New Delhi: Industry Regulator TRAI has recommended that all DTH and cable set-top-boxes (STBs) provided to the customers must support interoperability and urged the I&B Ministry to make it mandatory by introducing the requisite provisions.
Interoperable set-top boxes will allow consumers to migrate from one DTH / Cable operator to another operator without buying a new set-top box. Presently the STBs deployed in the Cable TV networks are non-interoperable — the same STB cannot be used interchangeably across the different service providers.
The Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (TRAI) also recommended the mandatory provisioning of USB port-based common interface for all digital television sets in India.
“All the set-top-boxes in India must support technical interoperability in principle, i.e. every STB provided to a consumer must be interoperable,” the TRAI recommended.
The TRAI also called for the setting up of a coordination committee by the I&B ministry having members from the Ministry of Electronics and Information Technology, TRAI, Bureau of Indian Standards (BIS) and representatives of TV manufacturers.
“The committee may steer the implementation of revised STB standards for both the DTH and the Cable TV segment,” it said.
The lack of interoperability of STBs between different service providers not only deprives the customer of the freedom to change his or her service provider but also creates a hindrance to technological innovation, improvement in service quality, and the overall sector growth, the TRAI said.
The MIB, in collaboration with the BIS, should make suitable amendments in specified standards for STBs, the TRAI said.
It said DTH and MSO players should be given a time for six months to adopt “DVB CI 2.0 standards (with USB CAM)” in line with the ETSI standards (Europan Telecommunications Standards Institute).
Such specifications must mandate TV manufacturers to provide all-digital television sets with at least one open interface port based on DVB CI Plus 2.0 standards permitting simple connection of USB CAM to allow reception of television signals, the TRAI said.
They must also provide the digital television sets with built-in tuners to enable reception of television content through both satellite and cable platforms, it said.