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Future of MSOs after HITS
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HITS is a revolutionary policy that has the capability to take the digital television to the next level. HITS policy has been pending since quite some time but would now bring transition phase in the industry, where everybody has an option.

The best part of the HITS policy is that its services are allowed both in C-Band and KU-Band. Media Mughals team member discussed about the differences of the same and many more aspects with Ranjit Nigam, Viaccess.

When asked about the difference between the two, Ranjit Nigam, Viaccess, said, "C-Band signal you need a larger dish to be received and in Ku-band you need smaller dish. More Ku-Band transponders can be accommodated in satellites & the utilization of transponder capacity in Ku-band can be better. Another very interesting aspect of KU-Band is that it is very easy for people in the rural area to install KU-band rather than C band."

While taking about the MSO's, he said, "When you talk about MSO, most of the MSO'S currently carrying signals in either the digital format or the analog format, need to set up headend in the individual city, therefore they need to have contact mechanism in each city, but with HITS the MSOs need to have single central headend control and you create the virtual headend in the satellite which is downlinked into the small headend of the different cities. Hence, the MSO can control all the signals from one single point."

When asked about whether the future of MSO is at stake, he adds, "No the future of MSO is not at all at stake, in fact it will be much to the benefit of MSO's as a single control means better monitoring of the networks & better QoS."

Talking about the policies he said, "Well we are yet to see it, but I guess most of the policies would be quite similar to the policy of DTH."

We also discussed about the advantages of HITS and tried to get some of its benefits. While discussing the advantages, he said, “There are only four major stake holders apart from the government viz. The broadcasters, The HITS operators, The local operators and The consumer, of course, at the end. Today we talk of about 70 million cable and satellites and about 15 million DTH household. With HITS coming in - the cost of digitalization of the head-end at local levels is lowered, and hence we should witness a faster growth in the number of cable TV consumers."

"As compared to the DTH, HITS has an added advantage – it easily permits the local cable operators to add local ads," adds Nigam.

He further moved on a cautious note and said, "The govt need to take care of only one issue that they mentioned that channels on HITS platforms needs to be encrypted which does not seems correct for the simple reason that there are non- CAS areas in the country also. This would imply that the encrypted signal would be available in non-CAS areas as well, in which case the Government would need to find a solution regarding the different rates per broadcasting channel in the non CAS area and CAS area."

Later after that we moved towards the challenges of HITS, he commented, "In terms of challenges - the only challenge I forsee which a small cable network faces today is that if the density of the population is not high in a particular locality, for example, where one house is separated half km from another, it does not make any economical sense to send one cable link for just one house. So this is one thing which has to be taken care of."

"I do not see negative aspect in the HITS and I would just say it is a big thing for broadcasters and every other stakeholder concerned. At the end of the day it will be transition to digital from analog but the consumer may need some time to adjust with it may be 1 or one–half year of time period. In a nut shell it is a welcome policy and will definitely be a landmark in broadcast industry," concluded Ranjit Nigam.

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