Advanced Television

India wants interoperable STBs

December 11, 2013

By Chris Forrester

India’s media regulator is looking to amend existing DTH broadcasting licences to mandate that set-top boxes can be made interoperable.

India’s Information & Broadcasting Ministry has, according to, instructed the regulator to conduct a study to measure support for a scheme that mandates that STBs are supplied that are either commercially or technically interoperable for consumers. The regulator began a consultation recently and held discussions with key stakeholders on December 9th.

The regulator is looking to provide viewers with the options to receive a rival’s broadcasts without having to invest in a new set-top box.  Another option is that viewers could hand their STB’s back to the broadcaster for a cash sum which could then be used to buy a new decoder.

It now seems that one option would be that the regulator could issue new transmission licences with some of these options in place. There are also suggestions that new licences will be levied at either 8 per cent of the broadcaster’s adjusted gross revenue, or 10 per cent of fiscal gross revenues.

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