TV viewing has not reduced OTT has just expanded the horizon: Mybox CEO
New Android STBs by Mybox will have OTT services, content streaming apps, music and more
The country has seen major technological advancements when it comes to set-top boxes. As innovation is expanding, OTT players are in the mood to capture the television segment also. The day when we will see OTT players on our television sets is not too far. Moving one step closer is Mybox, a tech firm based in Delhi, that has plans to bring Android TV based STBs in the market by March 2018.
"With digitisation, we have seen a whole new market opening up and STB is one of the key areas,” said Amit Kharabanda, CEO, Mybox.
"As the market is moving from SD to HD, the to-be-launched set-top boxes have the ability to connect to the Internet either by Wi-Fi or a USB port. The STBs will provide both linear programming as well as the option to stream on demand," said Kharbanda.
Streaming devices are one of those technological developments that everyone is trying to get their hands on.“Initially everyone was talking about streaming devices and in the last one year Android has become very aggressive. We are making an Android OTT box, which would go for certification early next year," he added.
The box is a hybrid STB, which will have both satellite channels and online content. It will be sold as a pure online OTT player, for example the Amazon FireTV stick and these set-top boxes will turn into smart boxes with pre- loaded popular apps such as Netflix, YouTube, Amazon Prime and others.
When asked if OTT services have affected the TV business in any way, Kharbanda's views are slightly different. “I don’t think so it has affected TV per se but it has changed the dynamics. People still watch television but millennials today want to watch when, where and how according to their convenience. You want to watch on your phone when on the move but when you reach home you want to view TV on the big screen. Apple was the first to come up with an Apple TV box, the experience of bringing OTT into television is completely different. So I would say, TV watching is not reducing but OTT is just expanding the horizon. We are targeting to sell more than 50,000 STBs in the first year, " he said.
Mybox supplies STBs to Dish TV, In Digital and Siti-Cable. "If the operator partners with us, we can do much bigger things under the ‘Make in India’ initiative," added Kharbanda.
One major drawback for domestic STB manufacturers has been the lack of vendor financing, Kharabanda expresses his concern. The company is also planning to expand business into newer territories. “We want to continuously evolve with such devices and use all distribution channels whether it is online, offline or cable to sell our products and partner with as many as operators we can," he said.
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