New Delhi: The Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (TRAI) has initiated the pilot testing of inter-operable set-top boxes for digital TV broadcasting services that will enable subscribers to switch between various service providers without changing the set-top box that will be similar to the Mobile Number Portability (MNP) facility that are presently available to mobile phone subscribers.
Upon successful implementation of inter- operability of set-top boxes, the consumer can change his cable TV service provider, they need not buy a new set-top box. It is understood that around 15 service providers are participating in the testing process including Dish TV, Siti Networks, Star India and ByDesign India, according to two people familiar with the development.
The system of Set-top box inter- operability is being tested for the first time and it will be the pioneering project in the whole world as the same is not being practised anywhere in the world.
Earlier, TRAI has released a pre-consultation paper to identify issues related to intero-perability of set-top boxes and its possible solutions. In May 2016, TRAI also engaged 12 technical experts (with the Centre for Development of Telematics, or C-DOT, as its nodal partner) to look into the challenges involved in the intero-perability architecture.
The regulator has also sought comments from broadcast industry stakeholders on the proposed architecture of the new set-top boxes.