Friday, 31 August 2012

No further extension to cable digitisation process: Government

Government on 30 August made it clear that no further extension will be given to the mandatory cable digitisation in the four metros of Delhi, Mumbai, Kolkata and Chennai.
According to the law enacted by Parliament, over 12 million homes with television in metros have to move to digital signals by October 31, this year.

Govt revokes registration of 2 operators

The Ministry of Information and Broadcasting on 30 August said it had revoked the registration of two Multi System Operators (MSOs) — Home Cable Network (P) Ltd and Swami Cable Network —for non submission of Digital Addressable System (DAS) related data.
As part of its regular monitoring of the first phase of digitisation in the four metros, the Ministry regularly seeks information from MSOs to gauge the preparedness of the industry players and deployment of set-top boxes in households.

Govt lifts ban on bulk SMS

The Government, on Thursday, lifted the 15-day ban on bulk SMS and MMS with immediate effect. 
Sources from the Home Ministry said mobile users can now send messages and MMS according to their service provider’s limits. 

Thursday, 30 August 2012

Airtel digital TV pioneers an exclusive USSD Self Care service for its customers

Airtel digital TV, the DTH service by Bharti Airtel, announced the launch of an innovative self care facility for its 7.4 million plus customers in India. Available for free for all Airtel Mobile customers, this is the world’s first USSD-based service innovation that will allow Airtel mobile customers to manage their Airtel digital TV with options of recharge, movie booking and top up additions, to name a few. Customers can access the facility by simply dialling a toll free number *121# from their mobile phones.
Commenting on the launch, Mr. Shashi Arora, CEO- DTH/ Media, Bharti Airtel, said “The technology market in India is ripe for creating mobile applications that make self-care fun, and enhance the quality of customer engagement for organizations. The availability of this unique USSD facility is just another example of our constant endeavour to offer the best to our Airtel digital TV customers. We believe it will truly enrich their lives by providing them convenience of managing their Airtel digital TV account via their handheld devices”. This new service is device agnostic.

Hathway joins hands with Top MSOs to provide digital cable with superior picture and sound quality

Hathway Cable and Datacom Limited, one of India’s leading Multiple System Operators (MSOs), has joined hands with other leading players, including SITI Digital, INCablenet, DigiCable and DEN to offer consumers digital cable services with superior picture and sound quality at discounted rates.
This initiative is in line with the Ministry of Information and Broadcasting’s directive to achieve digitisation of cable TV by October 31, 2012 across Delhi, Mumbai, Chennai and Kolkata in the first phase. MSOs are offering digital cable services at installation prices of only Rs. 799 which is exclusive of taxes and valid until September 30, 2012 in the above four cities. Consumers will be able to benefit immensely from this service that also provides advantages such as added channels, weather-proof transmission and more.

Wednesday, 29 August 2012

Anand Chakravarthy appointed Business Head of BIG CBS Networks

BIG CBS NETWORKS has appointed Anand Chakravarthy as its Business Head. As part of his new profile Chakravarthy, who has been associated with Reliance Broadcast Network since its inception, will take on the mandate of the overall P&L and brand development for the joint venture’s English Channel portfolio viz. BIG CBS Prime, BIG CBS Love and BIG CBS Spark. Along with his new profile as Business Head for the BIG CBS JV, Chakravarthy will continue with his current designation of Chief Marketing Officer, Reliance Broadcast Network Ltd. 
Chakravarthy has over 15 years of experience across research, advertising and marketing. He joined Reliance Broadcast Network in 2006, and has played an instrumental role as part of the core team that has taken the Company from a pure radio company 92.7 BIG FM, to a multimedia conglomerate. His expertise lies in building growth through effective trouble shooting and leading through people management, qualities which have earned him the position of Chief Marketing Officer, Reliance Broadcast Network Ltd. 

Pix biz head Sunder Aaron quits

Multi Screen Media’s English movie channel Pix’s business head Sunder Aaron has put in his papers and is serving his notice period. 
An industry source confirming the news said that Aaron was the one who spearheaded the channel which started out in 2006 by showing library content. 

Jain Group to launch Direct To Network cable service ‘JAINHITS’

Noida Software Technology Park Limited (NSTPL), a JAIN TV group company, along with Motorola, Intelsat and KIT digital, announced on 29 August 2012 that the launch of India’s First Direct To Network (DTN) cable service – JAINHITS. JAINHITS will mobilize the investment of over Rs 1500 crore over the period of five years in the Headend In The Sky (HITS) platform, with strategic support from its partners to deliver affordable digital service to existing cable operators and MSOs and help them meet the Government’s National Digitization Mandate. Motorola is the end to end technology partner, KIT digital is the solution architect and managed services partner, and Intelsat is the satellite provider for the JAINHITS service. JAINHITS service will be available pan India to cable operators and MSOs by November 2012.

Tuesday, 28 August 2012

Satish K Singh joins Live India as Editor So

Satish K Singh, who recently stepped down as Editor of Zee News, has joined as Editor of Sri Adhikari Brothers promoted Hindi news channel Live India and Marathi news channel Mi Marathi. Singh has replaced Sudhir Chaudhary who has joined Zee News as Editor & Business Head. 
With more than two decades in journalism, Singh spent around 15 years with Zee News in various roles. He had joined Zee News first in 1996 and spent 10 years with the channel before joining NDTV India as Output Editor in 2005. He returned to Zee News in 2007 as Senior Executive Editor. 

Supreme Court extends deadline for spectrum auction till Jan

The Supreme Court on 27 august 2012 agreed to fixed a new deadline for fresh auction of 2G spectrum licences. 
The apex court has directed the Government that it should complete the auction till January 11, 2013. It also warned the Government that the court will initiate contempt proceedings if the Government failed to complete the auction process within the new deadline. 

Adult films not for TV: Govt

The government has made it clear that no broadcaster can air any movie, whether in Hindi, English or any other language, which has been certified as 'A' or for Adults Only by the Indian film censor board. According to certain reports, around three dozen television channels have reportedly aired over 380 films which were certified 'A' by the Censor Board of India. 
According to the Cable TV Networks (Regulation) Act, 1995, only films certified as 'UA' and 'U' can be shown by television channels. Any films having an 'A' certification will need to obtain re-certification from the censor board as 'UA' or 'U' before it can be aired. 

Monday, 27 August 2012

MSO Alliance Offers Promotional Offer to Spur Digitisation

In a significant move to facilitate and create momentum for digitisation and to ensure timely implementation of the government mandate for full digitisation, five major Indian MSOs have come together under the aegis of the MSO Alliance to offer consumers a standard, subsidised price for converting from analog to digital by installing digital set top boxes in their homes.
Consumers in Delhi and Mumbai can go digital for a one-time, promotional charge of Rs 799/- which is applicable till September 30, 2012. This promotional, subsidized rate is aimed at easing the burden of digitisation on consumers and for encouraging them to install set top boxes well before the October 31st deadline. Members of the Alliance, namely WWIL (Siti Cable), InCablenet, Digicable, Hathway and DEN Networks, have released a joint advertisement in leading dailies informing consumers about the offer.

Neil Armstrong, first man to land on Moon, passes away So

Former US astronaut, Neil Armstrong, the first man to set foot on the moon, has died on 25 August 2012 at the age of 82. 
Armstrong underwent a heart-bypass surgery earlier this month, just two days after his birthday on August 5, to relieve blocked coronary arteries. 

A.K. Hangal passes away

Veteran actor Avtar Kishan Hangal, popularly known as A.K. Hangal and best remembered for his role as Rahim Chacha in the iconic film Sholay, died on 26 August 2012. 
“He passed away at the hospital at 9 a.m.,” his son Vijay Hangal said. 

Saturday, 25 August 2012

Internet censorship: India to push for internet regulation at United Nations

India has decided to push for formulating internet regulation and governance at the level of United Nations, after consultation with civil society and advocacy groups. 
The move by India which has support from China in regulating Internet at the UN level, would mean that control of social media corporations such as Twitter, Google and Facebook would finally wrest in hands of United Nations, and its member nations. 

Hathway Q1 net loss widens on digitisation

Increase in expenses for digitisation in the four metros and rising cost of borrowings has brought down profitability of Hathway Cable & Datacom Ltd, a multi-system operator (MSO) with a national footprint.
Mumbai-based Hathway reported a loss of Rs 159 million in the first quarter ended June 30, 2012, 71 per cent more than in the previous quarter ended March 31, 2012 and 30 per cent higher than a year earlier. Loss of Rs 46 million on account of fluctuation in foreign exchange rates enlarged the loss in the first quarter.

Friday, 24 August 2012

A new Bhojpuri entertainment channel Anjan coming soon

Delhi-based production house AAP Media has taken a plunge into television broadcast with the launch of Anjan, a Bhojpuri entertainment channel. Test signals for the channels are already on-air and the official launch will be on 24 August 2012.
The free-to-air channel is currently engaged in negotiations with leading multi-system operators like Digicable, Den, Hathway and WWIL to carry the channel on their platform.

Thursday, 23 August 2012

Zee TV's non-fiction head Ashish Golwalkar quits

Ashish Golwalkar, non-fiction head at Zee TV, has put in his papers, thereby ending his 12-year stint with the Hindi general entertainment channel. August 24 will be his last day at Zee. 
Interestingly, Golwalkar has decided to move on from Zee at a time when the channel has managed to oust Star Plus to grab the No.1 spot in the Hindi GEC hierarchy on the back of DID Lil Masters (a non-fiction property). 

Videocon d2h launches d2h Cinema

Videocon d2h, India’s fastest growing DTH service has launched a new exclusive movie channel “d2h Cinema” which will air new Bollywood / Hollywood movies for its subscribers. Every month 4 new movies will be shown on the “d2h Cinema” at a subscription fee of Rs. 60 every month, which means consumers will be able to watch each movie as less as Rs. 15.
Saurabh Dhoot, Director - Videocon d2h “The popularity of Bollywood movies in the country is well known to all, and Videocon d2h is ensuring that it serves hand-picked films for the subscribers who would like to watch the movies at their own leisure which they missed in theatre or would like to re-watch it. “d2h Cinema” is a platform through which we would leverage and connect with our consumers better”.

Wednesday, 22 August 2012

Zee TV tries new media for epic Ramayan

In today’s age, there is a distinct and ever-growing segment of the population that is increasingly active on social networking websites. With a view to connecting with them in a language they understand and a space they consider their own, Zee TV has unveiled an innovative, first-of-its kind ‘virtual’ temple on the Facebook page of its new mythological show, ‘Ramayan’. Online users can visit the virtual temple through a unique tab on https://www.facebook.com/ZeeTVRamayan. 
The virtual temple holds the promise of a few moments of daily spiritual solace for netizens. The imagery, the colors and the music used have a calming effect and can easily transport a devotee to a harmonious, divine space. 

India TV wins case against Yash Raj Films

In an ongoing legal dispute between India TV and Yash Raj Films, the Division Bench of Delhi High Court consisting of Justice Pradeep Nandrajog and Justice Manmohan Singh has delivered a breakthrough judgment in favor of India TV .
The honourable court has yesterday held that small amounts of usage of songs in a programme by India TV does not amount to copyright infringement.

Tuesday, 21 August 2012

Hathway Strengthens Digital Cable and Broadband Product Portfolio

Hathway Cable and Datacom Limited have further strengthened its portfolio with the launch of its Standard Definition (SD) Quarterly Combo Pack – an extension of its existing SD& ISP offering.
The company’s new Digital cable broadband combo now includes Digital Cable and Broadband provisions for its customers and is available across Hathway direct points.
Already rolled out in Mumbai, Delhi, Pune, Aurangabad, Bangalore and Hyderabad, the new package is priced at Rs. 1900* for the company’s Ultra 512 combo with 512 Kbps speed (ISP and Digital cable services) and Rs. 2200* for its Flash 2 Lite with 2 Mbps broadband speed combo (ISP and Digital cable services) which has been specially introduced for customers looking for better speed options. (*Conditions apply/taxes as applicable)

Compulsory digitisation Cable operators to move TDSAT

The Karnataka State Cable TV Operators’ Association will move the Telecom Disputes Settlement and Appellate Tribunal (TDSAT) over the diktat to digitise transmission signals, said its president.
The Cable Television Networks (Regulation) Amendment Bill, 2011, passed by the Lok Sabha in December last year, mandates all cable TV operators transmit signals in a digitised format. The consumers will have to install a set-top box in their homes to receive signals. The new system will enable viewers pay for the channels of their choice instead of choosing packages.

Monday, 20 August 2012

Suniil Punjabi to head AXN Networks India

Sony Pictures Television (SPT) Networks, Asia has appointed Sunil Punjabi to lead its Indian operations – AXN Networks India. In the newly created role of Business Head, India, Punjabi is based in the company’s Mumbai office to lead its local team in all business functions, with the responsibility for the profitability for SPT’s networks in India. 
Overseeing the day-to-day management of the channels, Punjabi will develop business opportunities and channel equity. He will lead the team in developing the go-to-market strategy for new channels as well as oversee the development, acquisition and production of a content mix for SPT’s networks in India. Punjabi is also charged with driving marketing strategies to grow the channel brands and to pursue further distribution opportunities. He reports to Ricky Ow, Executive Vice President and General Manager, Networks, Asia, Sony Pictures Television, who is based in the company’s regional head office in Singapore. 

TRAI manages to block unwanted SMS

The TRAI has finally been able to stop unsolicited commercial messages which were being sent to mobile subscribers via websites whose servers are located overseas. The regulator has asked mobile operators to put in filters which screens such messages by detecting the country codes. The filter detects the country codes and if they are of overseas nations, the operators block them.

Enjoy 3D movies without glasses

You can now enjoy 3D movies on TV without those vexing 3D glasses, thanks to a new technology being developed in Germany.
The 3D movies currently available on Blu-ray are based on two different perspectives — two images, one for each eye.

IPTV ops turn-up heat with multi-screen TV S

Operators participating in Infonetics survey most often deliver linear broadcast TV over a pure IP network. The majority of IPTV service providers interviewed do not currently support video streaming services such as YouTube, Hulu, or Netflix.
Infonetics Research in its 2012 IPTV Service Deployment Strategies: Global Service Provider Survey, finds that only 1/3 of IPTV operators surveyed currently offer social networking capabilities for the TV. Subscription video on demand (S-VOD) is the money-maker among VOD offerings; 83 per cent of respondents offer S-VOD for access to premium channels like HBO, Showtime, and Starz, and libraries of first-run movies today, growing to 89 per cent in 2013.

TDSAT rejects RCom plea against spectrum auction guidelines

The Telecom Disputes Settlement & Appellate Tribunal (TDSAT) has rejected Reliance Communications (RCom)’s plea against the guidelines issued by the government for the proposed auction of spectrum.
“The impugned guidelines ... In our opinion, being not final, cannot be held to be conclusive and binding on the parties hereto. We, therefore, are of the opinion that this petition is not maintainable at this stage...,” the TDSAT bench headed by judge S B Sinha said while dismissing RCom’s petition.

TDSAT rejects RCom plea against spectrum auction guidelines

The Telecom Disputes Settlement & Appellate Tribunal (TDSAT) has rejected Reliance Communications (RCom)’s plea against the guidelines issued by the government for the proposed auction of spectrum.
“The impugned guidelines ... In our opinion, being not final, cannot be held to be conclusive and binding on the parties hereto. We, therefore, are of the opinion that this petition is not maintainable at this stage...,” the TDSAT bench headed by judge S B Sinha said while dismissing RCom’s petition.

Metros heavily bent towards cable STBs: TAM study

TAM Media Research has embarked on a dynamic estimation study of digital off-take in the four major metros of the country – Delhi, Mumbai, Kolkata and Chennai, which are gearing for the first phase of cable digitisation on October 1, 2012.
The study aims to estimate the penetration of digital TV platforms in the run-up to and post the Digital Addressable System (DAS) deadline, besides capturing the dynamics behind the consumer preference for particular digital platforms.

Cable TV operations in Madurai go haywire

After the All India Anna Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam (AIADMK) government assumed office in May 2011, among the many expected changes, the announcement of take over of cable TV operations in a meaningful manner by the Tamil Nadu government through the Arasu Cable TV Corporation was welcomed by tax paying public.
However, after a year, the enthusiasm and joy seem to have died down. Today, there are more grievances, complaints and allegations from television viewing public on the operation of cable TV network.

Sunday, 19 August 2012

Fox Networks COO David Haslingden calls it quits

Fox Networks Group's president, COO David Haslingden has decided to step down at the end of the calendar year in order to return to Australia and spend more time with his family. 

Thursday, 16 August 2012

WWIL signs DAS interconnect deal with MediaPro

Wire and Wireless India Limited (WWIL), a cable television service provider in India, as part of its commitment for timely implementation of digitisation, has signed DAS interconnect arrangements with Mediapro Enterprises for about 70 channels.
WWIL operates successfully under the SITI Digital Cable Television brand name in three top metros of Delhi, Kolkata and Mumbai.

Tuesday, 14 August 2012

Rajiv Takru Leaves I&B, Joins Ministry of Health

The Appointments Committee of the Cabinet (ACC) has approved the appointment of Mr. Rajiv Takru, IAS (GJ:79), as the Additional Secretary and Financial Adviser, Department of Health and Family Welfare, Ministry of Health and Family Welfare ((MoHFW). 
Mr Takru, an Indian Administrative Service (IAS) officer of the 1979 batch (Gujarat cadre), is currently posted as Additional Secretary, Ministry of Information and Broadcasting. 

Dish TV sees semi-urban, rural areas as next growth drivers

Apart from major metros where digitisation has been mandated by the Government, the next big wave will come from 42 cities that will follow suit, said Virendra Kumar Gupta, Chief Operating Officer of Dish TV India.
The country’s Direct to Home (DTH) industry was in consolidation mode, with semi-urban and rural India offering the next growth opportunity, he told media.

Saturday, 11 August 2012

TRAI sets Aug 21 deadline for inter-connection agreements

Multi System Operators (MSOs) and broadcasters have been given a fresh deadline of August 21 by the Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (TRAI) to sign their inter-connection agreements.
The MSOs missed the July 31 deadline fixed by the Ministry of Information and Broadcasting.

Friday, 10 August 2012

Canal Digital and NDS Enable a New Generation of Immersive TV

NDS, now part of Cisco, and Canal Digital, the leading DTH pay-TV provider in the Nordics, announced on 9 August 2012 that they are collaborating to launch a next-generation TV platform as a hosted, managed service.
Enabling both satellite and Over-the-Top (OTT) service delivery, the new platform will allow Canal Digital subscribers to access content anytime, anywhere and on multiple devices – whether in the home or on the go.

Hathway Launches Digital Cable and Broadband Combo Pack at Unbeatable Prices

Hathway Cable and Datacom Limited have introduced its all-new Digital cable broadband combo that takes into account Digital Cable and Broadband provisions for its customer. The product has been rolled out and will be available across Hathway direct points in Mumbai, Delhi, Pune, Aurangabad, Bangalore and Hyderabad.
The product Ultra 512 combo is attractively packaged @ just Rs 600 monthly for 512 Kbps Broadband and Digital cable and if customer wants additional High speed Broadband he can opt for Flash 2 Lite 2Mbps Broadband and digital cable just @ Rs 700.

Jain TV Group announces the launch of Headend in the Sky (HITS) project

Dr. J.K. Jain, Group Chairman, Jain TV Group announced on 9 August 2012 that the Noida Software Technology Park Limited (NSTPL), one of the companies of Jain TV Group, has prepared itself to launch the HITS project.
NSTPL has signed a multi-year, multi-transponder agreement for C-band capacity on Intelsat 902 at 62 degree East. The company will use the capacity to create a white label, turnkey channel package that can be received and distributed by multiple system and local cable operators throughout the country. NSTPL’s HITS platform has been branded as JAINHITS and it is meant to support India’s national goal of changing television networks from analogue to digital system.

DEN Networks Q1 net up

DEN Networks has posted net profit of Rs 114.3 million from its cable TV business in the three months through June, up 13 times from the year-ago quarter profit of Rs 8.7 million.
Income from operations was up 23 per cent to Rs 1.84 billion from Rs 1.49 billion a year earlier.
Revenue climbed 21 per cent to Rs 1.90 billion while expenditure was 9 per cent higher at Rs 1.43 billion.

Govt seeks time till Nov 2012 to begin spectrum auction

The Government has moved the Supreme Court seeking a "final" extension of the deadline for 2G spectrum auction process. 
It has sought time till November 2012 to start the auction, and another 40 days to complete the auction as well as to allocate spectrum and grant licences. 

Thursday, 9 August 2012

Government concerned about TAM data: Ambika Soni

The government has been concerned about the discrepancies in TAM Media Research's TV viewership data for a while now, and has even questioned their methodology and transparency, union information & broadcasting minister Ambika Soni said on 8 August 2012. 
Soni said that she always had issues with the number of boxes put up by TAM, as it (such a small number) was not enough to gauge the mood of a diverse nation like India. 

Jump Games, Reliance Animation to launch ‘Krishna Aur Kans’ game

Jump Games, a publisher of mobile games, apps and content, has collaborated with Reliance Animation to launch the mobile game of Krishna Aur Kans movie. 
The new game is an extension of Jump’s ‘Think Global, Play Local’ strategy. The core philosophy behind this is to create Indian themed game IPs, which have higher acceptance among casual gamers across tier I, II and III markets. 

Security reference on Airtel using ZTE 4G technology: Government

A reference has been received from a security agency expressing that Bharti Airtel is using a technology developed by Chinese company ZTE for 4G services, Ministers of State for Communications and IT Milind Deora has said. 
"A reference has been received from a Security agency expressing that Bharti Airtel, while rolling out the 4G services is using Time Division-Long Term Evolution (TD-LTE) technology, which has been developed by ZTE, a Chinese company," Deora told the Lok Sabha in a written reply. 

Security reference on Airtel using ZTE 4G technology: Government

A reference has been received from a security agency expressing that Bharti Airtel is using a technology developed by Chinese company ZTE for 4G services, Ministers of State for Communications and IT Milind Deora has said. 
"A reference has been received from a Security agency expressing that Bharti Airtel, while rolling out the 4G services is using Time Division-Long Term Evolution (TD-LTE) technology, which has been developed by ZTE, a Chinese company," Deora told the Lok Sabha in a written reply. 

Shyam Networks wins deal from Nigerian internet company

Indian telecom equipment maker Shyam Networks has bagged a deal from Nigeria-based Company Direct on PC for delivering internet services. 
"Driven by a strong need to incorporate reliable services, enterprise customers are always demanding to have better Internet related services. This is where we have decided to go with Shyam's P2P radio products," DoPC Managing Director Anurag Garg said in a statement. 

High Court raps Jagan’s firms

Justice B. Chandra Kumar of the A.P. High Court on Wednesday rapped Jagathi Publications owned by Kadapa MP Y.S. Jaganmohan Reddy and imposed costs of Rs.3 lakh. The judge also dismissed petitions filed by Jagan’s other two media houses – Janani and Indira TV.
The judge did not appreciate the attitude of these companies in not disclosing the correct facts regarding their bank accounts to the court. It may be recalled that the bank accounts of these three firms were frozen by the authorities. When writ petitions were filed complaining that the working of the media will be crippled, the judge granted interim orders on May 23.

TRAI may intervene on cable digitisation

The cable and broadcast sector regulator is all set to intervene in the row between multi-service operators (MSOs) and broadcasters as it seeks to resolve outstanding issues threatening to derail the mandatory cable digitisation in the four metros from November 1.
Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (TRAI) Chairman Rahul Khullar has called a meeting of broadcasters and MSOs on Thursday to sort out the bottlenecks as well as undertake an overall review of all outstanding issues pertaining to the cable digitisation.

Wednesday, 8 August 2012

Cisco strengthens Public Sector Sales team for India and SAARC

Cisco India on 8 August 2012 announced the appointment of Puneet Gupta as senior vice president to drive strategy and sales for its public sector business. In this role, Gupta will primarily focus on driving growth in key segments that include e-governance, defense and homeland security, and strategic infrastructure projects in central and state governments. Based in Delhi, he will report to Janesh Moorjani, president, Enterprise and Public Sector, India & SAARC. 
Speaking on his new role, Gupta said, “India has been making rapid strides in adopting technology for better governance. The breadth of Cisco’s technology solutions positions us strongly to help support the country’s aspirations and contribute towards driving inclusive growth and development across India and I’m truly excited to be joining Cisco at this juncture.” 

Bharti Airtel Q1 net profit declines 37%

Telecom service provider Bharti Airtel on 8 August 2012 posted a 37 percent decline in net profit at Rs.762 crores for the quarter ended June 30 against Rs.1,215 crore during the like period of the previous financial year. 
 The total revenue, however, increased 14 percent to Rs.19,350 crores during the quarter under review as compared to 16,975 crores during the year ago period, the company said in a statement. 

Supersonic Networks Introduces Digital Cable Services in North India with Harmonic Video and Edge Processing

Harmonic the worldwide leader in video delivery infrastructure, announced on 7 august 2012 that North Indian cable operator Supersonic Networks has installed a complete Harmonic solution to become one of the first cable operators in the region to offer digital TV services.
Supersonic's new digital video headend includes Harmonic ProStream® 1000 with ACE® transcoding, Ion(TM) encoding, NMX(TM) Digital Service Manager, and NSG(TM) 9000 universal edgeQAM systems. Utilizing Harmonic's highly scalable video infrastructure and edge processing solution, Supersonic Networks can cost-effectively provide subscribers with access to superior-quality video content as well as an increased channel lineup. 

IPO gone sour, Ortel eyes rights issue & PE funding

Ortel Communications, Orissa’s leading multi-system operator (MSO), has abandoned its Rs 1 billion public float plans due to choppy market conditions and is scouting for private equity investment while deciding to do a rights issue to take care of its interim funding needs.
The company has mandated Equirus to find an investor and is looking at raising Rs 1 billion. Equirus had earlier helped Ortel to get private equity fund New Silk Route which had bought 23 per cent stake from the promoters for Rs 600 million and additional equity from Actis to take its total holding to 35 per cent.

TDSAT to hear Digicable petition against TRAI tariff order on 24 August

The Telecom Disputes Settlement and Appellate Tribunal (TDSAT) is to hear on 24 August petitions by multi-system operator (MSO) Digicable Network (India) Pvt. Ltd, Delhi Distribution Company, and United Cable Operator’s Welfare Association challenging the digital tariff order of the Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (TRAI).
Although TDSAT had issued notice to TRAI and the Union of India in this connection on 2 July, it was informed on 7 August that the regulator had filed its reply late last week and the petitioners wanted time to file their rejoinders.

Hamid Ansari re-elected as vice-president

Hamid Ansari has been re-elected as India’s vice-president, a government official said on 7 August 2012. 
Of the 736 votes cast, Ansari got 490 votes, 252 more than his opponent Jaswant Singh. Eight votes were declared invalid. 

Tuesday, 7 August 2012

2G auctions may bad to more litigation

The Union Cabinet’s announcement of the reserve price for 2G spectrum auctions, particularly the dicing of spectrum into slots of 1.25 MHz with a corresponding reserve price of Rs.3,500 crore, points to strong likelihood of several companies that hold a higher amount of spectrum bidding only for multiples of 1.25 MHz in select circles where they need it most. 
New entrants like Uninor, on the other hand, will be required to bid for at least 5 MHz of spectrum, which means their minimum outlay for the auction will be Rs.14,000 crore. 

Thomson Video Networks ViBE™ VS7000 Multiscreen Platform Adds New Features for Live and File-Based Content, Supports MPEG-DASH

Thomson Video Networks' ViBE™ VS7000 multiscreen video platform has been enhanced with new features that increase its versatility and power for both live and file-based IP video. In addition to its support for existing streaming formats from Apple® and Microsoft®, the ViBE VS7000 now offers support for the MPEG-DASH format. 
The ViBE VS7000's value for live IPTV and WebTV/OTT applications is also extended by its new capacity for ingest and other file-based workflows. Allowing live and file applications to run concurrently on a single system, the ViBE VS7000 provides high operational convenience through a common, intuitive graphical interface. 

Dish TV launches India’s first SD Recorder with unlimited capacity

Delhi, 7th August 2012: Dish TV the pioneer and market leader of India’s DTH industry brings yet another unique technology, “Dish+”, India’s first standard definition box with unlimited recording facility. Dish+ is positioned at a highly consumer friendly and competitive price of Rs. 1690 (against all other SD boxes at Rs 1590) with a 4 GB pen drive free as promotional offer. Post VCR there is no recording device available with consumers and there is a huge vacuum to fulfil the consumer need. Dish+ fulfils the ‘need gap’ of recording facility for the consumers.
Speaking on the launch, Mr. R.C Venkateish, Chief Executive Officer, Dish TV India, said “Being pioneers and market leaders we have constantly reinvented and redefined the market with thought leadership to be ahead of the pack. Dish+ is being launched in 42 cities of Phase I and Phase II of digitization and will clearly demonstrate Dish+ as a better alternative for all viewers who will shift from analog to digital.”

Star channels launch on IPTV Swiss Operator – Sunrise

Sunrise TV, the largest telecommunications company in Switzerland has announced the launch of the Star pack – the Indian entertainment pack including the premium flagship channels from the Star network – Star Plus, Star Gold and Vijay TV.
With this launch on 19th July, Sunrise TV subscribers can now watch India’s leading Tamil & Hindi entertainment & Bollywood channel with English subtitles that provide an innovative mix of drama, events, lifestyle shows, celebrity chat shows, religious & cookery shows, music & dance reality series and Bollywood blockbusters.

Digicable case against TRAI's revenue sharing-next date 24 August 2012

Hearing two of the cases filed against TRAI’s revenue share formula for DAS areas today, TDSAT adjourned the hearing on 24 August 2012.Adjournment was made as TRAI filed its reply to the notice only on Saturday, 04 August 2012 and petitioners wanted to file a rejoinder.
Digicable, one of the leading multi-system operators (MSO) in the country, had approached broadcast tribunal TDSAT opposing the regulator TRAI's new revenue sharing mechanism under the proposed digitalisation of the cable industry in June 2012 and on 25 June, Court had adjourned the case to 07 August 2012 along with another case filed by an LCO body United Cable Operator's Welfare Association for the same purpose.

Monday, 6 August 2012

TRAI wants ban on import of mobiles with fake IMEI

Telecom regulator TRAI is planning to approach the Commerce and Industry Ministry to ban imports of mobile phones carrying unauthentic unique IMEI identification number, which helps authorities track users. 
"TRAI will soon write to the Commerce Ministry to ban such phones. Import of only those cell phones should be allowed which are certified by GSMA and TIA authorised bodies for GSM and CDMA handsets respectively," an official said. 

TRAI wants ban on import of mobiles with fake IMEI

Telecom regulator TRAI is planning to approach the Commerce and Industry Ministry to ban imports of mobile phones carrying unauthentic unique IMEI identification number, which helps authorities track users. 
"TRAI will soon write to the Commerce Ministry to ban such phones. Import of only those cell phones should be allowed which are certified by GSMA and TIA authorised bodies for GSM and CDMA handsets respectively," an official said. 

Videocon d2h now offers 400+ channels & services on its platform

Videocon d2h, the fastest growing DTH service provider in India has added new channels and services on its platform taking forward its supremacy by providing an enormous number of maximum 400+ channels and services.
These new additions to the already large gamut of offerings from Videocon d2h have enable it to emerge as a new leader in the DTH sector. These additions will be available across all the packages.

Mumbai completes 50% of the digitisation target

Keeping in the view of revised deadline of October 31, 2012 for mandatory switchover of the existing analogue Cable TV networks to Digital Addressable System (DAS) in four metro cities of Delhi, Mumbai, Kolkata and Chennai, a review by the Ministry of Information & Broadcasting has revealed that in Mumbai city, 50% of cable TV homes have already been installed with STBs.
In Mumbai, there is an estimated requirement of 34.85 lakh STBs and so far 17.07 lakh STBs have been installed.

Saturday, 4 August 2012

Broadcasters, MSOs yet to conclude agreements

In a run-up to the first phase of the digitisation deadline, multi system operators (MSOs) and broadcasters were advised to sign their interconnection agreements by July 31. They have not concluded these negotiations as yet.
Interconnection agreements define the terms at which broadcasters provide their content to cable operators. Signing of these agreements is a pre-requisite for achieving various benchmarks necessary for a complete switchover to a digital cable network. According to a notice issued by the Ministry of Information and Broadcasting in early July, MSOs and television channels as well as aggregators of television channels had to conclude their interconnection agreements prior to July 31. They were also supposed to submit it to the Telecom Regulatory Authority of India.

Cabinet fixes base price for spectrum auction at Rs 14000cr

The Cabinet today fixed a minimum or base price of Rs 14,000 crore for the Supreme Court mandated auction of telecom spectrum. The Cabinet, headed by Prime Minister Manmohan Singh, decided to fix the reserve price at the lower end of the Rs 14,000 crore to Rs 15,000 crore band that was recommended by an Empowered Group of Minister (EGoM). 
The EGoM had suggested a reserve price at Rs 14,000-15,000 crore for 5 Mhz of airwaves as against around Rs 18,000 crore recommended by sectoral regulator Trai for the auction of spectrum vacated from cancellation of 122 licences by Supreme Court. 

Friday, 3 August 2012

Times Television Network appoints Rohit Kishore Chopra as Legal Head

Times Television Network (TTN) has appointed Rohit Kishore Chopra as Head Legal, Times Television Network and Prime Connect. Based in Mumbai, he will be responsible for all Legal and Regulatory affairs of TTN and Prime Connect as well as support the team on Box TV. 
Speaking on the announcement, Avinash Kaul, Chief Executive Officer, ET NOW, TIMES NOW and zoOm said, “We are delighted to have Rohit on board. Given his significant experience in the broadcast space, Rohit will play a pivotal role in directing the legal and regulatory aspects of TTN’s business.” 

Thursday, 2 August 2012

Cisco completes acquisition of NDS

Cisco announced on 31 March 2012 that it has completed the acquisition of NDS Group Ltd., a leading provider of video software and content security solutions that enable service providers and media companies to securely deliver and monetize new video experiences. 
On March 15, 2012, Cisco announced a definitive agreement to acquire NDS. NDS’ software platform, customer segments and services model complement Cisco’s networked video offerings and accelerate the delivery of Videoscape™, Cisco’s comprehensive platform that enables service providers and media companies to deliver next-generation video entertainment experiences. Through the NDS acquisition, Cisco has also expanded its global video footprint in new and emerging markets, further broadening its service provider presence and deepening customer relationships. 

Wednesday, 1 August 2012

Arvind Sharma elected president, AAAI for 2012-13

M G Parameswaran has been elected vice-president of the association. The immediate past president, Nagesh Alai, will be the ex-officio member of the new AAAI executive committee. 

Exset launches solutions for Cable Operators

New Delhi, 1st August, 2012: Netherland-based Exset today announced the launch of its India initiative for the Indian television cable industry christened 'The India Page'.
“Keeping in view the digitization of the Cable Television in this country, we have introduced a unique proposition for the cable operators which will enable them to meet the challenges of digitization, and also result in positive impact on their revenue stream,” said Mr. Rahul Nehra, Global Head Sales & Chief Marketing Officer, Exset.