, today announced it has completed the build out of a major broadcast production facility for TEN Sports, the leading sports channel in Asia. The new production playout center and studio went on air in mid-September 2013.

Tuesday, 1 October 2013

October 2013

01/10/13 --
Manufacturers’ Association for Information Technology (MAIT), welcomed government’s decision to extend the deadline of “Requirement for Compulsory Registration Order 2012” by three months. The new deadline for the mandatory BIS certification is January 3, 2014.

Monday, 16 September 2013

Go Fast with G Fast

G Fast is a revolution in telecom field. One magic that it can transform all normal copper wire connections used for voice near FTTH network.

Expanding the film and television industry’s horizon, 23 years and counting

Saicom Trade Fairs & Exhibitions Pvt Ltd is organising the 23rd chapter of the Broadcast India 2013 from October 9 -11, 2013 at the Bombay Exhibition Centre, Goregaon (East), Mumbai. A 2 day Conference  will be held on October 9 and 10, 2013 at the same venue. As an added attraction, this year, Broadcast India along with RED bring you REDucation a workshop focused on hands-on learning with RED Digital Cinema camera packages (DRAGON, EPIC, SCARLET). Learn, shoot and review 4K footage on the big screen each day in the large 200+ sq mt. REDucation theatre.
Broadcast India 2013 is the country’s biggest and the most comprehensive platform for the broadcast, film and entertainment industry which promises to bring to you the very best for all there is to do with Broadcast, Film, Audio, Radio from its content creation to its management and delivery.

TRAI gets serious in Implementing Regulations

It appears that TRAI has finally understood the problems of regulating this 100 million households Cable TV industry. For the first time it has issued a consultation that looks at removing the biggest hurdle in the process of digitization that is, anticompetitive practices of pay TV aggregators. Independent MSOs and LMOs are now very hopeful of surviving in the industry if TRAI implements its proposal. The last date for submission of written comments for this consultation has been postponed to 3rd September. 

Planning for a multiscreen distribution

Digital TV Research Limited forecasts a pay-TV boom over the next few years, predicting that global pay-TV subscriber households will reach nearly 1 billion by 2018, driving investment in multiscreen and over the top (OTT) services and technology.
India is not very far away from realizing the dream of multi screen homes as penetration of digital cable is increasing everyday because of the government’s effort in implementing phased digitization of cable TV by 2014. Already 28 million digital homes are connected in the first two phases in four metros and 38 big cities. As consumer’s spending power increases, their expectations of a high quality of service, good user experience have also increased. New smart devices are increasingly being bought particularly by the youth who are always mobile and carry their world along with them. 

Phase III & IV to be accelerated

Indian economy has gone further down with 4.4% growth in the first quarter. Consumer spending have reduced to a record low. Current  Account Deficit has increased to an alarming  situation. In such a worsening condition broadcasting sector cannot be left untouched.
Inspite of government doing all to lure the investors, conditions in the industry do not augur well for the foreign investors. Every one is on wait and watch mode.

Manipulation is the name of the game

Within a day of TRAI moving to prosecute 17 television channels for non-compliance of the advertisement cap regulation, Broadcasters met TDSAT and got a relief till November 11. In an earlier order passed by TDSAT on August 30, the Tribunal had asked TRAI not to take any “coercive action” against news channels for not implementing the agreed ad restrictions. This was a reaction to TRAI moving a Delhi court recently while issuing notices to 17 channels for not adhering to a 16-minute advertising cap per clock hour for non-news channels and a 20-minute cap for news channels which was part of a phased shift to 10+2 ad cap as agreed by all the broadcasters in a meeting with TRAI on 27 May 2013. In response to the NBA application, the TDSAT chairperson, Justice Aftab Alam, questioned TRAI on why it has initiated prosecution against broadcasters in the Delhi CMM Court for violating regulations, while TDSAT is currently seized of the matter and why TRAI had failed to keep the Tribunal informed before taking such a decision. Justice Alam specifically stated that while the Tribunal may not have the powers to quash the complaints filed by TRAI before the CMM Court, New Delhi, it was within its powers to grant the stay on the amended quality of service (QoS) regulations.

A Pathbreaking Move by TRAI Regulating the TV Channel Distributors/ Aggregators is no easy task

Recent initiative of the sector regulator TRAI in regulating the distribution of TV channels from broadcasters to plateform operators and proposing to control or get rid of the channel aggregators/ distribution agents will change the entire scene of cable industry if implemented in totality.
The proposed amendments will definitely steer the industry to a positive growth required since long so that all stake holders can run their business lawfully, peacefully and profitably. 

FDI Increased for Broadcasting Sector

The Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (TRAI) has given its Recommendations on 22nd August 2013 on the subject of FDI in broadcasting, recognising the growing convergence between the broadcasting and telecom sectors increasing the FDI cap to 100 % for distribution platforms like DTH, MSO and IPTV, bringing it at par with the telecom sector. The Authority has been broadly guided by the principles of ensuring a level-playing field between competing technologies and maintaining consistency in policy across both sectors. Due to convergence of telecom and broadcasting technologies, telecom as well as broadcasting networks can be used to provide broadcasting carriage services. Ministry of Information & Broadcasting had sent a reference to the Authority dated 12th July 2013, indicating that the Government is re-examining the current FDI policy with a view to easing FDI inflow and liberalising the limits/caps.

Consumer want their Analogue Cable Back

Swaraj Samiti, a consumer organization based in Rajkot, Gujarat has sent a memorandum to the sector regulator TRAI requesting for continuation of analogue cable systems along with digital cable as the law for mandatory digitization as given in Sec. 4A (Substituted by Act 21 of 2011) of The Cable Television Networks (Regulation) Act, 1995 (7 of 1995) is inconsistent with

Gujarat Operators Fight for Their Fundamental Rights

On 22nd August a huge gathering of cable operators took place in the city of Rajkot where a very important aspect of Digitisation was discussed at length. Prominent persons present there were Roop Sharma, president, Cable Operators Federation of India, Pramod Pandya, President, Gujarat Cable Operators Association, Dilip Sinh, who hosted the meet, Bharat Bhai, Suresh Trivedi, Bharat Chatpatwala, Dalsukh Bhai, Abdulla Hakani & Ashok Patel (See the picture on top).

Sunday, 1 September 2013

September 2013

06/9/13 -- Doordarshan - for the first time will indigenously telecast the show of Zubin Mehta on  live on high definition (HD) across 40 nations from Shalimar Garden on the banks of picturesque Dal Lake

Friday, 16 August 2013

DTH- Booming Times Ahead

DTH Industry is going through a tremendous change as cable TV mandatory digitisation has added to the competition. Already beleaguered DTH operators experienced a new lease of life once helped by the impractical ways of implementing mandatory digitization of cable TV by the I&B Ministry. The more the Ministry officials made it difficult for the cable MSOs to comply by the regulations and meet the deadlines, the more the cable TV subscribers opted for DTH services. A well settled DTH service was allowed to make the best use of teething problems of digital cable. Thus started a boom time for DTH operators. 

Fallout of a Hasty Digitisation

Local cable operators (LCOs) and multi-system operators (MSOs) in Kolkata have been given the deadline of August 23, 2013, to submit filled-in Consumer Application Forms (CAF) to the central Subscriber Management System (SMS) for feeding in consumer choice and generate billing accordingly. All cable TV subscribers in the city will have to collect consumer application forms (CAF) from local cable operators (LCOs) and multi-system operators (MSOs) and furnish their personal details and channels of choice before August 23, 2013, or else they won't be able to see any channel after that.

Advancements in Set-Top- Box Technologies

Mandatory Digitisation has brought with it a huge demand for set-top-boxes as every TV set in India needs one. There are 156 million TV Households in India out of which 105 million cable TV homes need STBs. Already 26 million STBs have been installed in the Phase-I and II of Digitisation. Another 79 million analogue homes are yet to be connected. Then there are homes with multiple TV sets raising the demand by another 20%. STB quality, standards, types and technology has been in the news since Digitisation started.  Unfortunately India does not have a good base for manufacturing our own STBs. 95% STBs are imported and hence it is very important for the operators to understand what is available in the world market. In this article we shall focus on the technologies available in STBs.

Significant effort is still needed to meet Europe’s - Superfast Broadband Challenge

A new study completed by Point Topic shows that whilst nearly all households in Europe could access basic broadband services at the end of 2012, significant challenges still remain in delivering high-speed broadband to all.
 The purpose of the Digital Agenda in Europe is to harness the internet and other digital technologies to drive sustainable economic growth. It includes two targets relating to broadband coverage:

Regulations must favour Consumers

Last month TRAI asked for comments on a draft Tariff Order and draft Interconnect regulations fr0m all stake holders. This exercise of amending the regulations for digital addressable systems is being carried out to amend some clauses in the original regulations which were set aside in a TDSAT judgement given on four to five cases filed by the MSOs and LCOs against the unfair DAS regulations on 19 October 2012. Some of these regulations were even commented upon in the TDSAT order as 'Bad in Law'.

DTH- Booming Times Ahead

DTH Industry is going through a tremendous change as cable TV mandatory digitisation has added to the competition. Already beleaguered DTH operators experienced a new lease of life once helped by the impractical ways of implementing mandatory digitization of cable TV by the I&B Ministry. The more the Ministry officials made it difficult for the cable MSOs to comply by the regulations and meet the deadlines, the more the cable TV subscribers opted for DTH services. A well settled DTH service was allowed to make the best use of teething problems of digital cable. Thus started a boom time for DTH operators. 

FDI in Broadcasting

The Information and Broadcasting Ministry has sought TRAI's views on the Mayaram panel's recommendations on FDI in Broadcasting. Divergent views had emerged among various industry stakeholders after the Ministry consulted them.
The I&B Ministry's decision to turn to TRAI for its opinion is also being interpreted by many as a ploy to buy more time, as there are divergent views within the industry.

IBC 2013 "Please Adjust you Set: Returning Your Strategy for the Connected Era"

Each September, the leading brands, finest minds and wisest investors come to IBC  the premier annual conference and exhibition for professionals engaged in the creation, management and delivery of entertainment and media content worldwide. The show is also a favourite with Indian industry professionals who converge in Amsterdam every year for the latest in broadcast technologies, negotiate deals and do networking with professional from other parts of the world. 

Viewership gets the Hammering

For the last two months advertisers and broadcasters have been fighting over the rating system that need to be adopted during this period when the industry is transitioning fr0m analogue to digital. The dispute over television ratings escalated to the point that had raised the prospect of companies withdrawing their commercials fr0m TV channels.

Wednesday, 14 August 2013

DTH- Booming Times Ahead

DTH Industry is going through a tremendous change as cable TV mandatory digitisation has added to the competition. Already beleaguered DTH operators experienced a new lease of life once helped by the impractical ways of implementing mandatory digitization of cable TV by the I&B Ministry. The more the Ministry officials made it difficult for the cable MSOs to comply by the regulations and meet the deadlines, the more the cable TV subscribers opted for DTH services. A well settled DTH service was allowed to make the best use of teething problems of digital cable. Thus started a boom time for DTH operators. 

Monday, 5 August 2013

Intenational Regulator: Will it be Possible?

IF there can be International Airport Authority to Supervise the air trafficking, In-terpol for international policing. Why cannot we hope to have an International satellite Broadcasting Authority on the same lines?
Globalisation of economy has compacted the distances across the countries in such a way that whole world is a global village. The euphoria has been catalyzed by the technological advances. The provision of satellite-telephony, video-conferencing, hotline, as well as the Internet has made people from deferent parts of the globe live inside a technological home. The evolution of information highway and the global market is expected to generate some sort of internationalisation of thought, culture, tradition technology, education and related in formations. 

Thursday, 1 August 2013

Consumer choicestill a far cry

A tiff between broadcasters and advertisers kept the industry guessing the outcome everyday in the last month. In this tug of war TAM has been the rope pulled between a monthly rating system and a weekly rating system by the broadcasters and advertisers respectively.  
Thank God that a hybrid solution has been found at the end under which all data issued to the public domain will be in the television viewership in thousands (TVT) format, which captures and reflects growth in TV audiences in the country in absolute numbers and for media planning and buying, the data supplied to advertisers and media agencies will offer weekly television rating points (TVR) and all other information that had been made available to them in the past. Also BARC, the new rating council will supervise all TAM data till it starts producing its on within a year or so. 

August 2013

01/8/13 --
Finolex Cables, India’s largest and leading manufacturer of electrical and communication cables recently announced its entry into Patna.

Thursday, 11 July 2013

Select a CAS carefully

1.Basic consideration for selecting a CAS : Selecting a basic CAS that can be upgraded later requires a detailed discussion. This may also depend on network to network. As a general thumb rule, the trend that is widely adopted by many Cable operators in India as follows:
Experience of the CAS vendor : History of hacking, deployment in different kinds of networks, support of simulcrypt, acceptability by major content providers and its operation on one way DVB network are some of the experiences that must be considered.

Subscriber Management System (SMS) - Integral Part of Digitalization

In today's Digital era where Companies are offering subscriber based services such as Pay TV (Video), Internet Services (Data), IP Telephony (Voice) etc., All these services should be managed in a professional and prompt approach to fulfill all the subscribers' requirements. This may involve responding to customer requests for New Connection activation, New Bouquet / channel requisitions, altering subscription packages, handling promotional plans, Generation of bills & receipts, providing subscriber history data, Connection De-activations or for General Technical issues while ensuring that all the processes are well organized. 

Video on Demand Money bag for the MSOs

Video on demand (VOD) is system which allow users to select and watch/listen to video or audio content on demand. IPTV technology is often used to bring video on demand to televisions and personal computers. Catch up TV is the latest form of video on demand. The technology is also used a value addition by Cable Operators. 

Simple to deploy and monetize is the key

Rahul Nehra

CMO and Global Head Sales, Exset, UK

A Week of Fulfilling Business Exchange

International companies exhibiting and speaking at this year’s edition of CommunicAsia2013, EnterpriseIT2013 and BroadcastAsia2013 have seen strong traction amongst attendees. The shows were held in Singapore from 18-21 June, 2013.

DVB-Simulcrypt Enabling multiple CAS on the same network

Simulcrypt is a DVB protocol published by ETSI for use in broadcast TV head-ends to enable multiple Conditional Access systems to co-exist in the same network at the same time. The standard also defines the interface between conditional access systems and head-end multiplexing components.

Monetize Your Services Choose the right SMS system to reduce churn and increase ARPUs

Indian television industry is going through a transformation. Impending Analogue Switch off and New Media like OTT present an immense opportunity and challenge. PayTV operators should also address the changing consumer and regulatory demands  of varied content, better quality, improved service qualities etc; all at economical price points. 

Wednesday, 10 July 2013

No end to Digital Cable Woes

After having failed to pressurize MSOs and LCOs, TRAI is now trying to pressurize the consumers threatening to cut off their cable connections if they don’t submit their consumer application forms (CAF) to their respective cable operators / MSOs. 25 June was the last date of the warning to 9-10 million subscribers whose forms have not been submitted yet. Now TRAI has extended the last date of CAF submission to 10th July. I&B Ministry’s threatening television campaign in which a group of TV serial actresses ask subscribers to fill up these form with their choice of channels and submit to the MSOs or else lose their television connections has also had little effect on the consumers. Earlier, notices were given to MSOs and LCOs by TRAI and in spite of some MSOs having assured TRAI of timely compliance, not much could be achieved. Eight months have passed after declaration of successful completion of Phase-I by the I&B Ministry and hardly 50% CAF forms have been submitted. According to market sources only a single package with some popular channels has been activated for all consumers irrespective of what choice has been given by them. 

One billion pay TV subscribers by 2018

Global pay TV households will reach nearly 1 billion by 2018, up from 772 million in 2012 and 814 million in 2013. According to the Digital TV World Household Forecasts report, the Asia Pacific region will contribute 59% (587 million) of the global total by 2018. Based on forecasts for 97 countries by Digital TV Research, China will have the most pay TV subs, at 313 million by end-2018, followed by 158 million in India and 107 million in the US. These three countries will account for 58% of global pay TV households by 2018. 

Do not encourage superstition and blind faith I&B Ministry tells all TV channels

Babas and Gurus are under the I&B scanner now. Ministry on 07 June 2013 gave 15 days time to stop all programmes which encourage supenstition and blind belief.

Digitisation Fails to Woo Foreign Broadcasters

India is going through a rough patch in its economy these days. Rupee has miserably come down to a low level of Rs 60 a Dollar, Industrial output has come down, foreign investments are coming down as no one seems to be interested in investing in India.  Numerous large scale scams in the country have lowered the credibility of the UPA government, although it is still trying to show a brave face. Any way keeping in mind the Lok Sabha elections in 2014, government is doing its best to keep the confidence up. Government is looking at increasing the FDI caps in some sectors including broadcasting to cover-up the current account deficit which is piling up to a dangerous level. A committee headed by Secy Economic Affairs, Arvind Mayaram has given its recommendations and now ministries are to give their views. The Arvind Mayaram panel had suggested raising the foreign investment limit from 26 percent to 49 percent in print media, FM Radio, uplinking news and current affairs channels and 100 percent in broadcasting carriage services and printing of specialized magazines and facsimile editions of foreign newspapers. Consequently the Ministry of Information and Broadcasting (MIB) held a meeting on June 29, 2013 in New Delhi with industry stakeholders. The meeting attended by MIB officials and many stakeholders from print, radios and TV debated on the proposal of the Ministry of Finance regarding revision of FDI caps in various segments in broadcasting and print sector. It was not a surprise that the Industry was divided on the issue. While some people were strongly in favour of raising the cap, certain other sections were equally strongly opposed to the idea. Whereas DTH players, News broadcasters and foreign broadcasters wanted more of FDI regional channels and even some DTH operators opposed the move. Now stakeholders will be sending their views on this issue in writing to the ministry so that it could finalise its proposal suggested by the stakeholders on raising the FDI caps in various sectors of broadcasting.

Choosing the right Middleware

STB Middleware provides a common framework for operator branded UI and feature implementation for a given operator network. This article delves into middleware basics and recommends basic minimum feature and functional requirement for a cost effective middleware solution.

Seamless Integration is the most important

Nagravision a renowned company providing content security and multiscreen user experience solutions for the monetisation of digital India. Hitesh Lokhandwala, General Manager India, Nagravision tells us what essential features a CAS and SMS system must have.

Monday, 1 July 2013

July 2013

01/7/13 -- Bimal Julka, IAS assumed charge as Secretary, Ministry of Information & Broadcasting.

Consumers are still reluctant to comply by government orders

Last month saw a great tragedy strike the Uttrakhand Hills where thousands died or went missing. Road communications have been badly hit and some of the villages have been completely washed out. We at Cable Quest express our deep sympathies with all who suffered and pray for peace to the departed souls.
This month’s issue focuses on Conditional Address System, SMS and Billing. We have procured very useful information for our readers on the subject from many renowned companies. All Digital networks must have these systems as per the regulations. We have tried to provide information that would particularly prove very beneficial to independent MSOs and cable operators.

Saturday, 8 June 2013

Kids Channels heading for Censorship

No one till now thought of censoring the Kids channels. However with the competition growing in the genre a lot of foreign made content is being added on the kids channels that may not be following the content code of India and channels generally overlook such aspect because self regulation has not yet caught on in the country. Our government is too scared of the powerful broadcasters, particularly the foreign broadcasters, to regulate their content. The Broadcast Content Complaints Council (BCCC) has been constituted by IBF but it represents only a handful of influential broadcasters who may not take its advice so seriously. On 16 May BCCC issued advisory to all kid’s channels in the Indian Broadcasting Foundation (IBF) warning them to be more circumspect about the programming they air on their channels. The advisory states that the emphasis should be on the 'best interest of the child'. BCCC is also planning to send the advisory to the I&B Ministry so that the channels follow the advisory.

Curbing Monopolies in Media

At a time when country's GDP is dipping below 5% and government is in a frenzy to find some quick solutions before the general elections next year, some broadcasters, DTH players and MSOs are laughing all the way to the bank raking in the moolah of Digitisation, thanks to the team of I&B Secretary Uday Kumar Verma who managed an excellent report from hurriedly implemented digitalisation in the cable TV industry surpassing all records in the international market for such attempts. 

A death knell for broadcast television

Google Fiber is a project  to build an experimental broadband Internet network. It is being used in the US in Kansas City, Missouri, North Kansas City, Missouri, Austin Texas and Provo, Utah. It is based totally on fibre optic communication. Many communities applied to be first recipient of the technology, over 1,100. Google deployed its network in Kansas its first community. 

Kolkata LCOs Protest unfair dealing by MSOs

LCOs in Kolkata have joined together against the MSOs for their unfair deals in revenue sharing.
This was expected as TRAI very smartly had avoided interconnect regulations on revenue share and left it on negotiated deals between MSOs and LCOs. This was bound to fail as no negotiations in the industry have succeeded since 1994 when pay channels and MSOs entered the market. LCOs always have the fear that big MSOs supported by pay broadcasters will push them out of the industry.

Technologies for all IP Cable Networks

Last month we read about the opportunities for Cable Operators to leverage the IP technology. In the second part of this article we provide different technologies that operators can choose to deliver the context in most efficient way.

Roll out of rural Broadband

Connecting 250000 Panchayats and 4500 Municipalities with Broadband on Cable TV networks.
Cable TV industry in India is existing for the last 25 years and has connected 100 million households in the country with 35% households in rural areas, Today there is hardly any inhabited place with electricity where cable operator does not exist. 

Better late than never

Trai issues Tariff Orders for Supply of STBs/CPEs
after Phase-1 & 2 have been completed
The Telecom Regulatory Authority Of India (TRAI) on 27 May 2013 issued two tariff orders prescribing standard tariff packages for set top boxes (STBs) for digital addressable cable TV systems (DAS) and Consumer Premises Equipments (CPEs) for Direct to Home (DTH) services. The prime objective of these tariff orders, TRAI says, is to ensure effective commercial interoperability.

Cardless Content Security The Smarter Choice for Hybrid Networks

The Internet has irreversibly changed where, when and how viewers want to experience their content. The pay TV industry, from a global perspective, is transforming itself to keep pace with this evolution; operators clearly understand that the age of simply broadcasting linear bouquets of live content to managed set-top boxes (STBs) is passing. 

Saturday, 1 June 2013

June 2013

1/6/13 -- Media conglomerate News Corp will cancel its listing on the London Stock Exchange (LSE) due to low levels of trading volume.

TRAI in Cross Fire of Media Ownership

After completing Phase-1 and 2 ministry has not talked about Phase-3 and 4. The hurry and impatience shown to make first two phases a success is nowhere seen in implementation of Phase 3 and 4.
It confirms my belief that there was a hidden agenda in hurriedly implementing Phase-1 and 2 so that maximum benefit could be given to a particular large media group who has been trying to monopolise the market through its numerous channels, MSO network and DTH. Since all TAM cities have been covered, ministry is taking easy now onwards. 

Saturday, 18 May 2013

Digital cable and beyond

It’s clearly an exciting yet challenging time to be one of India’s cable operators. The move to digital has had a good start and the regulated ASO is scheduled to continue at pace. Media Partners Asia (MPA) predicts that just as analogue switch-off provided a digital dividend in western countries the same will happen in India, with predictions for Indian cable revenues jumping from $4.2 billion in 2011 to $6.4 billion by 2020. Clearly as well as leading to increased revenues, the move to digital cable causes disruption too. For instance some local operators may form cooperatives or move from last mile distribution to becoming sales operations for the larger operators and MSOs. Everyone from the MSO through to the consumer there’s going to be a need to purchase new digital equipment, from digital head-ends, edge network QAM delivery to set-top boxes for the home. The data enabled by digital CAS will be a game changer to track subscription levels and provide viewer information to allow operators to tailor their TV offering to their audience.

Broadcast Asia, Singapore-2013 Show Preview

Conference line-up will spotlight new topics, an impressive assemblage of speakers and interactive dialogues for discerning content producers

Chinese Cable Networks set an Example with Triple Play

By Mr. Yanjun
CTO, Chengdu Guangda


Hemant UpadhyayAdvisor-IT & Telecom,Consumer VOICE
All cable TV consumers beware- government of India by amending THE CABLE TELEVISION NETWORKS (REGULATION) ACT, 1995 on 25th October 2011 and by notification dated 11th November 2011 has made it mandatory for all cable television service providers to provide only digital and encrypted signals to their consumers. The time table for this Digital Access System (DAS) has also been notified which prescribes that DAS should be implemented in 4 metros (Delhi, Mumbai, Chennai and Kolkata) by 30th June, 2012 (finally done on 30th October, 2012), other major cities by 31st March 2013 and rest of the country by 31st December, 2014.

Can Infrastructure be Shared in Broadcasting Sector

Broadcasting Industry today has grown to an enormous size in the country. Each Distribution Platform Operator (DPO) retransmits on an ave...