Mumbai : Govt has approved the proposal to develop Indian CAS to speed up the digitisation process in India and to find a cheaper alternative to foreign CAS which is over charging the Cable Operators.
Conditional Access System (CAS) which refers to a set of hardware devices and connected software (including a set-top box) used to limit the access of pay TV channels to only authorised viewers, India will soon have its first home-grown CAS for television viewing, a move that will bring down the cost of set-top boxes and boost the Centre’s aim of completing cable TV digitisation.
The Department of Electronics and Information Technology (DeitY) has approved a proposal by Bengaluru-based firm ‘ByDesign India’ to develop an Indian conditional access system for a total project cost of about ₹30 crore.
‘ByDesign’ will receive a support amount of ₹19.79 crore from DeitY to develop the new system, in association with Centre for Development of Advanced Computing (C-DAC), the department said in an internal note.
The Indian CAS is expected to be ready next year and implementation will last for three years.
“An Indian CAS is welcome as cable TV operators are generally locked in with an international CAS provider, who exerts a lot of control over the entire cable TV value chain with high licensing fees. As a result, the entire digitisation bid is slowing down,” said Ankan Biswas, Chairman, Digital Broadcast Council of the Consumer Electronics and Appliances Manufacturers’ Association.
To put things in perspective, international CAS players charge about $2-5 as a licence fee on every set-top box. The Indian CAS will be made available to domestic vendors at $0.5 for three years, according to the DeitY internal note.
“The developer shall always make available an Indian CAS licence for domestic manufacturers of Head-end and STBs. The domestic manufacturers of set-top box(es) shall always have (an) Indian CAS licence available for any domestic manufacturing,” DeitY said.
The CAS system is an integral part of the Centre’s move to ensure the completion of cable TV digitisation in India by December 2015.
CAS was mooted in 2001, due to a furore over rate hikes by channels, and subsequently, by cable operators. Poor channel reception, arbitrary pricing and poor service delivery were some of the issues that were to be addressed by the system.