Consumer Electronics and Appliances Manufacturers Association (CEAMA), the apex Industry Chamber for the Consumer Electronics and Home Appliance Industry in India, conducted a workshop to deliberate upon the opportunity and scope of manufacturing of set top boxes (STBs) locally. The seminar was an effort towards creating a force multiplier platform for industry supporters of the Make in India initiative by bringing all the industry players together to build an overall ecosystem.
The government's flagship 'Make in India' directive has given a stimulus to the manufacturing sector in India and in particular the production of consumer electronics via the Digital India campaign. Multiple global STB manufacturers consider India a regional hub for manufacturing and sales, which caters not only to the Indian market but consumers in African, Middle Eastern and SAARC nations as well. Present at the seminar were Dr. Ajay Kumar, Secretary, Deity, Ms. Tanusree Deb Barma, Director IT & BT, Government of Karnataka, Prof. Rajat Moona, Director General C-DAC and Mr. SK Marwaha, Director Deity. Dr Ajay Kumar and Prof Rajat Moona gave their presence via video conferencing.
The seminar led with a keynote session during which Dr. Ajay Kumar elaborated upon the vision and policies of Make in India campaign. The second session, titled 'Opportunities in Make in India: DAS III & IV and Beyond', began with a presentation by the Department of Electronics & Information Technology (Deity) on its initiatives, followed by a presentation on the implementaion of Digital Addressable System (DAS) by the Ministry of Information & Broadcasting (MIB), which focused on the progress of phases of DAS with a special emphasis on its effect on Indian STB adaptation. Ms. Tanusree Deb Barma, Director IT & BT from Government of Karnataka invited the manufacturers to set up the manufacturing base in the progressive state of Karnataka and assured all possible encouragement from the state government. Presentation by IESA followed, after which Mr. AnkanBiswas, Chairman DBC, CEAM. Amoderated the panel discussion on the subject and conducted a post-discussion Q&A session with the delegates.
The third session on 'Set Top Box- Manufacturing Opportunities and Challenges' opened with brief presentation delivered by ST Microelectronics, MyBox and Sandisk, which preceded the final panel consisting of CEAMA, My Box, Broadcom, ByDesign and WT India, on the topic- 'Demystifying Set Top Box Manufacturing, Moderated by Mr. K.Venkatesh, VP, India Electronics and Semiconductor Association (IESA).
Sharing his views on the seminar, Mr. Manish Sharma, President, CEAMA and Managing Director, Panasonic India and South Asia Said, "CEAMA has long associated itself with the digital migration process with a single-minded effort to support the 'Make in India' of set top boxes. This seminar has been held to bring all the stakeholders of STB industry on a common platform to share ideas on the indigenisation of STBs and discuss the benefits of localization."
Frost & Sullivan Report 2014
The introduction of High Definition (HD) channels and Smart TVs has led to an increase in digital TV viewing which in turn will hike the growth of the Set top box (STB) market. One of the hallmark product categories in the consumer electronics segment, the STB market in India is poised for unprecedented growth
The Cable Television Networks (CTN) Amendment Bill 2011 mandates digitization of TV broadcasts pan India by 2014. This bill has provided the necessary thrust for driving growth of the STB market, both cable and satellite. A Frost & Sullivan study estimates that the STB market recorded a total market (which represents consumption) of 18.4 M units. And that the total market (total consumption) for STB was 23.52 M units in 2013 and is expected to reach volumes of 39.4 M units by 2015 representing a healthy CAGR of 29.3 percent.
"Cumulative demand of over 100 million STBs between 2013 and 2015 highlights the immense potential this market has. This huge domestic demand indicates the need for increased indigenous manufacturing as currently the local production caters to only 30 percent of the demand."
The DTH industry and cable operators are plagued by huge operational challenges. This is due to the multiple taxes such as service tax, entertainment tax, license fee, and VAT that the industry is compelled to part with. In contrast, suppliers in countries like China and Korea witness enormous support from financial institutions like EXIM banks, which offer long-term credit over three to five years, at extremely low interest rates. A similar support system is needed to promote indigenous manufacturers in India. Currently, no such financing is available in the country, as this is not treated as a capital goods industry.
STB is a product that requires very close cooperation between the operator and the STB manufacturer and hence requires a high level of customer support. Sofar this is missing as most of the STBs for Phase I, II and III so far have been unparsed. Bureau of Indian Standards (BIS) has framed standards for STBs but implementation is still lacking.
Indian CAS a reality
The Department of Electronics and Information Technology (DeITY) has approved a proposal by Bengaluru-based By Design India to develop an Indian conditional access system for a total project cost of about Rs30 crore. By Design has received a support amount of Rs19.79 crore from DeITY to develop the new system, in association with Centre for Development of Advanced Computing (C-DAC).
According to By Design sources the Indian CAS is ready for implementation and is being trying out in some MSO networks. MSOs will pay just USD 0.5 per STB for the CAS against the imported ones costing from USD 2-6. After three years the CAS will be sold at market rate. However, it can be sold outside India at market rate even now.
CAS, an important and integral part of the overall STB system, is dominated by large foreign vendors. These CAS vendors define what STB is to be used. As integration of CAS is the main stumbling block of STB manufacturers, the initiative taken by DeITY to develop an indigenous CAS is greatly appreciated. DeITY needs to pursue it at a faster pace to achieve the desired objective of integrating it into STBs.