BIS Favours Open Architecture
Although some broadcasters and consumer electronic companies have been opposing the government norms on open architecture system in direct-to-home (DTH) television, the Bureau of Indian Standards (BIS) has taken a final view in favour of the open system. BIS has drawn out the specifications for DTH implementation in the country with the open architecture in mind, according to sources.
Elaborating on the technology, vice-president of Digital TV (worldwide) division of SCM Microsystems Michael Krall said the modules, that the company makes, are inserted into the common-interface (CI) digital set-top box receivers, to enable inter-operability and open standards. The inter-operability and the open option allows consumers to switch over from one cable operation or broadcasters bouquet to another in case of dissatisfaction with service, with very little additional expenditure. Another advantage of inter-operable/open system is that if a consumer shifts to another town/city, he can do with minimum additions to his set-top box, Mr Krall said.
Specifically on the India market, he said SCM is in talks with some key domestic players including BPL. On the whole, it is exploring collaborations with Nokia, Samsung and LG, among others.
On how much the company is planning to invest in India, Mr Krall said it would depend on the demand. Giving an estimate of the saleability of the products, he said 1.5 million modules had been sold in 2002 around the world. The module is priced at anything from $37 to $45. A cost reduction is likely, if the volumes go up, he added. For the India market, a more realistic $25 is what the company officials is talking about.
This is how one can do a comparison between embedded and common interface CAS system. In the case of an embedded system, the conditional access feature is in-built.