DTH Interoperability Free channels and the Indian Scenario.

DTH arena will hot up real soon as new players like Reliance and Airtel will come out with their service in the next few months. There will be more IPTV players too.

On the customer front, the scene is changing and people are waking up to their rights.

Vijay Adhia has filed a writ petition before the Supreme Court demanding that the central government be directed to ensure that all DTH service providers ensure technical compatibility and effective inter-operability among the set top boxes provided by different service providers.

In 2001, the central government decided to permit DTH service, which changed TV viewing forever. The cable operator became optional for many households that decided to get directly linked.

The license condition, the petition said, clearly said that “the open architecture (non-proprietary) set top box, which will ensure technical compatibility and effective interoperability among different DTH service providers, shall have such specifications as laid down by the government from time to time.

In 2001, the central government decided to permit DTH service, which changed TV viewing forever. The cable operator became optional for many households that decided to get directly linked.

The licence condition, the petition said, clearly said that “the open architecture (non-proprietary) set top box, which will ensure technical compatibility and effective interoperability among different DTH service providers, shall have such specifications as laid down by the government from time to time.

read full article here.

This case will be very interesting, as most current operators have boxes that have their specific software and locking systems, barring consumers from tuning them. Plus they have different encryption technologies like conax and irdeto which means different decryption method. Thats not all, newer players are shifting to mpg4 format to make optimal bandwidth use.

Most channels are going pay these days and worse the amt of adds that are run on these so called pay channels is a cause of concern, and this should be monitored by the TRAI .

Currently, the DTH operators choose the channels that the consumer views, which should be legitimate right of the viewer, worse most channels are packaged in bundles and people end up paying for plenty of unwanted channels – a big grouse among consumers like me who doesnt see most of the prime hindi entertainment channels.

The operators add and remove fta channels their at free will contrary to law that specifies that the operator has to notify the consumer of the change well in advance – Something that is done very frequently by DD Direct plus a FTA govt broadcaster using public funds .

There is a constant war between the Operators and the Channels on charges , and net net the consumers suffer. There could be merit in implementing a CAS like alternative wherein cost per channel is either capped and people have the right to choose what they want to see.

But this is a distant dream, if one sees the record of the  TRAI  and that of the  Operators

What do u think? Please comment

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2 thoughts on “DTH Interoperability Free channels and the Indian Scenario.

  1. man whats with u and DTH?


    🙂 well actually this post was sitting in the drafts and yes i did it cause there was so much of an info vaccum 🙂 plus it gives me 100 hits a day… and the way media functions is so unfair

  2. and I read somewhere that when TATA says 1499Rs for DTH, we dont own the hardware they provide. So if you cancel their service, they will come and pick up the stuff.
    🙂
    I agree with interoperability, it should be something like our cellphone where we can change the provider, yet resuse the hardware.
    Mobile providers are yet to accept the new plan from TRAI to implement reusable number all over India, across states and Service providers.
    If this is implemented I could change from Vodafone to Airtel and yet use my same number.
    They are delaying this plan stating that they would have to make a lot of changes to billing processes.
    Totally out of topic but this is something I am waiting for. This wud mean real competition.

    true tata considers the box as their property – i have tata sky- but it makes u pay for it – worse they charge u extra for installation and warrenty which is a bit too high,
    i think this is a case of blatent voidable agreement – where consumer has no say
    for tele io it will take time as i dont think the necessary infrastructure is up

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