This year our focus in the Supplement on Digitisation has been ‘Using Cable TV for Broadband Services’. Government is preparing to end the Phase III by this year end and within the next two years, the whole country will become digital. This is another issue that the I&B Ministry is more concerned to promote the ‘Pay’ Broadcasters without giving any consideration to the last mile infrastructure that carries this content.
This has somehow, lead to disappointment among the LCOs and MSOs. However, the Modi lead NDA government has taken up the issue seriously and is looking at the cable TV infrastructure as a boon to achieve better broadband penetration. There is no denying the fact that cable TV networks are much better in carrying high speed broadband than the conventional Indian telecom networks. This even includes mobile networks. Hence, it is time that notwithstanding what the government plans for them, all last mile cable operators and MSOs should focus on providing broadband services. They could use any technology for the purpose including DOCSIS, EoC, FTTH etc. Remember, IP networks are the future of infotainment industry.
The results of the Connected100 Survey, revealed that data-driven video services will help tailor the consumer experience and open the door for programmatic TV advertising. Video services are also expected to enable end users to publish User-Generated Content that will become an integral part of the content offering, enabling consumers to act as content editors. The Connected100 research is a global survey enabling key players in the TV and media market to share their views on the future of the connected entertainment industry.
The survey reveals that 4K (77.5 per cent of respondents), TV Everywhere (70 per cent) and OTT (87.5 per cent) will remain key drivers of innovation, while linear broadcast (only 7.5 per cent) will slowly lose to personalised TV services accessed via the cloud or on connected devices. Big Data, the Internet of Things (IoT) and short-form digital video will also enable the content industry to offer services tailored to end users’ viewing habits and preferences.
TV Everywhere enables consumers to access content on every platform and to interact with it, and personalisation will allow end users to create their own schedule and programming, moving away from linear broadcast. At the same time, User Generated Content is forcing the industry to redefine what TV means, to rethink the business models and how the industry works.
According to experts, Broadcasters also need to adjust to the new digital distribution that demands shorter timeframes. Broadcasters will have to premier shows simultaneously at the same time around the world. To achieve this, they need to process multiple materials at a fraction of the time, file transfers need to happen instantaneously and tight workflows must be put in place to simultaneously deliver the content to the world.
So far, we are selling TV services to households while the emerging trends require streaming video services to address the needs of individuals. This helps to generate additional revenues for both distribution platforms and their content partners.
This also offers further opportunities through more targeted advertising. With the massive penetration of smart phones in India, new entertainment technology promises to offer more tools to audiences to control their viewing experience. Consumers have become active members of the content chain, as well as enabling the industry to better understand subscriber behaviour on every platform.
Thus, the earlier we shift to multiplatform services, better it is for cable industry to survive. We are happy to get a very elaborate article from Col V C Khare, an industry veteran, on digitising cable networks for broadband services in this supplement. Such practical information pertaining to the Indian scenario is hardly available anywhere else.