Computer peripherals major TVS Electronics has launched the first ever set-top boxes, made in India. The DTH set top boxes are being manufactured at its newly commissioned automated high volume manufacturing line in Chennai. TVS-E has also signed up an agreement with Siti Cable Network – part of the Zee Network as its first customer in India.
Commenting on this momentous achievement, Gopal Srinivasan, Director, TVS-E, says, “We’ve taken a bold step in being the first Indian Company in this business. This will help us become a strategic player in the fast emerging digital home market in near future. With Zee Network as our customer, we’re very confident of scaling up to 20,000 STBs per month by December 2004”.
Equipped with a team of design and manufacturing engineers, TVS-E commissioned a global standard facility with an investment of Rs 4 crore for the manufacturing unit with a capacity to produce 50,000 STBs per month.
Commenting on the tie-up with TVS-E, Jawahar Goel, Vice Chairman, Zee Network, adds, “In TVS-E we found an ideal Indian Company which has design and manufacturing capabilities to locally produce STB’s. TVS-E’s excellent track record in maintaining high quality standards offers us a unique advantage over imports. We have been importing and selling 15,000 STB units per month and intend switching over to locally manufactured STB’s by the end of September”.
TVS- E expects to sell about 75,000 boxes in the next five months of this year, with a projected revenue of Rs 20 crore. However, with an inverted tariff structure of 20% Import duty and 0% ED for full import as against full import duty and 16% ED on parts import is a deterrent for local manufacturing of set-top boxes. If these issues are sorted out, TVS-E expects a steep increase in local manufacturing.
The Indian television market already has a large installed base of 80 million television sets and over 48 million households have cable access which is growing at over 15% annually. This offers a unique opportunity to large hardware and design companies like TVS-E to build STB locally. The set-top box market can be segmented into cable-based, satellite-based and broadband-based categories depending on market needs and broadcasters.