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‘Commonwealth Games can drive HD technology in India’

23-March-2010
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‘Commonwealth Games can drive HD technology in India’

The spotlight was on HDTV in India at the Indian Satellite Industry Forum 2010, organised by CASBAA in the Capital on March 22. The fourth panel discussion revolved around the topic ‘Will HD be an Indian Driver and will Sports TV be at the wheel?’ Consumer price sensitivity and industry’s reluctance to invest in high cost HD hardware are key issues which were discussed during the entire discussion. The session was moderated by Simon Twiston Davies, CEO, CASBAA.

According to Prasana Krishnan, COO, Neo Sports, “HD content availability is not a problem at all. Many European sports are available on HD. In cricket, too, we are seeing availability of HD content. Many international cricket boards have moved towards HD content. However, the biggest concern as of now is that of HDTV and HD boxes.”

Sanjay Munshi, Product Management Head - Home Entertainment, LG Electronics India, said that HD was offering great opportunity to all. He added that the television market was growing at 100 per cent year-on-year and 2010 was likely to see good growth as well.

Speaking on the Government initiative on HD, RR Prasad, Engineer-in-Chief, Doordarshan, noted, “DD, which is the host broadcaster of Commonwealth Games 2010, will be broadcasting the entire event in HD. We also propose to launch two DTH high definition channels in DD Direct. Terrestrial transmission of HDTV will be started in four metros of the country after the Commonwealth Games.”

Tryggve Arveschoug, Head of Product Marketing, Conax AS, noted, “HDTV will take off in India soon, however, HDTV set-top boxes are a problem in India, but soon the situation will improve and this new medium will see positive growth. We need sports events to change things. Sports are driving entertainment with great quality of broadcast.”

Sabrina Cubbon, GM - Marketing, AsiaSat, said here, “As a satellite operator, we are carrying lots of HD content and a lot of HD content is being produced. But we need to let the market find its own natural way. I believe right content and pricing should be there for the audience so that market needs can be fulfilled.”

Concluding the session on a positive note, Terry Bleakley, VP - Commercial Operations, Measat, said, “The Indian market has great deliverance. We support two DTH platforms in India and I see lots of capacity in this market. Events like Commonwealth Games will surely propel the HD platform. And we all are optimistic about this.”

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