Millennium Post

Needed: 75 mn set top boxes for cable TV digitisation

Around 75 million set top boxes (STBs) would be needed to complete the third and fourth phase of cable TV digitisation in the country, a senior government official said on Thursday.

'There will be a requirement of about 75 million STBs for the completion of Phase III and IV of digitisation in the country,' Ministry of Information and Broadcasting joint secretary Supriya Sahu told a national seminar on STBs organised by industry body CII.
Cable TV networks in India have been mandated to go digital by December 2014, which entails that TV signal may be received only through STBs. The I&B ministry has already completed the second phase of digitisation, which involved digitising 1.6 crore cable TV houses in 38 cities by 1 April, 2013.

The third phase of digitisation has to be implemented in all other urban areas (municipal corporations/ municipalities) except cities or towns or areas included in the Phase I and II, by September 30 this year.

The rest of the country will be covered by December 2013 under Phase IV of digitisation.The official assured the participants that government would look at their suggestions for tax rationalisation but urged them to rise to the occasion so that this huge opportunity could be utilised.
STB manufacturing opportunity has been identified as one of the growth drivers for electronics manufacturing industry, with the expected demand for set top boxes valued around USD 12 billion globally.

Director General Foreign Trade (DGFT) Anup Pujari said that all items suggested by the IT department had been notified for an additional 2 per cent incentive and STBs have been identified as a focus product.

He asked stakeholders for suggestions on third party certification that will enable and facilitate trade.Department of Electronics and Information Technology (DeitY) joint secretary Ajay Kumar said the department plans to announce a series of incentives for the electronics manufacturing cluster scheme. He also assured the participants that set top boxes was a priority area given the speed of the cable digitalisation process.

The seminar was attended by key officials from concerned ministries and departments, multi system operators (MSOs), DTH service providers, chipset suppliers, STB manufacturers and representatives of ecosystem industries, among others.
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