Broadcasting sector regulator TRAI is counting on the acumen of experts from institutions like IITs and IISc to overcome technological challenges that block the possibility of inter-operability of Set Top Boxes (STBs).
TRAI chairman R S Sharma today said that with the interest of the consumers in mind, inter-operability of STBs has been high on the regulator’s agenda for long, but technological factors have impeded progress in this regard.
Inter-operability refers to a situation where STBs of different cable or DTH operator become inter-useable and a consumer is not forced to spend on buying a new one set-top box everytime he or she decides to changes the service provider.
Sharma said that many people feel that it is not possible to have a common STB because of security reasons and the need of broadcasters to keep their content encrypted and safe from piracy.
“Because it is essentially a technology issue, we have brought on board professors from IITs and other institutions to look at it from a technology perspective,” Sharma said adding that C-DoT is the technology partner in this venture.
TRAI officials said that a panel of 12 experts from institutions like IIT Mumbai, Indian Institute of Science (IISc), Bangalore is looking at this issue.
“We are on a speed on this issue and we are having regular updates,” Sharma said.
TRAI officials said while a common STB for cable services may be a bit easier as shown by lab tests, but another challenge is bringing STBs which are inter-operable between cable as well DTH operators.
Another major initiative, for which TRAI has initiated a consultation process in the broadcasting sector is ensuring that the broadcasters share infrastructure.
Sharma, said that “learning from the Telecom sector” where competitors also share towers, it is being examined if such a practice can be instilled in the broadcasting sector.