This month, the curtain falls on Analog Cable TV, in India. The entire country is to shift to digital CATV from April. Can this genuinely be achieved? It has taken more than 3 years, to install 70 million Cable TV STBs, to date. Compulsory digitisation in DAS..........
HATHWAY & DEN LAUNCH OTT
OTT or Over the Top for television content loosely refers to video content delivered via the internet. This video content may be live TV, but can also include movies, TV shows and other video content that is stored online and delivered on demand to consumers. Further, OTT content is delivered not only to TV sets but any online enabled device with video and audio capabilities, such as a mobile phone, tablet, computer etc. OTT enables TV and video content viewing even when the subscriber is away from his TV, e.g. when in the car or train, or even when travelling to another city or country!
Asianet Communications was the first MSO to launch an OTT service.
Tata Sky & Dish TV also have their own OTT apps.
Hathway has launched its "Hathway Special" service for its subscribers. The ad-free service was offered free for 1 month starting 9 February.
Priced between Rs. 15 to Rs. 60 per month, the Value-Added-Service (VAS) portfolio spans 9 different genres including the best of blockbusters & music videos. They include:
♦ New & Classic Bollywood Movies
♦ Comedy Shows ♦ Kids Learning
♦ Devotional Service
♦ Indian Classical Music.
"At Hathway, we take pride in being the first MSO in the country to launch exclusive and diverse Value Added Services for all our subscribers. With the addition of the new service - Hathway Special, we are empowering our LCOs to further enhance their business in terms of earnings and efficiency with this new Value Added Service. We are sure that Hathway Special will add significant earnings to the LCO just as the Hathway Connect Portal helped in ease of business and improved efficiency for all," said Hathway Cable and Datacom chief executive officer video business T. S. Panesar.
Last month, DEN Networks also soft launched its Over-The-Top (OTT) service: DEN TV+.
DEN TV+ currently offers 144 free-to-air (FTA) channels, 2,500 movie titles & 10,000 hours of VoD (Video-On-Demand) content.
The service is currently available only to DEN's existing cable or broadband subscribers. "Very soon we will be extending it beyond our viewers," DEN CEO - Sharma promised.
Streaming of video over the internet consumes a large amount of data, which needs to be paid for, separately by the consumer.
The service has data-saving feature, which allows users to manage their data consumption while streaming videos on their phone.
OTT can be offered by any digital headend at a very small incremental cost, since a digital headend carries all signals in IP format - as used on the internet.
While in the USA OTT services deliver all subscribed Pay channels also, Indian broadcasters are currently reluctant to share their channels on OTT.
There are also several standalone OTT platforms currently operating in India. These include Hotstar (Star), ErosNow, BigFlix (Reliance Media), NyooTV, BoxTV (Times Internet), DittoTV & Ozee (Zee), ZengaTV, VdoCipher, Voot (Viacom).
Even international majors YouTube Netflix & Amazon offer OTT services in India.
However, offtake is minimal. Will Indian consumers pay for OTT & its associated data cost? n