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.