Thursday, 12 December 2013

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. 
Cable Operators and independent MSOs in the industry do not have adequate knowledge to integrate various components of a Digital Addressable System like IRDs, encoders, multiplexers, conditional Access System (CAS), Subscriber management and Billing System(SMS) etc. Also there is a problem of designing an HFC digital cable network to ensure each customer STB gets the required signal with minimumAn Experience in System Integration
 noise and reception and also meets all the quality of service (QoS) requirements as prescribed by regulator TRAI. There are also problems regarding installing the middleware and EPG that meets the satisfies the consumer requirements. Not only this, many MSOs coming up for the first time do not even know how to select and purchase the STBs and Headend equipment as there are so many vendors in the world trying to woo them claiming that their equipment is the best. Cost is another major factor that every MSO and Cable Operator wants to keep as low as possible.
Considering all these factors, system integration has become very important for timely and effective implementation of Digitisation. CyberOptics fr0m Hyderabad has come up as a very popular system integrator in the Southern part of India and now expanding in other parts of the country too. 
CyberOptics with their 20 years of experience in the Indian Market in providing integrated solutions  for the CATV industry, envisioned to organise regular events on System Integration to educate the industry and make the process simpler by involving experts and  renowned vendors fr0m all over the world explaining the nitty gritty of migration to Digital Cable.   The event named CableNext includes presentations and panel discussions by industry experts and narration of experiences of some independent MSOs who have already gone through the process in the Phase-I and II of digitisation.
CableNext is an event created to help the Indian MSO and Cable Operator industry gain clarity and understanding on digitization and business right fr0m the MSOs applies for the license with the Ministry of Information and Broadcasting to installing the consumer and equipment to provide the services of given standards. This is a platform where the MSO community can get all the information and insight they need to understand digitization and its impact on their business.
Since the digitization bill was passed in the Parliament in November 2011, there has been a lot of confusion in the industry regarding the process  and the road ahead. The industry is likely to invest more money in the next 2 years than it has done in the last 20 years. Brijesh Chandwani, Managing Director, CyberOptics says, “ Uninformed decisions can prove detrimental to MSO’s and their business. What the industry needs today is utmost clarity on digitization and the correct know-how. This is exactly what we are trying to convey to the industry and help them optimise their resources in carrying out digitisation”. 
With this in mind, CyberOptics, along with its technology and media partners, created CableNext to serve as a common platform to share learning and ideas with an objective of enabling the MSO and operator community enter into the new era of digitization. 
Started in the year 1997, CyberOptics has been providing solutions across the spectrum to the CATV industry. It hassince grown in strength into a fully integrated digital CATV solutions provider. Today, CyberOptics is a preferred partner for digitization to several MSOs in the country and is associated with some of the best brands in the industry.
Some of the partners with whom CyberOptics has tied up include Ericsson for the headend, Jiuzhou for Set-Top-Boxes, Corpus Media Labs for middleware, Novel Super and ABV for Conditional Access System(CAS) and Magnaquest for SMS and billing. First of the series of CableNext was held in Vivanta by Taj in Hyderabad on 22nd October 2013. The event was attended by more than 100 independent MSOs/ Cable Operators fr0m Andhra Pradesh,  Tamilnadu, Karnataka and Kerala and vendors and professionals fr0m the Industry. Mrs Roop Sharma, President of Cable Operators Federation of India(COFI) and Col Sharma, Editor, Cable Quest were the honoured guests. Brijesh Chandwani in his keynote address told the delegates ¬¬¬¬that since the cable operators and MSOs were not aware of the implications of going digital, 25% of market has gone to DTH companies in the last two years. Subram Kapoor, COO CyberOptics in his speech explained the importance of using the right technology and equipment to save money and face less problems in the process.
Vinay Uberoi fr0m Ericsson spoke on various kinds of digital headends and how to select the right technology to suit individual network environment. Among the technologies, he explained HITS, terrestrial headend, CBR headend recommended for tier I and tier II cities, Statistical Multiplexing Headend for national players and large MSOs who wish to expand their network to many cities using leased lines. Mr Wang fr0m Jiuzhou Technology, a leading manufacturer in China explained the selection process of an STB. He estimated India to have STB demand of 20 million every year for the next four years. He informed that the largest demand (90%) was for the basic STBs where as HD STB demand would be only 10% since it is the beginning of digitisation.
Mr Wang also explained the points to be kept in mind while selecting an STB vendor that Include Software Support, Delivery flexibility, Quality Control System, Response to defects, Local Support,  Financial Stability, Industry Partnership, Patent & License and Cost Control.
He explained that generally to keep the costs low, quality is compromised which harms the business of the MSOs as his customers keep complaining. Typical mistakes made by the MSOs are-
Typical Pitfalls
1. Wrong STB specifications
2. Focusing on price too much


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