CAS to withstand DTH, IPTV

Mumbai, March 23 | Updated: Mar 24 2006, 05:30am hrs
The conditional access system (CAS) is a better and more acceptable choice than the direct-to-home or IPTV, if allowed to be implemented properly. This was voiced by the Multi System Operator's alliance while debating the next generation platforms for television in India at the second day of Ficci-FRAMES.

While companies like Reliance Entertainment and Bharti Televentures stressed on the need for customizing TV entertainment to suite the mobile and IPTV, Ashok Mansukhani, President of MSO Alliance and Executive VP of Hinduja TMT (HTMT) said that CAS, when implemented, will not only be cost-effective, but will come with all the added features like video-on-demand and pay-per-view facilities.

"We are ready for CAS. The modern set-top-boxes will be made available at a loan of one rupee per day and it will enable viewers to choose from over 300 channels which not even DTH platform can give owing to the transponder problems," Mr Mansukhani said.

CAS, according to the recent Delhi High Court order, has to be implemented by the central government by April 10. CAS is a technology platform enforced through a Set-top-box, which enables the consumer to pay for the channels it watches.

Making a strong case for IPTV, mobile TV and DTH platform, Rajesh Sawhney, President of Reliance Entertainment said that viewing screens have been shrinking in size because of better technology. "The next generation for television will be customized access of TV content on mobile, internet and on DTH platform," he said.

Participating in the debate, Jawahar Goel, Vice-Chairman of Zee group said that technology is developing at a faster rate than the regulators can imagine. "Any success or failure of technology platform is directly dependent on regulations. Until the government brings about clarity in its policies on both content and delivery mechanisms, we will continue to dabble in content delivery issues," Mr Goel said. Zee group is simultaneously managing both cable network (through Siti Cable) and DTH (through Dish TV).