Digitalisation Of Cable TV Is The Way Ahead

According to a recent report by Media Partner Asia, the Indian digital pay TV (DPTV) market is slated to grow by 173 percent in the next five years. India will have 21.36 million DPTV subscribers by the end of 2009 and 58.30 million by the end of 2014. In order to grab their share of this attractive pie, every cable TV provider is looking at upgrading their infrastructure and providing better and innovative services to customers.

The Digital Way

With the same objective, Gujarat Telelink Private Ltd (GTPL), an independent cable TV provider, recently deployed an end-to-end solution from NDS, a provider of technology solutions for digital pay TV players. GTPL offers digital cable TV and broadband services to subscribers across the state of Gujarat. The company’s business model provides customers with three options, viz. cable TV operators (CTOs) as direct franchises of GTPL; direct connections owned by GTPL; and JVs with local cable operators.

"Though the state of Gujarat does not fall under the purview of CAS as specified by TRAI; however, it is strongly felt that digitalisation of cable TV networks is eminent in the near future. Therefore, the management of GTPL has proactively decided to ensure complete digitalisation of the network by deploying end-to-end solutions from NDS and STBs (set-top boxes) from various vendors," says Subrata Bhattacharya, vice president-Technical, GTPL.

Enhancing Content Protection & Interactivity

The NDS solution encompasses a single-point solution for all the necessary components of CAS, EPG, middleware, interactivity etc, which would otherwise have to be sourced from different vendors. The solutions deployed by GTPL include VideoGuard, MediaHighway, StreamServer and Value@TV. These offer functionalities for logical and group addressing of smartcards; a unique verifier to be used in the system by GTPL; finger printing and messaging; a versatile middleware, which supports streaming video-on-demand, IPTV and hybrid STBs; and interactive applications like games.

"Considering this deployment as one of the USPs of our digital services, presently, the company is focused on developing an EPG (electronic programming guide) in Gujarati language. With the help of these solutions, GTPL also plans to launch some new services like pay-per-view, VoIP and video-on-demand," says Bhattacharya.

Challenges & Benefits

During the implementation process, the biggest challenge faced was the integration of the NDS solution with other systems. In order to overcome this, GTPL pre-configured the system to minimise the time taken for the implementation and the efforts. Secondly, the company set up a parallel system for conducting thorough testing before going online.

After all this, what GTPL has finally achieved is a secured solution, powerful software for the set-top box that can be relied on for a rapidly-evolving TV landscape, and a tele-visual portal in the form of EPG, which can be extended for interactivity.

Updated Date: Feb 02, 2017 22:07:09 IST