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.
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.
This article is based on a white paper by Farncombe
Chief Technology Officer, KIT Digital
Audiences now demand access to content at a time that suits them, not when the broadcasters want to show it. From the days of the VCR, consumers have been able to time-shift their selected favourites. Now they want to be able to choose from a wider selection, without deciding in advance what they will record: catch-up television.
As cable TV digitization gains momentum, monetization through TV value-added services will grow exponentially. Middleware plays a crucial role in enabling those value added services apart from providing state of the art User Xperience for content navigation and search. This article puts forward implementation and operation support strategies for digital TV value-added services on a middleware platform in three aspects viz: Service Deployment, Service Recommendation, and Service Management & Control.
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.
The Innomedia Technologies a Bangalore based company has launched a new set top box “Duo CHOISpad” with super bandwidth at "Digital Life" Exhibition of Computer Society of India, held in Bangalore from 29th Nov to 1st Dec 2007. It is a plug & play device with auto configuration and Multi Interactive Remotes called CHOIser. It also functions as a personal video recorder, and a device that can store up to a terabyte of data and a communication hub comes at the cost of about Rs 4000. A unique "Ethernet Everywhere" network, Netway, was developed for providing upto 100 Mbit bandwidth to each CHOISpad. Netway, network is an example of a disruptive technology, designed completely inhouse, which is ahead of any other network in the world. Duo CHOISpad Dual Mic can also be used with mono-mixing and together as stereo mic .The Duo CHOISpad caters simultaneously to a High Definition TV (HDTV) and a Standard Definition TV (SDTV), at a price point which no home can resist.
Born in 1989-90, Cable TV Industry had not expected the amazing growth which happened the very following year. The mushrooming of cable TV networks in 1989 was only with the SMATV type equipment using ordinary TV boosters and RG 8/ LCG 21 cables for wiring up cable TV households. There were very few indigenous manufacturers in the field. The cause of this restricted growth in the pre-cable TV era was simple: the market was restricted to hotels and high-rise apartments that too in the metropolis. All the modulators were based on VCR modules. The cable operator had a low profile and his network used to cany at the most 100-200 subscribers, two or three channels. And, suddenly there came the boom in the industry due to the Gulf War that was broadcast live on CNN. People from every walk of life lined up in five star hotels to watch the “missiles fired “ till the cable TV operators installed dish antennas and gave them the world in their bedroom.
The ‘appease-all’ effort of the finance minister P Chidambaram might have been fully successful, as the Budget-1997-98 has been welcomed by almost every industry segment. Nevertheless, there are some sections in the industry which have been lurking in the dark for want of more enlightenment. Cable TV operating industry is one such example. The announcement of the budget that telecom industry will be considered as a part of the infrastructure has left Cable TV operators guessing into deep waters whether domestic ca©ble industry forms a subsidiary portion of the telecom industry.
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