Top Story


Home >> International >> Article

I&B ministry yet to take decision on DTH set-top boxes

Font Size   16
I&B ministry yet to take decision on DTH set-top boxes

The information and broadcasting ministry is yet to decide on the technical specification for the Conditional Access System that would be worked into set top boxes used in DTH services. The expert opinion regarding the configuration of set top boxes has been sought from the Broadcast Engineering Consultants India Ltd.

The delay in taking a decision, is the proof that it is no simple matter. I&B minister Sushma Swaraj has gone to the extent of visiting the DTH facilities at Chilburn in UK to see how the system actually works.

According to the industry sources, the options before the government are limited: either an inter-operable or non-interoperable CAS. From the customer’s viewpoint, it is the inter-operable CAS that wins since it allows switching from one DTH platform to another without having to change STBs.

But none of the prospective players would be ready to embrace this system, as DTH is being sold in price-sensitive India as a `highly subsidised service.’ The dish antenna, cable, Low Noise Block Converter and set-top box together are expected to cost Rs 20,000 under this system.

If a DTH operator offers it for say Rs 7,000-8,000, he would not like a competitor’s DTH bouquet of channels to ride over his infrastructure, specially since a DTH platform owner would have to invest around $300-400 million to set up shop.

To complicate matters further, the interoperable systems include two kinds: simulcrypt and multicrypt. The former allows conditional access through sophisticated embedded software which in turn calls for larger memory in the STBs (thus raising the cost) while the latter involves `smart cards’ which have to be switched for access to different programmes (bringing in additional costs).

The system adopted by BSkyB in UK, which Mrs. Swaraj recently witnessed, is not inter-operable. Curiously a non-interoperable CAS is already in use between channels and cable operators and available in the market.

If this is adopted, due to commercial considerations and on the behest of the industry, DTH would take the shape of a single bouquet of `pay channels’: a private network between a consumer and a service provider.


Siddharth Kumar Tewary, Founder, Chief Creative, One Life Studios and Swastik Productions, on owning the IP on his most ambitious project 'Porus,' the risk of recovering its cost and his distribution strategy

Webscale plans to build the brand around smooth operations for the e-commerce sector and then move on to demand generation

Shriya Ghate, Business Head, Tinkle, spills the beans on the company's vision for its special line of merchandise launched to celebrate its 37th anniversary, its pricing, marketing strategies, and more

Vivek Patni, Director of Wonder Cement, on the current marketing strategies and challenges that brand owners face

Luis Fonsi, Rita Ora, Jain of Makeba fame , Dimitri Vegas, Jason Derulo, Charly Black and Dasu, J Balvin, Parineeti Chopra, Tiger & Jackie Shroff speak exclusively to the radio channel

The Film-Maker, as the host of ‘Calling Karan’, Will Be Just A Phone Call Away From Listeners Seeking Advice On Love & Relationship

The group aims to double its FMCG turnover to Rs. 1,000 crore over four years.