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Cabinet nod to digitise cable TV

The long pending Headend in the Sky (HITS) policy aimed at digitising cable TV operations throughout the country got the Union Cabinet's approval on Thursday....

Written by Express News Service | New Delhi |
November 13, 2009 12:55:32 am

The long pending Headend in the Sky (HITS) policy aimed at digitising cable TV operations throughout the country got the Union Cabinet’s approval on Thursday,with permission also given to allow 74 per cent Foreign Direct Investment (FDI) in the HITS sector — there is a 49 per cent cap for cable TV operators. Foreign Investment Promotion Board approval,however,would be required for FDI over 49 per cent.

HITS will enable subscribers to use the same set top box across the country and still receive digital quality viewing. It is also expected to bring more competition and better digital quality with a larger bouquet of channels to subscribers with value added services like movies on demand.

With some four applications for HITS operations already pending with the Information & Broadcasting (I&B) Ministry,the latter is hoping to see HITS service providers roll out services within a year.

Not to be a “mandatory” policy framework,HITS is a digital delivery platform to distribute multiple channels via satellite straight to the cable operator. As of now,a cable operator receives aggregated signals from a land based Multi system Operator. While HITS operator’s digital signal will reach cable operators across India enabling wider penetration of digital networks to even remote areas,the MSO coverage area is limited to a small area i.e city or town.

While DTH is permitted in the Ku band of the Spectrum alone,HITS services will allow uplinking of channels in both Ku and C band. With a pan-India reach offered by HITS,the ministry is also expecting the cost of set top boxes to come down.

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