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Dish TV planning to launch CAM
NEW DELHI, JAN 22 (AGENCIES):
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Published on 22 Jan. 2010 11:24 PM IST
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Direct to home service (DTH) provider Dish TV is planning to launch conditional access modules (CAM) which will allow consumers owning set-top-box of other operators to switch to Dish TV’s feed of television channels, a person from a broadcast company with knowledge of the development said. CAM is a small gadget than can be inserted in the set-top-box and enables the consumers to shift from one DTH service provider to another without buying a new set top box. DTH players currently subsidise the set-top-box to get on board a new subscriber hoping to make money over a longer period through monthly fees. “Dish TV hopes to grab new subscribers at lower cost from rival companies through this strategy,” said the same person. The key to its success will be how the CAMs are priced. Details of the price point at which Dish TV is going to sell the CAMs is still under wraps. A Dish TV spokeswoman did not respond to ET’s queries. The government has been pushing for interoperability of set-top-boxes for receiving DTH signals to give choice to consumers. Under the licensing norms for DTH service providers, its mandatory for them to provide ‘technical interoperability’ whereby a consumer need not buy another set-top-box and equipment to switch to other operators. As per Trai’s regulations, every set-top-box sold by a DTH service provider should be CAM compliant or have an empty space where the gadget can be inserted. But as a senior marketing executive from another DTH firm who did not wish to be quoted said, ‘technical interoperability’ has several challenges, “We believe there is no market for CAMs in India as its cost is almost equal to the cost of new set top box so consumers prefer to just buy a new connection.” Others like Umesh Rao senior vice president & chief marketing officer at Big TV, say there are technology glitches as well, “Different DTH service providers use different compression technologies like MPEG 2 and MPEG 4. So even if a consumer is able to switch service providers and watch television channels, she/he cannot access interactive services or value added services of a different DTH company.”

 
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