Posts Tagged ‘DTH’

DD, AIR to get Rs 1 bn to boost transmitters in border areas

July 19, 2009

The range and capacity of Doordarshan and All India Radio (AIR) transmitters in border areas is being augmented, following persistent complaints that stronger signals from across the border result in jamming Indian channels.

The Information and Broadcasting Ministry is understood to have set aside a budget of around Rs 1 billion for this purpose.

When pointed out that this was not a new complaint, Ministry sources told that Prasar Bharati was an autonomous body and the government could interfere only up to a certain extent.

“In fact, senior officials in Prasar Bharati have themselves not got used to the fact that they work for an autonomous organisation,” the source quipped.

The sources also regretted that one reason for the weak signals was the fact that cable and direct-to-home operators often did not carry Doordarshan channels on the prime band as required under law under Section 8 of the Cable Television Networks (Regulation) Act 1995.

DTH operators eye foreign channels to woo subscribers

April 16, 2009

s competition hots up in the direct-to-home (DTH) space, operators, including Dish TV and Sun Direct, are now turning to foreign language channels to build their content bouquet in a bid to take themselves ahead of other players.

Even though the viewership remains small, DTH players are looking at adding more foreign channels such as Fox, DW and Warner Brothers’ WB to their portfolio with increasing demand. “The viewership remains mostly in metros and tier I and II cities. Howev er, these channels add to the content offering and with more channels coming in, the demand certainly has gone up,” Dish TV Chief Operating Officer Mr Salil Kapoor said.

The Essel Group firm currently offers TV5 Monde (French), DW TV, NHK (Japanese), MGM and WB. Asked if the company would bring in more such channels, Mr Kapoor said, “To broadcast foreign channels in India, we have to obtain licence from the Information and Broadcasting ministry. With that in mind, we would look at bringing in more foreign channels depending on their availability and if there is viewer demand”.

Sun Direct is also actively looking at offering foreign channels to its subscribers. – PTI

No compensation for STB upgradation to DTH players: Trai

February 12, 2008
The Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (Trai) has dismissed the reported demand from two direct-to-home (DTH) players – Tata Sky and DISH TV– that they should be compensated to the tune of Rs 6 billion if they are to upgrade their old set-top boxes (STBs) to MPEG4 format.
According to reports in the media, Tata Sky and Dish TV have sent individual letters to the government saying that since the new entrants – like Reliance ADAG and Bharti Airtel – would give feed in the MPEG4 format, the clause of interoperability of STBs would hurt the existing players.
The clause of interoperability says that STBs for DTH should be interoperable between all DTH service providers, so that subscribers can change from one to another without changing their STBs.

Hence, the grouse of the existing players is that if people choose to migrate from the new players – who will give their feed on the MPEG4 format- to the older players, it would not be possible, as the latter use the MPEG2 format.

The two companies have, thus, reportedly asked the government to fund them for makeover to the MPEG4 format for their combined subscription base of five million, because all these STBs have to be changed.

“The question does not arise for government funding,” a senior Trai official told “I am not even sure whether the companies have actually written to the government. But they have certainly not written to Trai.”

The official said that these new players did not put in any such objection with Trai when the consultation process for formulating the regulation was on.

He added, “Even if they have written to the government, there is no substance in the demand, as the regulation clearly says that existing subscribers will continue to get the feed on MPEG2 format, and only new subscribers will have to be given on MPEG4.”

He said that even for the existing players, the same suppliers who are giving the MPEG2 STBs shall give the higher version, and TataSky and dishtv can give their new connections from there.

Time for Cable TV to shift to other delivery platforms

January 29, 2008

Nearly two million homes in the Kolkata city that currently view pay channels through conventional cable connections will have to shift to an alternative delivery platforms.

The new platforms include conditional access system (CAS), direct-to-home (DTH), head-end in the sky (HITS) or Internet protocol television (IPTV) in a couple of years. That’s the deadline watchdog agency Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (TRAI) has set for switch from analog to digital transmission.

“There is no option but to shift to digital transmission. Those who don’t will be driven out of business. If multi service operators don’t adopt CAS, they will be driven out of business by DTH, HITS and IPTV,” TRAI chairman Nripendra Mishra said.

At the subscriber end, a device like the set top box used in CAS and DTH is required to convert the digital signals to analog for viewing on conventional televisions. Only high definition televisions that comprise a minuscule fraction of television sets in the country is compatible to digital transmission and does not require a converter.

Till date, less than 5% of 2 million cable homes in the city have opted for either CAS or DTH. Numbers would have been higher but for the delay in roll-out of CAS beyond the first zone.

Tata Sky plans to bring more interactive channels

December 10, 2007

Tata Sky Limited, the DTH joint venture between the Tata Group and Star, will introduce more interactive services on its platform.

To make Direct-to-Home (DTH) television service more popular and acceptable, the company has already launched eight interactive channels, which include education, games, cooking, quizzes, astrology and sports.

Vikram Mehra, Chief marketing officer, Tata Sky, said the company has crossed a subscription base of 1 million within a year of its launch. “We hope to increase the subscription to 1.5 million by this December-end. Going by the present growth rate of the industry, we are confident that our subscription base will cross the 8million mark by 2012.”

“We are offering a bouquet of 140 channels to our customers. It has been our constant endeavour to make television viewing a wholesome experience for the entire family. Our aim is to convert the television viewing habit and make the medium more interactive for the entire family,” Mehra said.

Mehra said the company would introduce more educational interactive programmes. It will launch educational programmes for students over 12 years of age and develop additional channels for kids. Presently, the company is offering interactive services free of cost. He said the company would charge a nominal fee for select services in future.

Tata Sky is also planning to introduce ‘movie-on-demand’ in the South Indian languages. On the arrival of the new players like Sun Network, Reliance and Bharti in the DTH space, Mehra said, the present cable market is estimated at 70-75 million and the market is large enough to accommodate more players.

TDSAT appoints mediator in Tata Sky-Sun TV pricing row

December 8, 2007

Telecom Disputes Settlement and Appellate Tribunal (TDSAT) has appointed one of its former members to mediate between Direct-to-Home operator Tata Sky and broadcaster Sun TV after the two companies failed to resolve differences over pricing of channels.

During the proceedings at the TDSAT, counsels appearing for Sun TV said that the agreement drafted between the two sides would have to be reworked due to the new interconnection regulations issued by the sector regulator TRAI, a report by PTI said.

Thiswas objected by the Tata Sky counsel, who stated that Sun TV should respect TDSAT’s earlier directions. The tribunal had in August this year disposed of the case and asked the two sides to settle their dispute.

At that time, they had informed that the issue between them has been resolved and submitted a paper having a list of channels to be offered by Tata Sky in its entry packages in the southern states. Despite that, differences between them over signing an agreement remained and both of them filed separate execution applications before TDSAT, the PTI report says.

Responding to the execution applications filed by Tata Sky and Sun TV, TDSAT has appointed its ex-member Lt Gen D P Sehgal to mediate between the warring sides.

TDSAT Chairman Justice Arun Kumar directed the DTH operator and the broadcaster to hand over all relevant papers and documents to Sehgal, who retired only a few months ago. The tribunal also made it clear that Sehgal was free to fix his fee for that job and both the parties would pay in equal share.

OpenTV Announces Deal with Sun Direct TV in India

November 25, 2007

New Indian Direct-to-Home Satellite Pay-TV Network to Launch MPEG-4 Platform Using OpenTV Solutions


OpenTV Corp. , a leading provider of solutions for the delivery of advanced digital television and cross platform interactive services, announced today that Sun Direct TV has selected OpenTV to provide the end-to-end solution and deployment management enabling its digital television services. In addition, OpenTV will provide Sun Direct TV with a collection of applications that includes a new electronic program guide (EPG), interactive cricket, and multi-angle interactive news.

“The Indian market, in which OpenTV gained its first foothold in 2006, represents a tremendous growth opportunity for us and serves to reinforce our strong market position in Asia Pacific and around the world,” said Ben Bennett, OpenTV’s Chief Operating Officer. “We’re extremely gratified to have been selected by Sun Direct TV, a company that likewise strives for leadership and innovation.”

Sun Direct TV will introduce a new Digital Direct-to-Home (DTH) pay TV network in India and expects to use programming from multiple broadcasters to provide a nationwide service with an emphasis on Southern India. Sun Direct TV will use the latest MPEG-4 based technology to increase broadcast capacity. Its selection of OpenTV as provider of its advanced digital television solution confirms OpenTV’s ability to provide next-generation services in fast-growing and emerging markets quickly and efficiently. Sun Direct TV’s launch will be supported by Irdeto’s conditional access solution.

According to an April 2007 report issued by Media Partners Asia Ltd, India is set to become the top pay television market in Asia Pacific by 2015, with pay TV penetration forecast to grow from 61% of television homes in 2006 to 84% in 2011, then to 90% by 2015. According to the report, DTH homes are estimated to reach 38 million by 2015, up from 2.6 million in 2006.